Ministry of Transport (2006)

Size: over 1,000 pages

Government status: Government Ministry

My professional status: employee at Base Two

Website client: Ministry of Transport

Dates: April - June 2006

Categories: Project manager, Front-end developer, Govt web standards tester, CSS-based layout, e-govt/WCAG compliance, SilverStripe, Government websites, Large sites

Brief: to complete the build of the new Ministry of Transport website, which was a CSS site using the SilverStripe Content Management System.

My responsibilities included:

  • Bug fixing and working to improve the CSS and HTML already built - this included bugs in the CSS, the HTML, the CMS and the JavaScript
  • Last-minute client alts to the content and site structure
  • Browser testing in a range of browsers on Mac and PC
  • Liaison with SilverStripe - the CMS development company.

Although I had built a number of sites in HTML and XHTML which would then be programmed to work within a Content Management System (including National Library Timeframes and NZHistory), this was the first CMS-based site I worked on where the site was already integrated into the CMS.

The project was almost complete when I came on board, so my job consisted of bug fixing, last-minute client alts, browser testing and getting my head around this enormous site where the contents of each page were pulled from a number of sources within the CMS. This made bug-fixing a challenge, to say the least.

It's interesting to look back on this project years later, with SilverStripe now WebWeaver's CMS of choice, and remember how much I did not enjoy working with it for the first time on this project. To be fair, it was a very early iteration of the CMS (possibly the earliest) and I was joining the project right at the very end, which is always a tricky time to join, but it's also great to see how far SilverStripe has come since then!