Lloyd Robert Borrett

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Victorian Artificial Reef Society
(VARS) Web Site

In October 2006 I joined the Victorian Artificial Reef Society (VARS), the Victorian dive community group behind the push to secure, prepare, sink and dive the ex HMAS Canberra as an artificial reef dive site for Victoria. In February 2007, I started to build a web site for VARS.

Design Philosophy

The design of the VARS web site uses element from a number of templates I've worked on recenty. The result is a new CSS based table-less template, meeting the requirements. Considerable efforts were also made to build in improved support for accessibility standards.

The Tools

The following software tools were used to build the VARS web site:

  • Etomite CMS
    (running on a Linux platform using Apache, MySQL, PHP and phpMyAdmin)
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer v7.0
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Adobe PhotoShop CS2
  • Adobe ImageReady CS2
  • Adobe Illustrator CS2
  • WS_FTP for Windows
  • HTML Tidy
  • NoteTab Pro
  • TopStyle Pro


The VARS web site runs using the Etomite Content Management Systems, an open source solution released under the GNU license scheme. Etomite is a CMS solution built using the PHP scripting language with MySQL for the database.

Several Etomite Snippets were created or adapted to generate various elements of the web pages, e.g. the page crumbs, various menus, page specific meta tags etc. Snippets are also used to generate pages from the documents database, e.g. site map, web links, testimonials, promotions etc.

A JavaScript and CSS based drop down menu is used for the main menu, the data for which is generated by an Etomite snippet. The secondary navigation menu is a simple list, generated by an Etomite snippet and styles with CSS.

The VARS web site is hosted by JaguarPC on servers running the Linux operating system, using the Apache web server.

Web Standards

The VARS web site respects W3C standards. The web site is currently validated to XHTML 1.0 Transitional with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). The web site also conforms to a number of accessibility standards.

Site Construction

Various page elements were built and/or adapted to the colour scheme chosen using Adobe PhotoShop CS2.

Then it was time to write the content, and build the required web pages.

The Results

The VARS web site looks best on 800 x 600 or better resolution displays.

The VARS web site went live late in March 2007.

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Last modified: Tuesday, 30 October 2007

VARS Web Site
VARS Web Site
March 2007

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