Princess Elisabeth Antarctica

Jérôme Coupé

Princess Elisabeth Antarctica
Princess Elisabeth Antarctica
Princess Elisabeth Antarctica
Princess Elisabeth Antarctica
  • Princess Elisabeth Antarctica - 1
  • Princess Elisabeth Antarctica - 1
  • Princess Elisabeth Antarctica - 1
  • Princess Elisabeth Antarctica - 1
http://www.antarcticstation.org

The site and its processes

The International Polar Foundation built the first zero emission station in antarctica. As their web guy, I got to design and develop the website for it.

The Foundation wanted to present both aspects of the project (polar science, the station's zero emission features) through a series of rich pages that they wanted to be able to update themselves in a very modular way. In that sense, one of the website's mission is to be a very modular brochureware.

The site also acts as a publishing platform for news, press releases, pictures, videos, etc. All of these types of items could possibly be related together.

The whole site had to be responsive and look good on high definition screens whenever possible, without compromising the preformance.

Add-ons and EE special sauce

The modular pages were developed using Playa by Pixel&Tonic. Each type of module (video, news, text, image and text, etc.) has its own channel and its own data structure. Modular pages live in their own channel and essentially consist in a title and a playa field. The client can then create and configure all the modules needed and then assemble and order them to create as many pages as needed. If a news type of module is needed down the line, I just have to create it and add it to the Playa configuration.

The rest of the site is pretty classic, apart from a centralised relationship system that was created to allow editors to link types of content together. Datagrab was used to import the news and press releases archive from the old website.

This website is a Stash build. I use Stash to keep the number of embeds low, minimise the number of channel entries loop needed and implement caching. Mustash is used to manage the cache breaking rules. This setup allowed me to drastically reduce the number of queries needed for each page. Uncached, the homepage generates 47 queries. With caching, that number goes down to 18. I still have the option to turn on file based caching if needed.

All in all, I am very happy with the site. The nice thing about working closely with a company is that you get to refactor your code and improve you work pretty regularily.