University materials catalogue

This is my first website ever. Also this is my first personal project. I was newbie to PHP when I worked on this project. During the process of developing it I learned a lot of the things that I still use in everyday's work.

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The purpose of this website was to combine all existing materials, related to Technical University Sofia, in one website. I studied in this university. This is the best technical university in Bulgaria. Its popularity was one of the reasons a lot of materials to be scattered on the Internet. This is my first website ever. All of the basic skills I acquired during my work on this website. I am still using some of them.

What I did

Because this website was my personal project I took part in the all main stages of its development.From the blueprints to the ads that made it so popular. The first stage was even before the start of the development. I made an extensive reasearch over the Internet. All competitors were analyzed by me. After the research was finished, all best practices were collected, also new features were added to the list of mandatory functionality that must b eimplemented.

This led to the design of the wireframe of the website. I worked with 2 colleagues from the university. The first one was a Photoshop, HTML and CSS specialist, the other one contributed to the website with his Javascript knowledge. My responsibily was to design and created the database and to write all souce code files in PHP. After I had done this I had to connect the scripts with the HTML templates. The site was then finished.

Following the technical completetion of my first website. The next stage was the website's search engine optimization. I took part in this stage. Together with one of my colleagues, we started to optimize the website in evry possible "white hat" way. All good proctices were incorporated in the website. Moreover we did an ofline campaign to promote the website. This campaing had a great impact on the website's positions in Google's indexes. Still, many years after the support of the website was discontinued, it is still Gooogle's favourite first result for many different keywords.

Skills that I used

During the time that I devoted to this website I used PHP MySQL and HTML. I should say that I learned PHP, MySQL and HTML. Because this was my first projects, it was more like a tutorial than a professional work. Also I used SEO skills to improve to website's positions in the search results in Google.

Moreover I played the role of project manager. I organized the people that helped me to complete the website. Together with me, the number of people working on the website during different stages was 4 (a small team). And a commericial network build on people's relations. Although the tasks were assigned to everyone and were spread very well, sometimes there was the need someone to do more than one thing.

For instance, in the development process three developers were involved. In the offline promotional stage againg three people were involved, but this time there was a new person added to the team the forth. In the stage where the database was filled with information  all four of us were involved.

Stages of development

I can talk for the stages of developent a lot, but to save your time I will be as brief as possible. So here are the main stages that were enough. Enough to bring to live the most loved website by the students that study in Technical University of Sofia.

  1. In the begining there was the frustration that there are so many websites, which contain little, but distinct information related ti the university that I was enrolled with. The idea of uniting website was born.
  2. After I created followers I made a research over the competion's website. This research helped me to collect the best practices and to formulate the most importnat information, that has to be stored in the database.
  3. The design and slice were done by my colleague. While he was doing the design I was developing the dynamic PHP files and I was creating the database. In the end the two separate parts were connected and the website was fully functional.
  4. During the forth stage data was added to the website and the Search Engine Optimization was done. A great amount of work was spent into the adding of materials. In the end of the first week more than 1000 different files were added with their supplementing data.
  5. The website was ready to accept its first visitors. This stage was the offline campaing. With flyers and other promotional materials the website accelerated fast in the virtual reality.
  6. This was it. Still tu-materiali is one of the most used website by students that are enrolled in Technical University Sofia.