While at university I joined the Manchester and Salford Universities Officer Training Corps. The OTC had a website that hadn’t been updated since the turn of the new millennium. The security and functionality of the site was such dire need for improvement that as soon as it was announced that the Commanding Officer wanted a new site I instantly offered a hand.
I volunteered to create the site with the help of another Officer Cadet who created the design while I built the engine. MSUOTC was my first ever use of a PHP framework, which was CodeIgniter.
Search Engine Optimisation
Some members of the university councils didn’t like (and tried to ban) recruitment at freshers fairs, so site needed to become a primary recruitment tool in preparation for this possible eventually, hence more focus shifted towards SEO than with the old site.
The old site had a single password that was given out to members after successful recruitment. This meant no one could be made accountable if the password got leaked, and there was no way of controlling access to individuals. I created a system that automated account creation from the members register.
The universal log-in system was also an inconvenience for the user, as they had to enter their name and email address with every post on the message board, of course this feature got abused. Obviously with individual accounts this was no longer an issue. I implemented FCKEditor meaning people could format the text in their posts and add links and images. I also created a polling system.