About stanhoe.org

stanhoe.org is a project of the former local history group Stanhoe Archive.

Webmaster (tel 01603 873386) maintains the structure of the site.

The site is powered by CMS Made Simple and Piwigo, and hosted by PAC Web Hosting. It has been running since July 2008.


See this page for our policy on handling personal information.

Standards and accessibility

stanhoe.org is designed to work with all modern browsers. As it stands, the site should be fairly accessible to visually-impaired visitors, though we’d ideally like to implement a formal accessibility policy in the future.

▼ Click here for more information

To use all the functions of this site requires Javascript to be enabled in your web browser.

Javascript is used for map, slideshows and certain other images, to protect email addresses, for “expand/collapse” text areas, and for backend editing. All other functions should work with Javascript turned off.

We use HTML5 to embed video and sound recordings.

Almost all pages should be valid HTML5 with CSS 2.1, plus a bit of proprietary CSS for curved boxes and drop shadows.

General site information

September 2023

  • Site availability has been above 99.9% (measured every 30 minutes) since April 2019 when we moved to a new hosting company. We use low-cost hosting packages, so occasional downtime is to be expected.
  • Since September 2023 we have had a fully responsive layout based on the Foundation framework. This supersedes a semi-responsive layout dating back to April 2019.
  • We have had an SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt since November 2017 and all http requests are served as https.

Our experience with digital image galleries

▼ Click here for more information

Originally we hosted our images on the now-defunct council-funded NORCAN website. This purpose-designed system had one or two nice features, including powerful searching and the ability to set “hotspots” within images. However, it was opaque to the outside world (including Google) and did not support bulk uploads or downloads. It couldn’t import existing metadata, and didn’t store full-size images for archival purposes. It was a great example of how to waste public money failing to reinvent the wheel.

So we also experimented with Google Picasa Web Albums. Thanks to the Picasa desktop software, this has good support for metadata, bulk transfers, backups and image editing. Searchability was rather poor, and the limit on the number of photos per album was a pain. The multi-user aspect is limited too: other users could upload and edit their own photos, but any particular image could only be edited by its owner.

In July 2011 we moved to a Menalto Gallery3 database on the stanhoe.org server. Gallery3 had the advantages of being simple to set up. It just about met our needs, was easy to administer, and ran happily for just over three years.

Around August 2014 the developers of Gallery3 announced that the software would no longer be maintained. We therefore migrated to Piwigo in October 2014. Piwigo is a popular replacement for Gallery3 and the move was easy. The new gallery works much better on mobile devices and gives the adminstrators more power, though the learning curve is steeper.

The ideal would be to integrate the gallery fully into CMS Made Simple, or perhaps alternatively to use a “museum-class” CMS such as Greenstone, dspace, EPrints or Fedora. The latter would provide better searchability and support for more types of metadata, and allow us to catalogue scanned documents as PDFs with embedded text. But they are more complex to set up, and we don’t have the expertise. The would welcome any offers of help.