PCI-DSS Sig are payment security specialists based at the University of Leicester. They aim to make PCI-DSS compliance easier and more understandable.

Simbal Systems originally managed the project, however when Simbal Systems closed up shop i began to deal directly with the client and continued to offer them a service.

Desktop Only

The brief for this project stipulated the build to be desktop only. It was deemed that the vast majority of the people accessing the website would be doing so from old desktop machines within large academic establishments. This afforded me the opportunity to use the budget to get knee deep in PHP and ExpressionEngine Customisation, in order to tailor the project for the clients needs.

ExpressionEngine CMS

The website is built on the ExpressionEngine system. The type of data leant itself to the use of ExpressionEngine.
The first party support that ExpressionEngine offers for their discussion forum was also a key factor this decision.

Additional Database

Due to the enormous amount of ever-changing data within the website and the method in which it is maintained by PCI-DSS Sig, on top of the standard ExpressionEngine database, there is another additional database which is dynamically queried and used within the website in conjunction with the default database.
This allows for the client to leverage the power of ExpressionEngine for most of the content, but enables them to handle other content in the old fashioned way with SQL.

Private Members Area

The website has sections that are available only to paying members. I achieved this by leveraging ExpressionEngines built in members module.
Members Forum

The website makes use of the first party ExpressionEngine module, with a couple of really smart extensions that I coded from scratch.

Every Monday at 10:00, the most popular forum topics from the week are automatically calculated, placed into an email and sent to all the forums members. To achieve this, I had to do some fairly deep integration with ExpressionEngines forum plugin and membership module writing lots of custom functions along the way. These functions are fired every Monday via a Cron job.