August 5, 2005

Webmaster’s Report

The past year was characterized by a slow down in web development due to job responisbilities and webspace restrictions but some significant projects were completed.

Completed Projects

  • The membership application and renewal process has been largely automated and tightly integrated with the online database, reducing the treasurer’s workload.
  • Site converted from frames in HTML 4 into XHTML and CSS. The main menu now uses JavaScript-based fly-out submenus.

Still to Come

  • Creation of a French language mirror of the site
  • Volunteer recognition database
  • New graphic look for the site
  • Points calculation on competition data entry form

Site Traffic

Except for the past couple of months, all metrics for site activity have gone steadily down over the past year. The Picture of the Week feature and the competition database have been very popular but it seems that the site has become somewhat stale over the past couple of years.

The site’s search engine rankings have always suffered with the site’s use of frames. In mid-June I reformatted the entire site to not use frames. The result was fairly swift. Site traffic (especially from Google) has increased significantly over the past couple of months. As I write this, the freedivecanada site is ranked third on a Google search for freediving, preceeded only by Performance Freediving and Pipin’s defunct site.

A graph of our monthly traffic statistics is shown below:

A Call for Help

It amazes me that the freediving community has so many professionals in the technology field, and web technologies in particular. Unfortunately that hasn’t translated into the freedivecanada web team that I had envisioned. Everyone is too busy with their day jobs. However, I have had some great advice over my tenure as webmaster. I’d particularly like to thank Matt Rountree, Safety Supervisor at Nationals for his help with using JavaScript to pre-calculate performance points on the results entry form. I’d also like to re-thank Gord Lemon for his help earlier with XHTML and CSS.

I am of course still open to having someone come along to help me out with any and all aspects of the development and maintenance of the site. I am particularly keen on giving away the job of keeping the Pic of the Week feature fed and up to date.

Tom Lightfoot

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