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Looking Back – Major Project 07

Wheels Near U
My first major bespoke project written primarily in PHP although ultimately encompassing javascript, css, html, java applets, flash and some server based command line utilities. Wheels-Near-U was developed as an All-in hyper-localised motoring-web portal. Written completly autonomously within roughly 12 months with several large project revisions. It came together quite nicely considering the hurdles that arrised. On completion the featureset was substancial but simplified most of it fits into the following:

  • Hyper Geo-localisation
    • Based on a postcode a user was taken to their “county” minisite which acted as sub-communities which were developed to appear as subdirectories of the main website, designed as sub communities users can move between counties when browsing information.
    • Content/Advertising could be targetted down to postcode level, including county specific business contacts, userbase and other content
    • Postcodes allowed GPS co-ordinates to calculate all sorts of distances to the user, from local business premesis to vehicles for sale, some intergration with google maps.
    • RSS feeds based on postcodes and counties gave a great flexibility to the user
    • Intergrated with Apache Mod_re-write to provide simplistic urls – wheels-near-u.co.uk/hertfordshire/.. etc.
  • All-in Functionality
    • Aim to cover all motoring needs using all modern forms of web discourse including user based interaction via messages, forums, comments, galleries
    • Based on open source software Wheels-Near-U ended up merging the capacities of an online shop, photo gallery, video library, blogging and advertising medium
  • Secure, multiple gateways
    • Payments taken in several different scenarios, including online shopping, advertise payment and subscription deals – this meant intergrating two seperate online payment gateways with website and ensuring secure service as per TOS
  • SEO
    • Tailored to offer maximum unique/useful content from all given data
    • Designed to make spidering simple, project originally included self generated xml sitemaps, however these proved un-nescessary due to comman sense structure
    • Wide cross section of types of pages all featuring and aimed to comply with 50+ seo html/rules
    • Link pooling / seed based page linkouts
  • Complete intergration with multiple web technologies
    • PHP, MySQL, GDLibrary (Image processing/creation), PDF Libraries, SSL, XHTML, RSS XML, CSS, Java, Javascript (inc ajax), Blogging, advert serving, geographical database tailored, Flash, optimised seo, Apache mod re-write, payment gateways, email syndication, login & security systems, custom written statistics engine, multi-server processing, cacheing, secure sessions
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