Borders Scrap Store website launched

Borders Scrap Store

Late last week the Borders Scrap Store website was finally launched. I had fun designing and building it. Here are a few features that I’m proud about:

Dynamic site on a static host

The site is built using XHTML 1.0 Transitional, CSS 2 and hosted on a static hosting account. In order to allow the staff to update the news section more easily I set up a WordPress account: and then used the Google AJAX Feed API to pull-in the latest news items into the static HTML page.

There can be a delay of about an hour (or more) before news is updated, because it relies on Google Feedfetcher, which is also used for Google Reader and the Google personalized homepage.

I discovered that a good way to ensure that Feedfetcher was picking up the new feed from the Borders Scrap Store WordPress account was to simply add the feed to my Google Reader account. That way it was in the system and guaranteed that Google will be watching this feed.

Microformats and Google Maps

Other neat features of the site include the use of hCard microformats on the contacts page, and personalized Google Maps.

Microformats are simply ways to mark-up existing XHTML code so that the data can be read equally by humans and machines. This means that on the contacts page if you have a browser add-on, such as Operator for Firefox, then you can automatically import the contact details into your contacts application (such as Microsoft Outlook) without having to manually type in the information.

I used Google Maps to create custom markers for the Selkirk store and Musselburgh store which should make it easier for folks to locate the stores using familiar mapping tools.


I’m already working on my next project: a new website for the Christian Fellowship of Healing.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

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