During the Summer of 2021 for 8 weeks, Leo JD Ridgwell worked as part of an internship between Coventry University, Santander Universities and Ambitious about Autism as part of the Employ Autism programme. This is a showcase of the work that was done during these 8 weeks. You can check out Leo's personal site and contact him at https://leo.ridgwell.family
Displayed on the left is a Video showcasing the original website. The original website was developed by the CEO Richard. The original website didn't seem to follow or have any theme. Each page of the website had a large picture (or a slideshow) as the page title, and each section was split up using borders and smaller images as subheadings. On mobile, the website scaled correctly but a lot of elements looked odd. For instance, there was random green borders on one side on the mobile version. The website felt and looked heavily outdated for a modern website in the year 2021. It looked more like a website from the early 2000s. It also didn't very good clean and search engine optimization (SEO) friendly URLs which can make it much harder for the website to appear at the top of the results in search engines. The website also wasn't secure with HTTPS and SSL. Something needed to change.
The website was starting to come together and become a modern website, however, the website needed a framework. This basically would provide the default styling that would be used across the website. The choice was between Bootstrap & Materialize . I decided to use Bootstrap as Bootstrap is an amazing framework and I prefer Bootstrap over Materialize as I don't want every site following the Google Materialize style (which is what Materialize does). After deciding on a framework, I updated all the scripts and libraries to the latest version and downloaded local versions of all the scripts to increase the performance of the website.
Another issue with the old website was that the URLs were not very search engine optimization friendly. As explained before, this can impact the search engine results and make it harder for the website to be noticed. To fix this, you can make URLs prettier which involves removing file extensions from URLs (where possible) and moving website pages into categories. The way I have accomplishing prettying the URLs is by using a file called .htaccess which web servers check certain conditions for. I accomplish the categories by using a custom made PHP script that simply injects the page content into the page the user has directed themselves to. This allowed me to add custom error pages as well.
This was one of the biggest and most challenging projects I have ever done. There was so many things that I didn't know how to do and although, I had years of coding experience, this was the first ever project that was being done for a client rather than as a fun project in my free time. I managed to implement and learn how to code so many new things, such as:
It has been an amazing, stressful and enjoyable 8 weeks and the information and knowledge I have learnt will be used on future projects for years to come. Thank you Richard for this amazing opportunity.