So youíve decided to venture in and see whatís happening at what is, hopefully, youíre favourite Zelda site? Well, this is going to be fairly long winded so prepare yourself for a tale of woe and irritation!
As many of you may have noticed, the site had a distinct lack of activity. There was the odd update here or there, but nothing compared to the standards of old Ė where every piece of news was covered, however big or small that news item was. It soon started to slow to just the big bits of news, and then even those larger news posts were ignored. There are several reasons for this; some of them are legitimate and others are a bit weak really. So Iíll deal with the weaker reasons first.
Hate. Yes, I had and have a burning hatred for the Content Management System that we at Rauruís Return use. Although I chose it myself some two years ago, I feel that the CMS that we used: Joomla, was far too restrictive for what I wanted to do. For example, when you clicked on the Ocarina of Time section, it then gave your even more options to choose from and it was just all too much standardisation and it bugged me.
After all, if I canít create a site to a standard that I like, then Iím slowly going to go off of working on it. Thereís nothing small and simple about creating a site the size of Rauruís Return; yet, owing to the CMS the site looked very small as everything was compartmentalised into smaller and smaller sections that were hidden further and further away from one another.
Other big sites online manage to use Joomla successfully, but only when itís a series of two or three games. When weíre talking twenty years of video game history, you need to follow the predetermined path of the software at hand and Joomlaís software doesnít feel right for a Zelda site. This has been noted by the webmasters over at our Ally site, Zelda Universe who are now converting their site for a different CMS system Ė although I do know what it is, I donít like that system either.
So when we were hacked a little bit a few weeks ago, I decided it was high time that I used an opportunity put in front of me to move Rauruís Return back into the days of glory and joy. Although we were hardly hacked at all in reality, and compromise of the site is not really acceptable. Especially when you consider the fact that the Joomla system is created by hundreds of people to make it very secure, and then to make the system even somewhat useable, you need to add bits, take bits away and just modify it to a new state. Thus compromising security in every way.
Health. For those of you who follow my LiveJournal, many of you would already know that I have some sort of illness thatís sapping my energy and yet itís causing me to have insomnia. Many of you would also notice that Iíve been through School and College in the UK and Iím now in full time work. This full time working means that I canít just take a day off when Iím feeling a bit tired like I used to do a lot at College. So Iím in many ways burning myself out a little Ė just to keep going.
Whatever is wrong with me (the doctorís still donít know and Iíve been going to the doctorís for at least six months now and this issue is at least a year old) has caused me to slow down on news updates for Rauruís Return, I had to shut down Harkinian completely because I only had one staff member who was actively trying to sort things out for me as well. Rauruís Return managed to survive through as I have a passion for Zelda thatís always going to be there. As some of you could tell, the site went through several ďnormalĒ spurts when I felt like I could ďburn the candle at both endsĒ and then as of recent Iíve had to cut back a lot.
Now I also work at Zentendo, TSA/Mikeís new child (after briefly working for The Hylia as well) and many of you may question how I can gather the energy to do that, but not Rauruís Return. The answer is very simple really, the way that Zentendo works is private, but it means that when, shifts permitting, I have the chance to be around I can place news up for validation, and then several hours later I can update the site with it. So Iím never too busy at once.
Well, I guess I said that there were many reasons when in reality there were two prominent reasons and two that were worth discussing. Now, as you can tell, Iím planning on revamping Rauruís Return. Although the way things are at the moment is only a temporary operation, I like the style of this layout and I think this is probably going to be kept overall and things will just ďevolveĒ as systems develop and things fall into place.
The first thing that needs to be addressed is a News System. Iím going to be using some form of CMS for the News System. Iíd love it to be custom developed, but my knowledge of PHP is sketchy at best and I doubt that I could create a viable News System. So whatís going to happen now is the great search, for (a) PHP developer(s), a great News System or Iím going to have to bite the bullet and try and create one myself.
Once the News System is created, depending what it is depends on what happens next. If the system is custom coded by developers or myself, then itíll probably act as the base for the entire site and essentially become the new CMS for the site. Otherwise, the regular sections will be hard coded and be done in the old fashioned way, like back when the site first started. From there on, everything will start to flow like it used to.
So, this is a mini plea really for good PHP developers who are prepared to work free of charge on this site and if you want, contribute to the News or the content. If you are interested in this, please contact me on w-e-b-a-s-t-e-r-[a-t-]-r-a-u-r-u-s-r-e-t-u-r-n-d-o-t-n-e-t, but obviously remove the dashes and use the correct @ sign.
I donít expect things to move super quickly to be honest, but there will be progress and youíll all be kept informed.
Finally, the older features are still there. So if you want to check out the Media Gallery, you still can. The forums are also very much still there as well, although a little quieter than they used to be. So help those places out too if you want.