E-media and press selling website

Presszona.com is a project on which I worked while I was employed by Web Design LTD. The work required all the skills that a web developer must poses. Also an extensive RSS research was required to complete the tasks assigned to me.


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Description

The main objective of the website is to sell newspapers and magazines subscriptions. Secondary objective was to present the website's visitors with a list of hedlines. The latests news, and the news as a whole are organized by source and category. I worked on this while I was employed by Web Design LTD.

What I did

For this project I worked on the secondary objective, which is to present the visitors the news headlines organized by categories and news sources. The fulfilment of this objective required PHP, MySQl developing and an RSS research. Also the websites that provided the RSS news channels had different character encodings. This was another main problem. I had to research the RSS-es versions and the most widely used character encodings in Bulgarias top media websites.

In the home page there are 3 top news with images related to them. This was very important for my RSS research. There were news sources that spreaded their publications with title and text only. On the other side there were medias that gave everything even the images related to their articles. This was the filter that showed me which websites will be changing the data in the main page.

In the administrative panel, also programmed by me, the operator wanted to be able to organize the news sources by categories. For example there are sources that provide only sport news, only political news and of course there are websites that provide both types of news. The articles that were retrieved by the PHP scripts that I coeded also were organizaed by several categories with options to be edited. One of the important options was the addidion of tags.

Skill that I used

PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS  were the main skill that I used to success with my job and to do all the tasks assigned to me. I used my MySQL knowledge to design the database and to optimize the queries. Query optimization was needed, because of the enormous volume of news generated by the news sources. At this moment there are 129011 articles that were approved by the operators and thousands more that were rejected.

I used my PHP experience to retrieve the information from the different news sources. Here the RSS research play its part. There were headlines that were echoed in the world of internet through RSS1 and other news propagated through using RSS2 version. Moreover PHP is the main scripting language that I used to program the user part and the administrative past as well.

HTML and CSS I used to be able to connect the data comming from the database with the templates that the company's designers presented to me.

What I learned

The RSS reading and the different RSS versions was  the most important experience that I managed to acquire while I worked on this project. Also it is a big pluss that the RSS documents are actually a type of an XML docuemnts, so this also improved my knowledge related with XML documents and standarts.

The vast amount of articles in the website helped me to get more deeper knowledge into the world of journalism. I did get more professional attidute towards different types of news and their additional information fields.

Stages of development

The secondary objective was threated as a separate project by the company's manager. I can say that the project went through several very important stages of development.

  1. The first stage was related with meetings with the client. These meetings helped me to understand what exactly the client wanted from the website that I was going to create.
  2. In the second stage I had to research the different types of RSS formats. Also I had to get to know Bulgaria's main news sources and their policies related to the using of their content and the information that they spread through their RSS channels.
  3. After the researches were completely done, there was another meeting with the client. Durign this meeting the final website structure and functionality was established.
  4. Then I had to program the RSS readers, the administrative panel and the user part of the website.
  5. In the end the project was presented and dilevered to the client.

The client

This website's client was a very important one. The company that issued the projects was a long term client of the company that I worked for. The dealines were short and the completion of the project within the confines of these deadlines was very important. By keeping the deadlines I guaranteed that my employes relations with this client will remain fliendly and futre projects will be sent by the client to my employer.