Many web developers spend a lot of time preening their own websites, making them look graphically beautiful – and that often reflects in the price they charge. We’d love to spend more time on our own website, but we’re normally too busy focusing on our customers’ websites. We’re also firm believers that a balance is required when it comes to web design. Yes, it has to look good but it also has to deliver. That means focusing on content delivery not just visual gimmicks. So, given a spare 5 minutes, we’d rather engage with our audience by writing content or helpful blog entries than spend time polishing – if you think looks are all that matters then maybe we’re not the right people to be talking to about redesigning your website?
Our own website is a bit of a ‘moggie’ – it has evolved in the odd spare hour here and there, and as technology has evolved. For customers’ websites we sit down and focus on structure, design & content for days on end – no such luxury for our own website!
Many customers ask us, so here’s the story behind our own website. Over the years the basic website evolved from an old fashioned collection of static pages built using a tool called Dreamweaver. That doesn’t handle things like generating menus for you so we evolved the whole site to a bunch of active files (PHP) which can have intelligence in them to handle more than just static information. We then added our blog, using the Blogger platform (from Google) until they did their usual trick of changing direction with no regard to existing users, so we jumped ship to the WordPress blogging platform (at which point in time that was more or less all it could handle.) Moving forward a few years we wanted to be able to update our website more easily so we started switching some content to WordPress (now a very capable Content Management System). We also use our own website for experimentation – trying out ‘new stuff’ in the real world.
If you look at our past web design work you will see an interesting use of ‘WordPress custom post types‘. This is where each item of past work is treated more like a standalone object than a page or item on the page. We can therefore do clever things like displaying the summary, logo and first screenshot from that item on the past work screen or even intelligently select from these for display on another page altogether (for example our web design in Huntingdon page lists just websites produced for companies in Huntingdon; if we add a new web design project from this area it’ll appear here automatically). So, although ‘custom post type‘ might seem pure techie talk, it is an incredibly powerful feature of WordPress!
So, in case you were wondering, our site (excuse the techie speak) is a bunch of PHP files and two WordPress installs… one day we hope to have migrated the whole site to WordPress and then, perhaps, we might spend some time polishing!