Team 254's New Website

Over the past few months, the Cheesy Poofs have been working hard to develop our new website. It’s been alot of work, but the finished product is something far better than any of our team’s previous websites. We are still working to add content, especially documents to the “Resources” section.

Comments or suggestions are welcome.

Very impressive. Clearly you were aiming for a very professional looking website, it paid off! Just a small suggestion would be to allow the viewer to see a larger version of each robot’s picture in the “Robots” section of the website. For now that’s all. :slight_smile:

Akash, did you click the pictures? :wink:

I like that you guys used URL Rewrites instead of leaving the stock URLs. There’s nothing wrong with stock, but I think they’re just ugly-looking. :slight_smile: Also, kudos on using a Facebook commenting system. I’m sure more people would be inclined to join in the conversations since they already have an “account”. For most of my Joomla and Wordpress sites, I use the Disqus system. It’s pretty powerful.

Anyway, clean design, straight-forward navigation, I like it!


A lot of team history in here.

I especially like the resource section. Thanks for sharing on this information.

I added the links right after he commented on it. :wink:

I’ll definitely check that out. Thanks!

Very nice 254!

Second the resource section, great idea! Wish we had a website like that.:]

I have to agree with everyone else here about the design of the website. It looks very professional. We are currently working on rehashing our website as well and we are definitely using your site as an example to follow in terms of layout and design.

Very nice design. Everything i see is nice, good speed. But the coding looks like the team wrote words and made pictures and thats it. I see a lot of other peoples code so try and add your own. Also, editor.css is getting a 404 error, and you should enable gzip compression.
Another thing would be put how first works as a page not a pdf.
the resources are very extensive, very nice! Otherwise very nice site!

Thanks for the kind words & suggestions! I’ll work on implementing them.

I disagree with your point that we should “try to add our own” code. We decided that our team could create a better website by using “other peoples code,” as you say, in the form of a CMS and various extensions. We see no need spend valuable time to “try to add our own” code when we can use open source modules and components that do exactly what we need. We have a small and very busy website team, so we decided that our time was better spent not recreating web applications just for the sake of creating them ourselves.

By the way, there is quite a bit of custom code behind the site. Most of it, however, is only accessible by authenticated team members.

My question is, what code do you think they should “add as their own”? You should provide some examples of what kind of code you think they should add. But to be honest, they’ve already done a pretty nice job (even before they make some of the changes mentioned by others here). Anyone can install a CMS, but it takes some creativity and skill to make a functional, stylish website with a CMS. It truly is impressive that some teams can create their own management system from blank notepads and Photoshop, but others may not have the time or manpower to do so.

well from what i could tell, the skin is premade, and thats really all i would say. Adam bots have won quite a few awards and they only have a custom skin (plus a little bit of CMS enhancements). When our webteam take the 10 hours to code a skin and change oodles of JavaScript that we didnt write originally, i count that. And maybe add a part that says what you changed. Its harder to edit someone else’s back-end code sometimes than make a new one. maybe not specifics, but someone on what you changed as advice for other teams using your CMS

True, they could add a few things here-and-there, and maybe they still have things to add. But using a purchased skin without deep customizations may not be a necessarily bad thing, as long as the skin functions and looks how they want it. That’s not to say they shouldn’t add or change anything, but that sometimes buying things and putting them together can be just as rewarding.

That is true. But for our website, i speant 3 hours rewriting javascript for the menu because the script wasnt meant for IE8, and no one will know. How will someone will? I mean, the real point is to show off what your team can do, along with providing information. Buying things, anyone can do. (but yes, sometimes its the best answer)

There is a mistake on the home page where it reads, “Bob Holmes and Steve Kyramarios joined Jason Morella, then an English teacher and now the west coast director of FIRST, in exciting students about robotics.”

Jason Morrella is now the Senior Director, Education and Competition for Innovation First, Inc.

Thanks for catching out. That information appears to be pretty outdated. I’ll update it now.

No problem. I forget to add “the new site is terrific – clean, informative, and easy to navigate. Two thumbs up.”

Even though purchasing skins can be rewarding, and have a nice, slick professional look. I think it should be used for maintaining corporate site’s and professional business’. In FIRST, why not put in the extra time to make sites from scratch. Not necessarily Notepad, but other programs made for web design.

You can learn a lot of CSS and HTML, and even Javascript by making a site by scratch. It might not be the cleanest looking site on the block, but at least you can be proud of being able to make a website. It’s fine to use snippets and Javascript plugins, but there is a point where most of the web designing should come down to you. Other people may have a different opinion on this than me, but I personally believe that it should be done on your own or as a team, not just taking other people’s templates and modifying the contents.

It depends on the needs, though. Some teams want/need a website up (their sponsors may require a blog or something to show progress), but don’t have the time or students to spend on the project. Yeah, it’d be nice to learn that stuff, but sometimes, just purchasing it gets the job done. Not every team wants to apply for the website award.

We’ll take a copy in orange Nick.

Sure beats our “site”.

Guys, just keep in mind not to cut down on 254’s work. Remember that the judges also look for outstanding content and resources provided by the host team, and 254 has done an excellent job of that.

Just +$0.02