Website Introduction

/ in Website by Marek

As mentioned in the previous post I was kindly volunteered to write the next step, about how the website had to progress to keep up with all the updates and changes that were being recorded.

In the beginning my dad just wanted a way to put the images of all the moths that he had photographed into a website for people to be able to view and to keep track of the recorded moths he had seen.

The quickest way for me to allow him to complete this basic task was to give him a templated html text document that he could go in to modify with any new records and update any existing files that he had already created.

However, as I saw his passion grow and the number of pictures and information become a lot larger it was clear this rudimentary solution would quickly become a lot more challenging. Over a drink we started to discuss what could be done about this ever-growing task and being a software developer, I decided the only solution would be to transfer the information into a database and make a dynamic template that my dad would not be required to change with each new moth.

Basic HTML for an empty webpage
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This was a large task as there was a lot of information in a lot of files, I also had to assign a large task for my dad to make all the images and information in a uniformed structure as it would now be powering a set template.

One issue I thought would happen is that I am a backend developer, this basically means that I can make things on a website work well, but the design and the visual aspects of the site may be basic. My dad however loved the fact that I had kept it as simplistic and as easy as possible to access the information required.

Using this simple design, I was then able to create a website using C# ASP.NET and powered it all with a SQL Server database, which would be the area that my parents would need to update.

The benefits of now having all the information in a database allowed me to branch out and manipulate the data in many ways, which lead onto the creation of the report and graph sections.

Example of a bar graph added to the website to help visualise data around the species seen
Data Analysis

As the design of the site was minimalistic it led to only needing a simple underling structure. Because of this I could experiment with technologies that I hadn't used before, without jumping through hoops to integrate it into the site, that I might otherwise had to have done had the site been more complicated.

However, the world of technology is very fast-paced and new techniques and approaches are continually being developed, which has led onto my latest endeavour of rebuilding the existing site on new technology. This will include a fully-fledged angular application power by an API.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though and more detail about this will come in a future post, with hopefully the website changing at some point to implement all these changes.