Archive for July, 2006

Locations Magazine

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

Big News! Firefallpro has another major project under it’s belt. A large portion of the work we do is maintenance work for existing sites, or general development work. However, we have a steady diet of new websites as well, and one of them was finished last week. is the online counterpart of Locations Magazine, which is a yearly magazine featuring write ups and feature listings on hundreds of locations, caterers and other services. It has been published since 1993, and focuses almost exclusively on weddings and other high end events taking place in the New York and New Jersey area.

Our work for the site involved redesigning it completely from the ground up. We took the old messy ASP code and threw it away, and developed clean, standards compliant PHP code. We use CSS heavily in our new layout, and as a result several key features have been met:

* Better search engine indexing
The site has been indexed many times more frequently compared to the old site. In addition, the page rank for certain keywords has been increasing as google re-calculates.
* Increased Performance
year over year, for the month of june we saw an 80% increase in page views, 50% increase in visits, 10% increase in hits, and 35% decrease in bandwidth. This means more new people are coming, they’re staying longer, and the server is working far far more efficiently.
* Increased traffic rank
according to alexa (I know, I know, it’s a bad indicator, but it’s still an indicator) the traffic rank for the site has gone up 10%.

And that’s just the front end! We had some severe limitations on what we could do with the front end, as they wanted the look and feel to be the same as before. This meant that about the biggest change we were allowed to make was to turn the poetry section into DHTML from flash.

BUT, on the backend, we worked wonders (alliteration, go me!) The old site was slow moving, and bogged down with enormous forms containing every detail for each account. The new backend is fast, sleek, and totally AJAX, baby. This was the first project we’ve done in AJAX, and I must say I’m proud of it. Menus are responsive, reports come in faster, it’s entirely cross-browser compatible, and everything is edit in place. I look forward to more projects that let us flex our muscles like this did.

In closing, go check out the site, link to it, and tell your friends. If I get approval, I’ll go ahead and post some pics and things we learned in building the backend.

Total stats: 15,000 lines of original code, 15,000 lines of OSS code, and 0 errors or warnings.

EDIT: fixed the link. I’m retarded.