This website is not a third-party theme or template. This website was drafted and designed on paper, paint, and other graphics editors by the Digital Media Team. It was then realized by building and tweaking the design ideas using text editors to write out the HTML, CSS, and PHP running the website. The current design is the 7th version of the website, and was built during the 2014 FRC season, and marks a departure from the looks used in the previous years.
Versions six and prior were designed from scratch in Adobe Photoshop CS5. Each and every section on the website was designed prior to coding to ensure a solid user interface. The 6th version of the website was used for the 2011 through 2013 FIRST seasons and was awarded the FRC World’s Best Website award in 2011 at the FIRST World Championship in St. Louis.
Original, Organized Code
We designed the many features of the website on paper first, and then began to transfer them to image mock ups. After coming up with various ideas, they were realized and reviewed. Students developed the HTML, CSS, and PHP by hand to ensure the documents are correct, simple, and understandable.
Standards Compliant and Accessible
Care was taken to abide as closely as is possible to the HTML and CSS standards specified by the World Wide Web Consortium, and the website has valid HTML and CSS*.
We also make our website accessible. Our website has no accessibility errors or warnings in WAVE from WebAIM or CynthiaSays.
*Vendor prefixes for @ CSS rules have not yet been specified and as such one feature is not considered valid because it is part of a new development and using vendor prefixes. This results in two errors upon validation; this is a result of the standard being too new and browsers overtaking their planning phase
We have also coded our website to be handicap accessible; it includes a text version of every non-textual object. According to CynthiaSays.com, our website passes the 508 Standards as a website accessible to blind users.
The AdamBots’ website is compatible in Internet Explorer 7+, Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome, and Opera. With advances in web browser technology, we decided to discontinue support for Internet Explorer 6 like many prominent websites already have such as YouTube and Yahoo!, as it represents a very non-standards-compliant and outdated paradigm. The website is also fully usable in most handheld or mobile devices such as iPhones, iPods, Blackberries, and many others.
Spreading FIRST Through Our Website
Our website has helped spread the message since its inception in 2005. We promote our website around the community, at competitions, and online in order to spread not only our message, but the message of FIRST. We have reached a large audience from all parts of the world. According to Google (since November 2007), 47,180 different people have visited our site from 161 different countries or territories (as of April 16th, 2014). That’s a rate of 21 new visitors each day!
We have included a variety of features on our website to help provide a fluid experience for the visitor. We have included a picture slideshow on the homepage, while videos on the FIRST and OCCRA pages help explain the content in a more engaging way. You cannot forget about our Media Gallery, which has about 7403 pictures in 174 different galleries along with numerous videos on our YouTube channel.
Keeping Our Team Members Informed
We maintain a Team Calendar on our website to keep team members informed. The calendar includes times and dates for full team meetings, sub-team meetings, and competition days. Locations and specifics of events are also posted as it gets closer to the event.
All Members Contribute
Our website allows any of our team members to contribute or edit the website. We believe the more people that contribute, the more complete our website is. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we have heavily modified the open-source WordPress blogging platform into a Content Management System (CMS). We use WordPress only to allow all members of our team to edit the website rather than having one or two webmasters. WordPress allows access to the core code running the entire site while simultaneously providing an authoring platform which does not require technical knowledge. This allows us to include more authors and editors on the site while not compromising the student-designed aspect of the website’s programming.