Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Online Challenges

Free Range Robotics Website

0

Jij
Entry ID #: 711
Created: Thu, Jan 10, 2013 2:00 AM


Our website was created in 2009. Since then, so much has happened that it is hard to keep record. In 2010 we won the team website online challenge, with a website that was used by many teams in New Zealand as an online home for VEX. Since then, our website has been given a fresh new look and of course, brand new photo and video galleries, and of course, plenty of new content. The new template was created in late 2012 by George Gillard, one of our team members, who was 14 years old at the time. The template is designed to show off everything our website has to offer in a clean, easy to read layout and look. Later on in 2012, a newer, much nicer interactive slideshow was added to the homepage of the website. Many of the slides are also clickable, linking you, the viewer, to the relevant page and information in just one click. Our website also has a few nifty tricks up it's sleeve. It shows the public viewers what they want to see, but the team members see more links and information, such as our team calendar and our forum. We wanted to have all the features our team members use (Calendar, Team Forum, Private Image Galleries etc) but we also wanted to keep the website simple and clean for the public. To do this, we made the menu with custom settings, so that it displays certain items depending on whether or not you are a team member. The stuff that the public isn't as interested in, determined by tests and results using Google Analytics, is then hidden away out of sight. The calendar allows our members to have one central location to keep up to date with our happenings – when the next competition is, when the next fundraiser is, and where these events are. Our forum is a meeting place used by members to discuss ideas online, so we can talk about design and strategy ideas while we are at home. Currently we are using it very regularly for discussions on designs for one of our robots. We use Google Analytics on our website. This is an incredibly helpful tool for us, as we can see who is viewing our website, and what they see. By knowing this, we can be sure that we show people what they want to see, and not what they don't. Google Analytics also enables us to accurately see how many hits we are getting on some of our most popular resources, such as our programming guides. We update our website with an article after each scrimmage, as well as general news from our team. Behind the scenes our website is running on Joomla! - one of the worlds best Content Management Systems (CMS). We have also installed extra add ons and extensions to really customise our website and make it what we want it to be – the best and most suitable website for our team.

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