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This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Beverleyh 2 years, 4 months ago.

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    I have a website in my portfolio that I designed for my employer a couple years ago. I have recently found out that they plan on re-building the entire site using an outside firm – meaning all the work I did on the website will be erased.

    I really need to keep the project in my portfolio though, and I don’t think just having a picture of it will do it justice (I built a custom CMS, for example).

    Has anyone run into a similar problem before? It’s a huge site, so I don’t think it is realistic for me to host it on github pages, plus it is dynamically generated so I would have to convert it into a static site which would defeat the whole custom cms thing :|

    I thought about hiding it on a sub domain of their server, but it’s so big that I’m pretty sure they would notice… plus it would probably break the cms I wrote.

    I guess the wayback machine is an option? but the performance is really slow…



    Something similar happened to me, except it wasn’t for an employer – mine was for a voluntary project. Still, I put my heart and soul into the project, “working” 20+ hours per week in my free time for 7 years. All bespoke work on the front and back end, and a heavily custom-modded forum. In the end I had to accept the inevitable, but not before buying an alternative domain to host a drastically cut-down static version. I lost the CMS, news roll/blog, galleries, video libraries and other meaty stuff, but saved the design and gimmicky template. Still, it’s a shadow of what it once was and nobody will ever know the love that went into it except me (sob).

    Is the CMS truly yours? As in, developed in your own time that the employer can’t claim they paid you for? If so, how about setting up a standalone demo on another domain that resets itself every hour? While I didn’t do that for the backend of the project mentioned above (except for a side-shoot web service running personalised template-driven sub-domains that helped fund their main website upkeep – I kept live versions of that), I did it for my own CMS, and various incarnations of it. Might be an option.

    It’s a horrible place to be in, and I really feel for you. I hope you can salvage parts of it though so that your hard work and efforts live on. X



    It’s tough, I know … also from experience. Somehow reshape the thing into something else, something positive like Beverleyh did, makes all the sense in the world. And yes, you do want the thing to live on and not to be “frozen in time” somewhere parked on the interwebs. And also, despite the frustration, you will have to think about what the most valuable parts are that went into this project. For me the next best thing would be to turn it into an open source project, so maybe in your case a CMS, maybe even despite the dynamic nature of a CMS as you mentioned. But if the most valuable things in the projects would be the components and modules you build, then maybe turn in into your own Bootstrap, and keep developing it over time. Even if it’s just some little spare time here and there that you can put into it, it will still live on and you will benefit. If only because you can keep developing your thinking on the thing you put so much time and effort into, and can keep reusing parts. And who knows, maybe even get some valuable feedback from the open source community.



    Oooh, yes! Fragmenting-but-saving the useful parts as standalone components/modules is a fab way to extend the life of your past work.
    Example – my ‘Fast Feed’ freebie script started out life in the aforementioned project, but has since proved very useful elsewhere for the xml RSS feed it generates :)



    I don’t think just having a picture of it will do it justice (I built a custom CMS, for example).

    I don’t see an issue with displaying images of the work you’ve done. Take a look at WordPress, Statamic or Kirby. There are countless CMS sites that showcase features in screenshots. Perhaps instead of just linking to the site in question (if that is in fact what you’re doing), why not create a presentation out of it? You can create something similar to a blog post (what you see on the Statamic link above) where you mostly focus on showcasing the qualities.



    Thanks for the ideas… I might put a slideshow together that summarizes the work I did, and also link to either a reduced static version or an archived version.



    You could also write a case study detailing all the main/critical parts of the project – the problems and the solutions that your CMS provided, along with pics, etc. Put your work into terms that the average non-techy can understand as they look through your portfolio.

    Hope it all goes well.

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