All the Web's a Stage
What exactly is a website anyway?
When I started building my DIY website engine, A Tame CMS, I felt like a blind person trying to descirbe an elephant from feeling different parts. Theres a lot that goes on, but how do all the parts fit together? What makes up this machine that provides web pages with the click of a mouse button?
Instead of a trunk or floppy ears, a website has blog posts, login screens and menus. As I began to work on my DIY project, the elephant began to slowly take shape.. BuI realized that it's not an elephant. It's a theatrical troup.
Posts and pages are the actors, the stars who vie for the spotlight.
CSS works behind the scenes to create the costumes. Php code provides the set design and the crew that sets up a new page between acts.
The header file takes care of the lights and the curtain.
The play is written in HTML - that's how the posts and pages know what to say on stage. The audience even has a playbill - the menu and they get to choose which act to watch.
An act could feature a single star - a post or page, or an ensemble cast - a blog series, portfolio or post grid. The comments are the audience feedback.
A 'guy in the back with a video camera - that's the backup utility that keeps archived copies of the troup's perfomances.
The htaccess file is the ticket counter and the bouncer.
Last but not least, the director sits in the index.php file and to tell everyone where to go and what to do.
In this metaphor, WordPress or Squarespace are Broadway musicals while A Tame CMS is community theater - the scale is smaller but here is still a performace.