Neighborhood Preschool

When I first took up work on the Neighborhood Preschool site I knew almost nothing about the web. It was the first site I worked on. Ever. It was a collection of flat html pages composed and maintained in FrontPage. Switching between code and design view was my first exposure to HTML. Big thanks go to Michael Roy putting me and the site together.

Not far into the project I undertook a new design and restructuring. I set the site up with a style sheet and with PHP includes to manage the content more effectively. When I look back on it, it was an ambitious first project, but it was also a success that served the school for a long time.

Over the years I added some nice features: an integrated Google search, a Google calendar, some maps. The best piece, though, was the tuition calculator. The first generation calculator used PHP to process the data from a form against rates that were stored as a multi-dimensional array.

The only problem with the site was that I couldn't easily pass it on, so I have lately moved the whole thing over to WordPress. In the process I made a few minor design changes, but it's really still the old site. It may be time to change that soon, but I didn't want to entangle the migration with a redesign.

Most every aspect of the move was straightforward. The one exception was the tuition calculator, which I rewrote from the ground up using only Javascript with a Google spreadsheet for the back end. The result loads more slowly initially, but the calculations themselves are very snappy. And as long as you don't change year, you never have to reload the page.