Path to 2265
Path to 2265 is my personal Star Trek fansite and major web project. I started developing the website around late-July 2017, and I have put countless man-hours into learning as I go, developing its infrastructure, and writing original content for it. Enthusiasm for learning how to develop solutions in PHP coupled with my love of Star Trek has allowed me to do a lot with this project.
Whilst I was fine with using the usual front-end languages such as HTML and CSS before attempting this project, I knew that the best way to go forward for me in developing my skills in web development was to attempt PHP development and practise the use of databases to provide content instead of containing everything in lots of HTML pages. Since starting this project, I have applied skills in developing markup, styling, PHP on the server-side, and MySQL databases.
Server-side: PHP & SQL
I have used PHP to access and query a MySQL database in two instances. In one instance (example), it has allowed me to cut down the amount of HTML pages needed for the Database section of the website by having one page that takes a query string from the URL and loads matching data from the database into that page's fixed layout. In another instance (example), it allows me to power basic search functionality. Queries are done in class encapulsation and with PHP Data Objects for security. Routine 'day-to-day' access and manipulation of that database is done via PHPMyAdmin through my hosting package. I have also used PHP Includes to allow a single source for the code behind the header/navigation bar and footer. This way, I do not have to modify each and every webpage file when I make changes to said header and footer.
Design, personal & legal
An important aspect to the development of the website that was not programming/coding related was decision making when it came to web design. I had to make decisions on content layout, navigation hierarchy, optimal colours, and maintaining an overall theme and feel across the website in order to produce the best looking and consistent website possible. I coupled this with long-term planning in order to allow myself to create a roadmap of what needs to be done in the near future; both programming and non-programming wise. I also had to consider legal aspects to web development and building a fansite based on a trademarked franchise, which required me to develop a legal disclaimer and policy (see here) and make thorough acknowledgements in regards to external content usage and sources (see here).