Our website is built on WordPress, a content management system (CMS) written in PHP. We choose to use WordPress to allow more of our team members to be able to contribute to our website. This year’s site theme, Deltamon, is created and designed by the website team.
Although the site is built on WordPress and the design is based off a pre-existing theme, the website is not a pre-existing theme that is slightly modified. We build our theme completely from scratch, using the bare-bones HTML5 WordPress theme Toolbox as its base. We pre-design our entire website on paper before we convert our design into actual CSS code. This year, we decided to make our website as clean as possible, to make it easily readable for potential users.
Compliance to Standards
The Saints Robotics web team is committed to follow standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium, usually abbreviated as the W3C. The Saints Robotics website is HTML5 compliant, meaning that we currently follow the standards of HTML5. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) defines the layout of a website. Our CSS code is valid CSS3.
In addition to utilizing the W3C’s most recent web standards, such as HTML5 and CSS3, we value usability and compatibility. Our website is compatible with Internet Explorer (IE) 7+, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera; it also degrades nicely in browsers with less capabilities. This year, we have dropped support for IE 6, as many popular websites have done, because the browser is old and outdated, and support for it has dropped below 1% in the United States. For more information, see Microsoft’s IE 6 Countdown.
Our website contains up-to-date content and news about the workings of our club. This information is valuable to those visiting our website, including our members, members of other teams, and potential sponsors. The use of WordPress allows members of different subteams to update pages pertaining to their subteams easily. In addition, we provide a number of resources that members of other robotics teams may use for themselves.
Extensive Use of Media
Our extensive media gallery showcases the media team’s photographic and cinematographic highlights, and offers a look into the inner workings of Saints Robotics. The slideshow on our front page provides a glimpse into the different aspects of our club. The images scattered throughout the pages of this website help enrich the content and make the pages more engaging.
Communication Within the Team
Communication is essential to any team. We use an internal forum on our website that provides valuable information to our members. We currently use the forum software MyBB to power the forum. The forum helps keep members of our team up-to-date about the progress of the robot and the subteams. Because we use our forum to promote collaboration between team members, our forum URL is teamwork.saintsrobotics.com.
In addition, we use an internal wiki, powered by MediaWiki, in order to better document our club and our build process. This helps us organize the somewhat unorganized information on our forum to organized, wiki pages.
To tie all of our systems up, we use a single sign-on (SSO) system, allowing our members to sign in to a central login server, which then signs them in automatically to the variety of services and software that we use. This mitigates the necessity of remembering different sets of usernames and passwords for different accounts on different software.