I'm looking for some guidance in my quest to enter a moderate amount of information into a database, and then choose an appropriate front-end to display that data with a small array of filters and search options. The project is not complicated; I mostly want to avoid wasting time learning things the hard way (in contrast to my usual style).
Short background info: about 15 years ago, I began to accumulate a large number of live recordings of Robert Hunter
, which is a fairly niche hobby, even in the world of Deadheads. I ended up creating a simple website to list all his known tour dates and setlists, along with recording info and other miscellaneous notes/details. Although I haven't made any significant updates for over a decade, I'm now sitting on a ton of new and corrected information, and I'd like to bring this little hobby site into the 21st century.
My first question is, what's the best way to go about getting this information into a database? I am actually a web designer with some experience using MySQL, so my issue isn't really conceptual. But it turns out I don't really know how to populate my database before
I create my site. Should I just enter my data in Microsoft Access, and then convert the Access DB to a more universal format? Or is there a good front-end tool that would help me get it into a MySQL-ready file from the start?
The second, related question is, what would be the best/easiest platform to build this site on? A couple of years ago, I built a Drupal site from scratch - I set up a spare box with Drupal, PHP and MySQL, and tinkered around until I had a working, reasonably tricked out CMS site. But that could well be overkill for the simpler site I have in mind for this project. Basically, I want to display any or all of the dates in my archive, with options to filter by date, venue, recordings, &c.; as well as the ability to search for shows where specific songs were performed. And that's about it - no news section, no forums, no calendars, basically nothing but the shows.
I've never used WordPress, and I would love to add that to my toolbox - would it be appropriate in this case? Should I stick with Drupal, since a second project on a newer version would also enhance my resume? Or am I totally overthinking this, and I should be thinking about creating a simple, custom PHP pages to do the search & display? In the end I don't actually need
any CMS features, but if it's not a lot
of extra work, I think the practice would be valuable. I just don't want to waste time building a palace when I just need a bunk house.