Aikikai Amersfoort website Oct 25, 2013

I've done something useful in my spare time. I crafted a website for my aikido school (or dojo) called Aikikai Amersfoort, which is now located at aikikai-amersfoort.nl.

The former website was really ancient-looking, built back in 2004 and totally outdated. For example, one had to download an .avi file if they wanted to watch a video. YouTube did not exist at that remote moment.

The redesign project was initiated by another web developer, also a member of our club. He created a Joomla-based version, but that was never finished. Later he's quit aikido altogether and focused on his other hobby, playing bass.

I offered my service to our sensei and started to dig into the intricacies of Joomla. It didn't take long until I gave up due to a number of reasons. For instance, the used version was outdated and an upgrade was necessary. After some deliberation I've made a quick Yii based prototype in a couple of hours, reusing some parts of my own website. The result looked very satisfying, so we've decided to ditch Joomla. In a couple of nights I've finished the main functionality (user and post management, news feed, agenda). To make our lives easier I've implemented Markdown syntax for posts, which Yii supports out-of-the-box.

I've also added bells and whistles for the admin: a New Post button in the main menu and a status line at the bottom of every post:

A bit more effort was required to embed a Google map denoting two our locations, but with the EGMap extension it turned out to be quite straightforward:

The website is in Dutch, which is the only language needed for its audience. And, of course, all the trendy social stuff: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube.

I can conclude that Yii is a pretty handy thing, especially for a lightweight website like this. I'm also looking at Symfony and Symfony CMF, the latter gets quite positive reviews.

The new website officially went live on October 20th.