In 2009 we embarked on a complete website redesign. The key goal is to make the website the repository of all things DEWBOT. We want to have all the design details, build season history, pictures, etc. in one easy to access location.
We chose to use a wiki for two reasons:
- it's easy for anyone to add or update information
- it's easy to link pages together for a positive user experience
This is the most important task on the web team. With the ability for any roboteer or mentor to add content there is a need to make sure the overall style is followed and that the articles are well written.
There are over 200 pages (and growing) of content that is constantly being updated, so the editing is an on going process.
Web Page Design
We've chosen to use the MediaWiki software as our base. We did this so we could focus our limited resources on content creation no programming.
One of the key feature of the software it allows the web team to change the default look and feel of the site by changing the skin. Extensive programming or reprogramming is not required. There are a number of existing skins, but the web team can customize the look and feel easily.
MediaWiki also has a very powerful set of tools that can be used to develop advanced features. There are some features that have been prebuilt (like the source code display) that we use, others can be built by the web team
There is a limited systems administration role, since we are not doing programming. The key task is to make sure that backups are made on a regular basis.
There is some work to add new MediaWiki packages, but this is infrequent at best.
Mediawiki (the Butterfly Book) - the best guide to Mediawiki. It describes how it works, how to build sites, templates, formatting, etc. If you are going to do anything with MediaWiki this is the book to get.
MediaWiki Skins Design: Designing attractive skins and templates for your MediaWiki site - The book provides full details of how MediaWiki skins work, and the necessary template and CSS customizations required to completely alter MediaWiki's appearance.