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First Year Programs at the University of Washington runs on ProcessWire!

Jennifer S

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I launched it today:


I can't even begin to explain how excited I am by this software. It feels like I accomplished more in a month than in the last ten years of professional web dev work. Finally, a CMS geared to the needs of content publishing and information modeling (i.e. taxonomy and ontology) -- not news, widgets, or journaling.

Like so many others I had been struggling with the Drupal/Wordpress dichotomy. Drupal feels like hitting myself in the head with a hammer and Wordpress is insecure and inflexible. And both their inner workings seem completely opaque, no matter how often I build with them.

Enter PW, CMS of my dreams. :)

The FYP site is combined with Zurb's Foundation Framework, which I am similarly enthusiastic about. Also above all jQuery + CSS3, which seem like a never-ending treasure chest of wonders.

I did the interface design and development as well as the information architecture and all of the programming. My favorite thing about the site is the way I was able to give it gears that turn with the seasons -- for each season of the year I added tag "pages" and then tailored parts of the interface to match. The homepage image, the default header, and the selection of front page slides are all determined by what time of year it is.

I was able to expose almost EVERYTHING to the content stakeholders through the flexible field system. I could totally get run over by a truck tomorrow and all would be well. I LIKE THIS. Maybe some don't. But I've always been in this field in the hopes of empowering people and making room for creativity. ProcessWire works with these goals, not against them.



p.s. the slider is RoyalSlider. I dig it too.

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Greetings Jennifer,

Wow -- terrific, amazing, impressive work! And thanks for the write-up.

A lot of what you say is exactly the way I feel about using ProcessWire, especially the idea of being able to do in a month what used to take several months (or was impossible) with other systems. And I see exactly what you mean about building systems that empower clients.

But let's not get hit by a bus, because even though clients can manage sites after you build them you are still needed to build NEW sites!

I've been looking at Foundation, but have been on the fence regarding CSS/JS frameworks. But I am feeling lately that it's time to jump in.

Thanks for sharing,


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Hey Jennifer - definitely a fantastic looking site! Some design inspiration for me, so thanks! Also, think I should check out Foundation - it is definitely time to start making use of these tools.

The only comment I have is the size of some of the images in the sidebars. I noticed them loading slowly and checked out one which was almost 400KB and ended in "1633x0.jpg". I see that you have some great responsive design set up, but it seems that when these actually first switch to bigger dimensions they are at 690px, so it seems like there is about 1000px of extra un-needed width / filesize. Maybe I am missing a screen size scenario that needs images that big, but thought I'd mention it just in case.

Also, just found another broken link for you. From http://fyp.washington.edu/getting-started-at-the-university-of-washington/ the link to Fees, Changes and cancellations is broken.

Actually, just noticed something weird on this page: http://fyp.washington.edu/parents-families/out-of-state-parent-frequently-asked-questions/

In Chrome at least you can't actually scroll to the very bottom of the page - it flickers and jumps back. No content is hidden, but still a little annoying.

Another broken link from: http://fyp.washington.edu/faculty-staff/ to the 2013 Advising and Orientation Schedule PDF (http://fyp.washington.edu/downloads/2013cal.pdf)

Anyway, now I am just starting to feel mean and picky - you really have done a brilliant job.

Mental note - don't show off any of my sites here or you'll be hunting me down looking for all my broken links :)

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Hey Jennifer, nice site and design! Congrats and great to hear your opinion on PW.

Some little things I noticed: Just noticed something when on mobile landscape mode I see a responsive layout broken a little. It looks like this:


Clicking Calender of Event on home does to a 404.

All the links from the top carousel go to a 404 to http://fyp.washington.edu/fyp

I took a closer look at your site and seeing the home page has a impressible load, 85 files and 2.7mb just for what is there. And it's strange as it seems something is loading scripts multiple times as I don't see (just looked quickly) where it's coming from or why at all, so modernizer is loaded twice etc.  There lots of css and js script and plugins and fonts, I wonder how much you could improve that without going mad. One of the reason I always still build my custom css and js and only use plugins when really needed, also a reason I don't like those full blown frameworks.

Looking at the mobile perspective you load the full images you won't ever need that big anyway so a adaptive image solution would also help reducing page load.

Just my 2 cents.

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Please take all these comments and criticisms in the best constructive light possible. We mean the best for you and only want to help you.

With that said, here are a few simple things you can do to speed up your site:

1. I see you are linking to foundation.css

You should use foundation.min.css. It's 84KB, as compared to 101KB for the one you are using. A small difference, but many small differences make quite a big deal!

2. You are using lots of fonts no your site. Using many font styles can slow down your webpage, so only select the font styles that you actually need on your webpage.

Instead of doing this:

<link href='http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Open+Sans:400italic,700italic,400,300,700' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'>
<link href='http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Bitter:400,700,400italic' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'>

Do this instead:

<link href='http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Bitter|Open+Sans' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'>

I'm actually looking at those two fonts you chose and dig this up from my bookmarks:


3. Checkout http://yslow.org/

It's a browser addon/extension/plugin thingie that give your tips on improving your site speed.

It's a great tool!

We look forward to hearing from you.

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Wow! Excellent work. The site looks and works great!

One quick thing: The "Parent Orientation" quicklink on this page results in a 404.


I work at a University as well. Most of campus uses WP or Drupal, so I feel a bit like a lone wolf using ProcessWire (sounds cooler than black sheep). I think that's starting to change though—ProcessWire powered sites are starting to spring up around campus.

Anyhow, great site—thanks for sharing.

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