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Pixelwave Website Design Weblog

Family website and fairy gifts go Live

I've been busy tying up loose ends before heading off to the Isle of Man on holiday, but I have also managed to release the Family Genealogy website I've been working on. It is a private site so I won't link to it here, but these are the initial comments from my client upon seeing the site:

Well - I am impressed. Anyone that knows can tell you that's no mean feat!

Its an excellent piece of work and even my blond Sister should find it intuitive.

Fairies World T-ShirtI've also integrated a simple Fairy Gift Shop using an order fulfillment system to Fairies World. As usual there is a list of other things for me to do associated with Fairies World, but those will have to wait until I get back from holiday. In the meantime my recent additions to the site such as ths gift shop, weblogs, video and audio podcasts, photo galleries and content manegment systems will enable the site owner to add new content simply and easily while I am away. Fairies World will therefore continue to grow and develop, and when I am back I'll be able to work on new features for the site whilst the site owner continues to concentrate on adding new content for its visitors.


Family Genealogy Website

I'm currently working on a family website comprising integrated forums and photo galleries. The website will allow family members to keep in touch with each other, discuss genealogy issues and of course share and discuss photos.

The website is accessible to family members only and I must admit, now that I've been working on it, the concept has grown on me. It seems like a great way to keep in touch and keep an extended family up to date with all the latest news. I'm even tempted to set up a similar site for my family.



Podcast LogoWork continues on Fairies World and this week I have been getting to grips with podcasting. The idea was to publish audio clips on the Fairies World website and as a RSS feed so that it was available as a podcast. The owners of Fairies World were new to podcasting as was I, but we wanted to give this a go.

Of course, enthusiasm soon got the better of us and before even starting we decided to try our hand at video podcasting rather than just plain old audio podcasting. We had a couple of small movie clips, so the scene was set.

I wanted to keep the admin task of adding new podcastable media to the website simple so decided to set up a podcast category within the Fairies World weblog. The next stage was to upload the relevant media file to that weblog entry and install a plugin or two that would apply the relevant enclosures to the RSS feed. This was relatively easy thanks to the PodPress plugin for WordPress. However, I had all kinds of problems getting the embedded media players to work from this plugin so in the end decided the best plan of action was to upload two files for each media clip. One in mp4 format that would be included in the RSS feed and was compatible with Apple iTunes and one in flv format that was embedded into the webpage and available for online streaming. This made the admin a little more complex than intended but it does make the clips available both on the website and via a podcast.

It all seems to be working OK now and I of course enjoyed the challenge of learning a new technique. Once you know what a podcast is and how they work then it is quite simple really. You can use this link to view the podcast with iTunes or you can subscribe to the podcast using your preferred podcast program by copying this link into your podcast program. The weblog with the streaming flash movies can be seen here.


Website Development

I've been so busy of late that I have barely had time to update the news section here, so this is just a quick round-up of the main projects I've been working on.

The most complex project I'm currently working on is the development of a website for a large group of activity providers in the Brecon Beacons. The idea behind the site will be to promote events and activities in the area by providing a one-stop shop listing all of the up and coming events and providing details on the businesses providing these events and related services. The site must of course be easy to navigate despite containing potentially thousands of events. The website also has to cater for the providers, allowing them to register, login and submit their profiles and events, and there will also be a third level of access allowing the administrators to manage the members accounts and listings.

The whole site also has to be organised by both categories and by geographic location. Quite a complex site, but I'm enjoying the challange.

I've also been busy working on Fairies World website (and its sister sites). A new image gallery has recently been added to the sites, I've been optimising various aspects of the site to increase its income from various affiliations and have been continuing with the constant stream of minor updates and page additions. Fairies World also now how a new Latest News Weblog and various RSS newsfeeds for people to subscribe to. Plans are also afoot to add newsletter subscription services, more online games and many other new features including a podcast service.

Of course, in between these projects I have been keeping up with other minor updates to various websites and have been kept busy with new enquiries. It is good to be busy.


Historic Weather Data Added To Website

Forces-of-Nature website is a website aimed at the UK windsurf, kitesurf and surf community. It has a West Wales bias and earlier this year Pixelwave Web Design added a live weather station to the site.

The weather station located just behind the beach at Ynyslas beams live information to a data-logger which is connected to a PC. The PC stores and proceses the data then uploads the information to a website every minute. As part of the continuing development of the Forces-of-Nature website, Pixelwave Web Design have just finished adding a feature that allows members to view historic data from the weather station.

The historic data is presented on a month by month basis, providing a list thats shows the average and extremes for each day, along with a link to the 24 hour graph for that day. e.g.:

Average temperature 2.4 °C
Average humidity 77 %
Average dewpoint -1.3 °C
Average barometer 1007.6 mb
Average windspeed 7.5 kts
Average gustspeed 7.5 kts
Average direction 339 ° (NNW)
Rainfall for month 1.6 mm
Rainfall for year 89.0 mm
Maximum rain per minute 0.2 mm on day 01 at time 23:56
Maximum temperature 5.3 °C on day 01 at time 15:02
Minimum temperature 0.2 °C on day 01 at time 21:55
Minimum pressure 1003.1 mb on day 01 at time 23:57
Maximum pressure 1010.0 mb on day 00 at time 00:17
Maximum windspeed 22.0 kts from 278° on day 01 at time 23:51
Maximum gust speed 28.0 kts from 277° on day 01 at time 23:49
Maximum humidity 92 % on day 01 at time 22:38
Minimum humidity 58 % on day 01 at time 18:10
Maximum heat index 5.3 °C on day 01 at time 15:02
Rain for the day :1.6 mm

Theres also the averages and extremes for the entire month.

The community at Forces-of-Nature seem to like the new addition to the site.


Photo Gallery Website for Forces-of-Nature

I've been setting up several photo gallery websites recently using the excellent opensource software Coppermine. One of the latest websites to get the Pixelwave Design photo gallery treatment is Forces-of-Nature.

Regular readers of this weblog will know that Forces-of-Nature is my own website that provides many features for the UK windsurfing, kitesurfing and surf communities. In addition to the lively forums, personal session logs, weather information, classifieds and other sections it now has a windsurf, kitesurf and surf photo gallery allowing members to upload and share their photos. In addition to galleries dedicated to the various sports that the website caters for there are also albums for seascapes, landscapes and other Forces-of-Nature related topics.

Photo galleries such as these are a great addition to any website, allowing visitor contributions, and fresh content to be added regularly. Search Engine Optimisation of the system is good and the fact that new photos can be added all the time means that visitors are encouraged to revisit your website regularly.

For more information on adding such a feature to your website please contact pixelwave web design


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