Website Development

Freedom4All

Freedom4All was a small Human Rights focused blog I ran between 2008-2010

It was a small Wordpress based blog, with a mixture of dedicated content and "news" posts highlighting things of focus/importance on other sites.

Much of the earlier content was lost following issues with the hosting provider (and the backups they'd been paid to take), but content from 2010 onwards can be located in the Freedom4All Archive

BenTasker.co.uk v3.1

In April 2013, following feedback from others, the site was switched over to using a different default colour scheme (with the old one still supported via a toggle on the pages)

A number of other important improvements were made too, including reducing the site's use of cookies, improving transparency (via the launch of mod_yourData) and the addition of some basic privacy options to the left-hand side of the site.

In the ensuing time, those privacy options have changed/improved and new privacy features have been added - including multihoming the site so that it's accessible as a Tor .onion, and enabling opportunistic encryption. Others, like support for the dark theme have been removed (though the theme seemingly still works, as that's how I got the screenshot for the V3 information page

BenTasker.co.uk V3

BenTasker.co.uk was migrated to Joomla 3 in March 2013

Content came across automatically, as it was simply an upgrade and re-templating of the Joomla CMS that underpinned the site

An entirely new template had to be used for Joomla 3 due to the old one not being compatible, but the original build continued the tradition of light text on a black background.

Going from the 2.x branch of Joomla to 3.x was a big step - whilst the upgrade itself wasn't as painful as from Joomla 1.5 - 2.x, extension compatibility was a serious issue.

BenTasker.co.uk V2

The second version of BenTasker.co.uk sported a template very similar to the first, albeit with some colour changes

Content came across automatically, as it was simply an upgrade and re-templating of the Joomla CMS that underpinned the site

The migration from Joomla 1.5 to Joomla 2.5 was completed in June 2012 and the changes went live with the site sporting a much darker look

The history of the site is discussed in a little more depth in this post announcing the migration to Joomla 3 in March 2013

BenTasker.co.uk V1

The first version of BenTasker.co.uk was based on Joomla 1.5, and being something of a rushed affair, it showed.

Having stored much of the Benscomputer.no-ip.org content in a CSV based database, importing content was reasonably easy with a few scripts. To my regret though, I was overly conservative with the content I imported, and so some content was never migrated over and has been lost to time as a result, despite my more recent efforts to find and republish content in backups etc.

The Joomla 1.5 version of the site was relatively short-lived, as I migrated to Joomla 2.5 in June 2012

Benscomputer.no-ip.org

Benscomputer.no-ip.org was the precursor to bentasker.co.uk.

It was self-built, self-run and self-hosted, using server side includes in order to dynamically load content into otherwise static templates. As antiquated as that might sound now, it attracted a reasonable level of traffic, particularly during the Phorm Debacle.

I moved over to using a properly hosted Joomla install in November 2010

Some of the history behind how benscomputer.no-ip.org came to be, and how it evolved is detailed in this March 2013 blog post.