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Archive for the ‘48 Hour Web App’ Category

Build a website in 48 hours – time up!

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

Well, here’s the end of our attempt to build an entire web application in 48 hours, and we did it (just about!)

Here is what we’ve achieved:

  • Great design (admittedly, already started)
  • W3C valid, STRICT XHTML/CSS templates. Every page validates on (as do all our sites 😉 )
  • User authentication (registration, verification, login, profile, lost password)
  • Submission of sites (including rather natty screen shots from Web Snapr, auto population of title and description from the meta data, etc)
  • Basic display of submitted and approved sites with category and topic flitering and tags for future search capabilities
  • We’ve even managed a contact form and a WordPress Blog (You’re reading it!)

Okay, so what didn’t we manage, there’s quite a list which we’ll be working on over the next few weeks to make sure this is the best site of its kind!

  • Pagination of site results (pretty critical I know!)
  • Search functionality
  • Individual page for each featured web site
  • Voting capabilities – the main point of the site really! We’re still not sure whether this will be reserved for logged in users, or everyone, what do you think?
  • Advanced profile page with lists of your submitted sites and eventually favourite site lists/friends, etc.
  • Public user profiles – see what users have voted for or submitted.
  • Facebook/myspace apps? Not sure how these will look, but everyone’s doing it these days!
  • +101 widgets – eventually we’d like to offer users API interfaces and other stuff in the same vein as Digg.
  • Claim your site – You’d be able to claim a site no matter who’d submitted it with a small bit of verification code in your header.

Quite an amibitious list there I’m sure you’ll agree!

Okay, so we didn’t complete what we set out to, but just about, and in actual fact, we only did 12 hours for two days, so we kinda managed it in 24 hours (except for finishing at 02:30am this morning and running over again tonight 🙂 )

We hope you enjoy the site and put on lots of subissions of your work!

Time for testing

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

So the site is up and running, we have the registration and login process sorted out. Once registered you can now submit websites using our submission form, now we need to tidy everything up a bit – arrange the screenshots on the homepage, get some pagination running, fix the categories and topics, give each site it’s own page with comments / social tags etc.

And most importantly we need to set up the rating system… 5 hours to go before the deadline, it’s getting close but I think we’re on target.

Please submit some sites and let us know what you think of the site so far.

Come and submit your sites!

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

The submission process is now finished!

I’m sure there’ll be issues, but the database seems pretty solid we’ve been running lots of tests, so there shouldn’t be any data loss.

We’re now working on the how to display the data on the site, and then will move onto the voting system, but if you submit your site now you can be one of the first and start getting votes as soon as that part of the system comes up!

We’ve only got 6 hours of our official 48 hours, left.  It’s going to be tight (or a late night! 🙂 )

Realtime screen shots!

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

Welcome to day 2 of our Web Application build!

Using the Web Snapr we’ve added in the functionality of realtime screen shots:

101 Best Websites screenshot

101 Best Websites screenshot

You can now follow the submission process and get an idea of what your site will look like on the site.

Log in and have a go, let us know what you think?

Submit your site to 101 Best Websites

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

We’re just about half way through our target and we have the submission process up and running! It’s still a bit manual and we haven’t figured out a way for the screenshots to be made without some intervention from us but we’re happy with the progress so far.

To submit a site you’ll need to register and login, then click on submit and follow the instructions.


Categories and topics

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

We’re just trying to finish off the submission form – it’s harder than it looks!

One of the things that will change and grow as we get people using the site will be the categories and topics you can add your website to, currently we’ve selected these to start:


  • Design
  • Flash


  • Technology
  • News
  • Business
  • Environment
  • Lifestyle
  • Entertainment
  • Sport
  • Shopping

If you can think of anything we’ve missed or would just like to request something new, let us know!

User authentication system finished!

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

The first stage of the project is now complete for +101!

You can now follow the registration process, login and logout. Also you can send us your feedback with our contact form. But for now, just leave us a comment on our blog whilst we’re perfecting things and testing.

Try it if you like? Register here:

Click here to register on +101

Let us know how you get on

+101 wordpress blog theme

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

The beauty of WordPress – you can get the basic theme styled up in under an hour!

Obviously there’s still a lot of work to do but this is enough for now (don’t try a search or click on the archive pages yet!). I’ll come back to this once we have a better idea of how the main site is going to work.

Getting started!

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

And so we begin!

After a basic installation of Code Igniter ( and a neat design, we’ve templated it up and are ready to start the application.

To begin with is the user registration process which we’ve decided should be based around a username rather than a password.  This way, when we’ve developed the site further, the user can have his/her own URL, for example:, and they can have their own 101 best websites!

The differences that will stand us out from the crowd are:

  1. User registration, as above, each user can have his/her own area
  2. For each search, the 101st ranking site will get precidence!  This way, up and coming sites have a chance to increase their ranking.

We’ll be updating this blog as we go along, so please keep popping back and let us know what you think!

Build a web application in a weekend!

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Welcome to the first 101 Best Web Sites blog entry.

I’m working as part of a small team (2 people) attempting to build an entire web application in a weekend!  I’ll be building the backend systems and database, whilst the other developer will be dealing with the front end XHTML and design work.

My colleague and I run a small web design company ( and had an idea to build a modern web design showcase for some time now.  Being in the internet industry we spend a lot of time looking around CSS showcase sites for inspiration and new ideas, however, the sites in question seem to have stood still whilst other websites have surged forwards with their technology and up to date designs.

Our biggest issue in building this new site has been time!  When ever we try to dedicate any, we end up getting distracted with work for our clients and never quite get stuck in and the idea got shelved.

Solution?  Take a weekend out, turn the phones off, ignore email and dedicate 12 hours a day for both days building an MVC based web application!

We’ll be updating this blog during the weekend starting at 10am tomorrow, so have a look at our progress and view the main site here:

click here to see

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