Website Maintenance for Ideal Preschool

Ms Mary needed an update of her existing WordPress.org website. Initial set-up was finished and she wanted to expand a little more beyond the basics. The theme has many unused features and someone had to help getting that done.

So I offered to jump in and update some texts, fill in some more blanks and dot a few i’s. I also updated the CMS and as many plugins as I could, while I was there. 

Now that the website is current, we’ll see if she would like to use more web services to improve the efficiency of her business processes with (cloud) IT.

Ideal Preschool with updated Google Maps location and actual numbers

St Maarten Dive Sites Map

st maarten nature foundation

I received an image with the locations of all dive sites in St Maarten from the Nature Foundation St Maarten, who’s website I maintain. They were using a few high resolution images of dive site maps for people to download but I was wondering if there was an easy way to turn the image into a scrollable, zoomable map on Google Maps?

Turns out there is! And it was really easy. Their source was a Google Earth KMZ file, which is just a compressed KML file, which is just an XML text file with GPS locations. So I opened a new custom map in Google Maps, unzipped the KMZ file and imported the KML file into my custom map. Voila!

Of course, I spend the next hour making it pretty and clearer (I hope) but the result is very nice, might I say.

Redesigned BY AMI restaurant website

by ami rotterdam

Over Christmas I recreated a website for my friend Ahmed. His popular restaurant needed a better style online to match the cool and colorful physical appearance of BY AMI in Rotterdam on the Kop van Zuid.

His designer had picked a couple of uncommon colors (mauve, ocean blue and gold) and finding a WordPress theme that allowed me to use those colors in a meaningful way was not as easy as that sounds.

by ami rotterdam
BY AMI – Urban Bistro

But I found one and Ahmed is really happy with the new site. Customers are also giving him compliments over the new website, so I guess I did a good job!

The new site gave an opportunity to present and group all the different services BY AMI has in a clearer way. The menus are recreated from PDF as JPG to limit compatibility issues we’ve had with iOS 😦 and the many group arrangements are now also clearly presented in the main menu. I used the colors to highlight certain aspects of the pages to keep it a little less static and black&white. A splash of mauve or gold here and there breaks the monotony nicely.

Cruise Ships Schedules of St Maarten

The Port of St Maarten has made their Microsoft SQL database of the arrival times of cruise ships in Point Blanche publicly available. That is really great! Lots of businesses, shops and operators depend on knowing if and when a cruise ship arrives. Planning, scheduling, supplies, stock and personnel are all influenced by the presence of a cruise ship or two. High season, which is approaching fast, even brings three, four or occasionally even five (!) cruise ship to the port of Sint Maarten.

cruise ships in dock
St Maarten Ship Schedules from Port of St Maarten

Interestingly though, they did not create an easy to remember hostname for their web server and they forgot to configure the IIS web server properly so that visitors are automatically forwarded to the proper web page. (The root page shows the default IIS 8.0 landing page instead of the schedule picker page.) Though I can live with it, I find it a bit sloppy and I decided to create a subdomain on my domain that points to their server using an easy to remember name:

http://sxmcruiseships.christianpeper.com/sxm

Sadly, I have to add the /sxm because the server won’t auto-forward you from the root of the web server.