Development

We always build our websites from the ground up, based on each project’s unique requirements. Starting with the user, we forgo any constraints in favour of a UX-driven approach that ensures a rich experience. Our websites run on a bespoke framework that is lightweight and reliable. Every site is unique, but our frameworks often include the following core features:

Our Framework

Responsive Layout

With mobile use overtaking desktop for the first time in 2016, our mobile-first architecture will ensure that all content and media is automatically and fully optimised to be delivered with full clarity, on any device. This includes:

All Browser Types – to be fully functional and tested on all major browsers, including (but not limited to): Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox and Chrome. In part, this will be achieved by using cross-browser friendly coding in areas such as CSS stylesheets, in order to ensure a consistent layout between different browsers.

All Display Sizes – to respond to all major display sizes and adapt by percentage to less common sizes, in order to assure that content is always delivered clearly. This will include variations of Desktop, Laptop, Tablet and Mobile display sizes.

All Devices – to be capable of delivering specific content to any type of device. For example, large graphics may not be suitable for mobile device bandwidth and can be excluded or substituted, as required.

Printer-Friendly Version – to be available in a printable format. Large background graphics can be removed in this format to ensure that the user is only printing content.

@2x (Retina Ready) – with the advent of high definition displays (including many smartphones, tablets and some laptops), our frameworks deliver @2x resolution graphics, as appropriate, to ensure pin-sharp graphic content on all devices. By detecting the device type, the website will dynamically deliver the correct graphics resolution to suit the display. In addition to this, we use SVG (vector) when possible, which further reduces load time and increases overall sharpness.

Content Management System

For content-driven projects, we would recommend WordPress as the CMS of choice. This open source CMS is the most popular and most supported CMS available today, with almost one-third of the internet currently running on WordPress.

A high level of support and development has allowed WordPress to remain an extremely stable and secure CMS, with a vast array of features that can be added quickly and easily. This CMS is also highly scalable, ensuring excellent versatility into the future.

In addition to its reliability, WordPress also features one of the most intuitive backend visual editors in the industry. Administrators do not need to learn any programming languages in order to update the website. Internal administrators can be assigned any number of roles and access can be limited (or special access granted) to specific user groups.

All backend data is clearly laid out in custom fields. Content is pre-formatted, allowing for quick and easy content updates.

Search Engine Optimisation

On-site SEO is carefully considered throughout our framework. Using blue collar coding – which we verify with W3C (an international standard on coding practice) – all content is delivered in a way which most benefits the search ranking of the website, this includes the correct use of:

Additional Features

In a team that boasts over 20 years’ experience, our array of programming languages allows us to tackle and realise the most challenging specifications. Each new website has its own unique set of technical requirements. The features below represent examples of systems and integrations that we often build into our projects. However, these are by no means limited to the examples given.

Social Media

Integration as required with Social Networks via API calls. This can include importing live feeds (such as Twitter API and Facebook API), as well as selecting pages or posts to be shared on social networks. With OGP (Open Graph protocol) markup, the website can allow social networks to extract data as required. For example, when posting an article to Facebook, the featured image will automatically display within the post – as well as the text excerpt and URL.

Sliders & Interactive Content

Sliders, accordions and interactive content can be used in order to assist the user in finding information most relevant to their requirements, while avoiding text clutter and retaining SEO value. The option for administrators to create and edit these features quickly and easily will be included in tutorials, as required. Animated or moving content areas can be powered either by JQuery, HTML5 or transition CSS, as appropriate.

Embedded Video

Media, including streaming video, can be uploaded and embedded via the CMS (embedded information stored in the MySQL database, the media itself on a secure folder on the server). Using high-speed dedicated servers, video streaming is fast and seamless. Embedding via YouTube, Vimeo and other popular networks is native. Our framework also ensures videos automatically scale with the responsive layout.

Automatic IP Recognition

International users can either be directed to a ‘splash’ page to select a region (pre-selected via IP recognition through htaccess) or directly to the regional site, as preferred. Once browsing the region, the user can have the option to change their region, as required.

Advanced Content Search

An advanced search can be available on the site, allowing a search through any given set of parameters in order to find keywords in either the Title, Content or Meta description, or a combination of these. Attached media and documents can also be tagged with keywords that will be searchable, if required. All posts and pages will be housed within a MySQL database. This will allow the content search to quickly and accurately find the information the user requires.

User Client Registration

It is possible for the user to be able to subscribe and/or register to receive email alerts (newsletter) or to access content within a specified members’ area. The database can be accessible via the CMS (with the correct permissions). Subscriber data can be downloaded, if required.

Staff Tutorials

If required, a resource centre can be created for CMS administrators. By using text, image and video tutorials, the administrators will be able to search or browse through support articles on how to use every aspect of the CMS system. This content will form part of the website, which will be hidden from the public via a login, so that it can be accessed from anywhere in the world, regardless of the office location.

Existing Content & Data Transfer

We can assist in the complete transfer of existing data (database and frontend), ensuring all pages are accounted for using crawling software. Once the data is on the new website, we will build 301 redirects to ensure that users (including search engine robots) are redirected to the new versions of the pages, in order to maintain page rankings.

Blog, News & Other Post Types

From simple to complex systems, custom post types can be created for any purpose. Common requests include blogs, news listings, company office locations (with mapping), job listings, staff listings and clients. Less common (but noteworthy) requests have included a highly technical property search system and a funding application portal.

Interactive Mapping

Our wealth of experience in using Google Maps API has resulted in a high number of beautifully integrated mapping systems, most commonly used with office/location customs post types. These systems not only provide an excellent user experience, but are also highly automated – meaning very little administration is required.

Newsletter & CRM Integration

User data from either subscriptions or enquiry forms can be pushed to third party systems via API. A common example of this is a mailing list integration, where users can subscribe to a company newsletter via a service such as MailChimp.

Shared Hosting Option & Dedicated Server Option

We work in partnership with Catalyst2, an award-winning hosting provider with outstanding customer service and 24/7 support. Hosting is fast and highly reliable. Catalyst2 offer flexible packages to suit all budgets, from shared hosting to dedicated packages tailored to your exact requirements.

Support

Post launch, we offer on-going support to all clients (priced either by monthly retainer or on a hourly basis) in order to ensure that any updates, alterations or questions are dealt with promptly and to the highest standard. We aim to build on-going relationships with our clients and can tailor an SLA to suit your requirements.


For more information on any of our services, including a free quote, please call us on +44 (0) 20 8144 0915 or email hello@nordiccreative.co.uk