Festival Chairs – a new project, (almost) completed

I rarely write about my freelance work, but I’d like to mention one of my latest projects — Festival Chairs (screenshot).

Last Wednesday the new (redesigned) version of the website (in Dutch language) went “live”:
www.festivalchairs.nl …and soon I hope to complete the English and French versions.

For the first time I launch a website, which uses the new HTML5 standard. Actually, all pages validate as XHTML 1.0 Strict, but at the last moment I decided to change the doctype and… they validated perfectly as HTML5! I did not use some of the new tags, such as <header>, <nav>, <footer> — I think it’s too early, because no version of IE (up to 8) does not support HTML5… So I actually wrote XHTML 1.0 Strict code, and then validated it both as XHTML 1.0 Strict and (later) as HTML5 ;)

The graphic design is made by www.digitalideas.nl. I created and optimized almost all of the code — HTML, CSS, JS and implementation of jQuery plugins, PHP, also editing and optimization of the original PSD files with Adobe Fireworks and export of the individual images/backgrounds in various formats… I think the final HTML code is quite beautiful (not that someone will look at the HTML/CSS, besides me;) …but the important thing is that it works pretty well — I tried to create as semantic and exact code as possible.

The website should look pretty organized even without CSS support. I also made some tests, how it will look with images disabled (but CSS enabled) — almost all of the content and navigation remain accessible, with a couple of minor exceptions. Without JavaScript everything should work well, too.

Before launching the site, I made sure to make a lot of tests in the following browsers: Firefox 3.5 3.6, IE 8, IE 7, Opera 10, Safari 4, Chrome 3 4, Safari 4; and in IE6, too (in IE6 almost everything works and looks OK, except for some GIFs which replaced the PNG32 alpha backgrounds in a few places).

I am quite happy with this project and the final results. Unfortunately (partially because of the strive for perfection from my part, as a coder and Web designer) the project needed much more time than initially planned, so I’ll have to be more exact next time, when I make estimates.

When I am ready with the EN/FR versions, I am not yet sure, what I will do next… maybe take some rest?

PS Forgot to tell that the clients (up to now) are quite happy with my CSS/XHTML expert work… ;)