Blog | Kilburnlad Creating a French website

Creating a French website

I've offered to create a website for the wife of a friend in France who's an amateur artist. This has brought new challenges, some expected, others less so.

Challenge one was to use a content management system (CMS) to allow my friend to add to and edit prescribed parts of the site. I use RapidWeaver and had already used Armadillo for the blog on this Kilburnlad site, but I would need to use some of Armadillo's other capabilities for the new site.

The next unexpected technical nicety was working with a French (.fr) domain. I first researched the domain with a view to purchasing it for my friend but during the process a warning message advised me that after Brexit it might not be possible to retain ownership without a valid EU address. I therefore asked my friend to purchase the domain name and using his login details was able to direct it to the DNS name servers on my web space.

The web address includes an accented character (é) and such characters are technically not permitted in domain names. To get around this a conversion process is used to generate a domain-name-friendly alternative. This alternative must be used in all processes involved with publishing the site and setting up the SQL database needed for the CMS system. This took me down some previously untrodden paths and there were a few missteps along the way but I got there in the end.

Next was the need to set up an image gallery using Armadillo's Content stack. This stack allows you to place content anywhere on a Stacks enabled web page, each item of content having a unique ID. The content is then created through the Armadillo dashboard and the ID number thus generated used in the corresponding Content stack within RapidWeaver. Once this is done the content can be edited via any web browser by first logging in to Armadillo, whence each item of Content displays an edit symbol that when clicked opens the Armadillo edit screen (see below). By this means I hope that my friend will be able to manage the content.

So far I've created one such page for evaluation and testing.

It is possible to add links to the images that when activated open a light-box with a larger version of the image. This however requires a larger version of each image to be uploaded to the server.

At first I couldn't see how I could devise a way for my friend to do this but a bit of research took me the FileMan stack at Stacks4Stacks, a free download that allows the management of files on the server. Again set up was a bit fiddly but after a while I got it working. It is set up through RapidWeaver but thereafter is a simple stand-alone server-based utility.

So it's almost all systems go provided my friend is happy managing the CMS side of things and the FileMan utility.

One other challenge, of course, is that the site language is French, which fortunately I have been studying for a number of years.

[Updated 01 September 2019 reference the FileMan server-based file management utility]

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