The original branding is done by Adrenaline Creative. Based on this, I created the website design for last year’s Festival but kept it quite basic as I only had a week from brief to hand-over. This year I had a slightly longer period to update the site to follow the new poster design and incorporate some other changes requested by the client.
The most obvious change was to convert the navigation from a static vertical list to a horizontal drop-down menu system. This was based on the excellent Suckerfish Dropdowns menu by Patrick Griffiths and Dan Webb at A List Apart. Behind the scenes the code had a complete overhaul to ensure it validated as XHTML Strict (validates as of 25/3/06) (all my sites are coded to this standard nowadays). It was also an opportunity to apply everything I’ve learnt about CSS and XHTML in the year since I last coded the site.
One of the requests from the client was to make the site easier to maintain, so I’ve placed greater emphasis on re-useable code in this version. Each page is made of five basic areas, four of which are the same on every page, so are pulled out of the code as separate files (Server Side Includes). This means that every page on the site can be updated just by editing a single file. The header, navigation bar, sponsor’s list and footer are all saved as these Includes.
One concern I had was that the navigation would be difficult for some people to use, so in the body of the Website Map page I used the same Include file used for the navigation, but added some new CSS rules to style it in a more straightforward way. I think this demonstrates the power of combining Includes and CSS.