Two years after the launch of the previous version of the site, the third version of WipeoutZone was a complete re-work of everything that had gone before. Every aspect of the site was re-coded, from the html and stylesheet to the php for every single page.
Code wise there was almost no carry-over from the previous two versions of the site, which although it meant a lot of extra work, meant that the site ended up more efficient and more scalable than before.
This time around both Fireworks MX and Dreamweaver MX were used to design and code the site entirely – the first time I had managed to avoid jumping between Photoshop and Fireworks. The site is XHTML transitional and makes extensive use of CSS for layout, positioning, and navigation roll-over effects.
Towards the end of 2001 it became obvious to me that the old WipeoutZone site required a much needed overhaul. There were nasty nested tables everywhere and the site was an absolute chore to update. The Flash navigation made me squirm every time I looked at it and the whole DR rip-off that I’d come up with before was less pleasing to the eye with every visit.
So, after making the decision to go standards compliant with the design I done away with all the tables, except for those which hold tabular data. The layout is handled by the style sheet and the code is as clean as anything I’ve ever done.
Yet again, Fireworks fell short of the mark when it came to doing the banner and Adobe Photoshop came to the rescue. Maybe with version 5, eh Macromedia?
Anyhow, the templates took about a week or so to come up with, plus four hard days of coding to convert the old pages over. I’m quite pleased with the result – it’s very fast and works well in all the leading browsers.
This site was developed over my time with the company and features a contacts list, production information, global calendar and a custom content managment system.
The site was written in PHP and runs from a MySQL database hosted on an Apache web server. The simple design was necessary to fit the constraints of screen resolution and colour definition, due to legacy computer monitors present within the company.
Although single handedly building an intranet seemed like quite a daunting task initially, it has turned out to be a fantastic learning experience and a great resource for the staff at CG. The web server I built for hosting the intranet has coped with the task quite admirably, too. Well, for a machine built from spare parts, anyway!
The second evolution of the CG Intranet went live at the beginning of November 2001. Sadly, due to the winding down of the New Media department, I’ll be leaving the intranet behind, however – I hope to keep it up to scratch on a freelance basis.