Ben Ponsford's
Ben Ponsford's
web portfolio
web portfolio
Introduction

This sub-site exists to catalogue the websites I have created, mostly from a more technical perspective.

I strive to write all sites with neat, presentable, easily readable markup, even when generated by code. I prefer techniques that validate with the W3C markup validation service wherever possible. So far I am avoiding HTML5 and newer CSS3 techniques until all major browsers support them in a universal fashion. All markup/code is written in SciTE, while imagery is created or modified as required using Adobe Photoshop.

If you're interested in talking to me about my work, you mail email me at benponsford@thefloatingwidget.net

Sites listed in reverse chronological order (of initial development, since some have been updated over time).

6 preview
Natasha Orchover - orchover.co.uk

Brief: To develop a site for Natasha's cello & music theory tuition services, including a gallery of photos and client references.

Layout and colour scheme based on Robby Design's free 'award-the-inspired' template, which the client chose.

Developed February 2013.

Client feedback: (show)

Client feedback: (hide)

Blah!

Natasha Orchover

Technical Information: (show)

Technical Information: (hide)

  • Bespoke multi-user content management system (CMS) written using PHP and MySQL with user authentication and management facilities
  • Security measures involve:
    • Session expiration after certain period of inactivity
    • Enforced minimum length and complexity of passwords
    • All logins are IP logged
    • Password reset facility requires IP match and a security question to be answered, before emailing user their new password
    • Password and security answer are stored as uniquely salted hashes, utilising multiple cryptographic hash functions
    • Too many incorrect logins prevents user from logging in
  • Contact form uses a combination of JavaScript and PHP sanity checking for user input
  • Phone button initiates phone calls on mobile devices
  • Simple gallery system on home page
  • DTD: XHTML 1.1
5 preview
The Jazz Company - thejazzcompany.net

Brief: To develop a simple online presence for a jazz ensemble, including a contact form, to be "quite bright and art-nouveau ish like a Clarice Cliff bowl or vase" and using generic jazz imagery.

Developed autumn 2012.

Client feedback: (show)

Client feedback: (hide)

Despite the distance between us, Mr Ponsford has been very attentive to all my requests and needs with the design of The Jazz Company web-site. He also took the time to make suggestions and choices for me to consider. Although the development was and is on-going, he has responded to all my requests. I know he will always respond in the future too. I am visually impaired and not a techno person at all, he explained clearly to me every step of the way, which is important to me. I consider him to be a very talented, hard working, conscientious professional.

Chris Mustchin, drummer for The Jazz Company

Technical Information: (show)

Technical Information: (hide)

  • PHP generated markup
  • Contact form uses a combination of JavaScript and PHP sanity checking for user input
  • Rounded box design courtesy of Spiffy Corners
  • DTD: XHTML 1.1
4 preview
UK Clutch Centre (eBay shop) - stores.ebay.co.uk/ukclutchcentre

Brief: To develop a professional looking eBay shop, maintaining the theme already in use at the company's main website for a consistent online persona.

A more techinally challenging site due to the restrictions control eBay provide over styling their shops (cue much CSS and script hackery) and the integration of a registration lookup service into the shop.

Developed in autumn 2011.

Technical Information: (show)

Technical Information: (hide)

  • JavaScript used to retrospectively work the shop menu bar, as the menu markup is shared between all pages of the shop
  • Form for Vehicle Registration Mark (VRM) lookup, returning data from a 3rd party XML feed supplied by CDL Vehicle Information Services Ltd.
  • Required PHP to be hosted on a server and dynamically generated pages embedded into the fixed eBay shop page.
  • DTD: HTML 4.01 Transitional (enforced by eBay; actually gives more control over layout and presentation due to hacky methods required)
3 preview
Fort Purbrook Amateur Radio Club - fparc.org.uk

Brief: To develop a professional looking informational site for a local amateur radio club that would allow the club members to continuously update the site with new content.

Development started in July 2011, with the site being launched on August 24th. A guestbook was added in September of that year, while the during the winter holidays of 2012, a photo gallery was added.

Client feedback: (show)

Client feedback: (hide)

Ben I must say on behalf of Fort Purbrook Amateur Radio Club our thanks for all of your hard work and dedication on producing such a wonderful Website. There are thousands of Amateur Radio Websites and thanks to you the FPARC Website is up there with the best. As Club Chairman I have received many compliments on the quality of our Website. Many thanks Ben for contributing your hard work which has enabled us to a flying start for the Club.

Garry M0GMR, FPARC Chairman

Technical Information: (show)

Technical Information: (hide)

  • Bespoke content management system (CMS) written using PHP and MySQL so that club web admin can change vast majority of text on website, upload images, and remove unwanted guestbook comments
  • Bespoke guestbook system, written using PHP, MySQL and JavaScript, with various spam protection measures:
  • Dynamic password system (rather than a user unfriendly captcha system)
  • IP address checked against The Spamhaus Project's SBL and XBL blocklists, and the Stop Forum Spam system
  • Posts accepted from each IP address only once every 24 hours
  • Hidden field to catch out spambots
  • World time server clock embedded in site, rewritten as valid object tag rather than their suggestions of an embed tag, or some unnecessary JavaScript solution
  • Implemented caching for the solar terrestial data image, as the remote server it is retrieved from limits image requests to save bandwidth
  • Rounded text boxes in CSS2.1 without images; design courtesy of Spiffy Corners
  • Random banner image on each page load
  • Custom error pages in place, emails admin on unhandleable 404 errors
  • DTD: XHTML 1.1
2 preview
Executive Energy Assessors - eeaonline.co.uk

Brief: To develop a site for a local business that is "bold, fresh and simple" using the company colours of black, white and silver.

Developed summer 2008.

Technical Information: (show)

Technical Information: (hide)

  • First attempt at creating dynamically sizeable boxes with rounded corners, using small graphics for each corner. Decided this technique is too much hassle to keep changing colours; investigated a new method for the next site.
  • DTD: HTML 4.01 Strict
1 preview
South Coast Support - southcoastsupport.co.uk

Brief: To design and build a basic web presence for an IT support company. The site has to have information on what they do, all contact details, a coverage map, and simple forms for the end user to request information.

Site initially developed in September 2007 but frequent adjustments have been made over time, with a large markup rewrite using PHP during July 2011.

A partial restyle and reorganisation of the site was made in September 2012, including further use of Web 2.0 content.

Client feedback: (show)

Client feedback: (hide)

An increasingly effective site now that more and more business is generated through web advertising. Recent and ongoing improvements are helping to drive the business forward.

Alex Mason, owner of South Coast Support

Technical Information: (show)

Technical Information: (hide)

  • PHP generated markup
  • Initially text boxes were created through coloured nested divs, as part of rewrite they are now using a rounded box design courtesy of Spiffy Corners
  • Custom error pages, redirects for old (.html) links, emails admin on unhandleable 404 errors
  • Facebook 'Like' button, implemented via standards compliant object tag rather than the unnecessary XFBML solution that Facebook provides
  • Shows most recent post from company Twitter feed
  • PayPal payment facility for customers
  • Contact form uses a combination of JavaScript and PHP sanity checking for user input
  • IE6 compatibility addressed with use of Microsoft AlphaImageLoader for transparent PNGs, an iFrame for the Facebook like button, and some CSS tweaks
  • Random customer testimonial shown in footer on each page load
  • DTD: XHTML 1.1 Originally HTML 4.01 Strict
0 preview
Vehicle Handling & Performance Analyser - vhpa.co.uk

Brief: I needed a site for my own software package, to provide product information & usage assistance, a place to download the application and updates, plus retrieve community feedback and donations.

Developed in August 2007; markup rewritten to modern standards in July 2011.

Technical Information: (show)

Technical Information: (hide)

  • Makes light use of PHP for redudancy (i.e. there is a header and a footer included on each page), and to neatly generate the menu bar by looping through an array
  • Custom error pages: redirects old pages to new ones (.html to .php) and requests for old program versions forwarded to downloads page; also emails me on unhandleable 404 errors
  • Added PHP guestbook, written by PHP Junkyard; lightly customised to fit site theme and to store more pertinent information about the user (e.g. program version used)
  • DTD: XHTML 1.1 Originally HTML 4.01 Strict

Valid XHTML 1.1