Redeveloping fastQuotes

I just thought I’d write a very quick post on the redevelopment of fastQuotes.

First of all we are still big fans of Codeigniter from EllisLab, so no change there.

Codeigniter is a great PHP framework that doesn’t try to do to much! Unlike some other frameworks it doesn’t back you into a corner of coding a certain way (read: it’s forgiving of my limitations) but it does a lot of the heavy lifting and we enjoy the MVC approach to coding. I don’t want a CMS that I have to install and conform to – i want something that makes coding fun again!

The largest change that happened recently, apart from the improved design, was moving towards responsive design principles.

An increasingly high proportion of users nowadays access websites from their phone or tablet and for fastQuotes to respond to our users needs we needed to take this seriously.

As the same time we wanted to upgrade our our HTML to HTML5 and look at starting to take into account the ‘symantic web’ in what we do.

There are a lot of different Responsive HTML5 frameworks out there – and we looked at a lot of them – but found ourselves spending the most of our time trying out HTML5 Boilerplate, Foundation and finally settled on Twitter Bootstrap.

We found that Bootstrap seems to do the right amount of stuff – I’m sure Compass and Sass are great but I don’t have the inclination or time to learn them at the moment.

I don’t want to go into all the reasoning for choosing bootstrap here but maybe that’ll make a good future post.

We are also making use of Twitter Typeahead - an open source autocomplete JavaScript library by Twitter (much better than the typeahead script the bootstrap includes by default).

Beyond Twitter’s open source projects we also need to give credit to

All in all we have a lot of gratitude to the people and organisations that have committed their time to these various open source projects just as much as we are grateful to  the people who continue to help specify the standards that allow the web to evolve.

Finally, those of you in South Africa we hope you enjoy and make use of the new responsive fastQuotes.

Simon

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