Having built a successful website for The University of Nottingham's Cascade project, Queen Mary University of London asked us for a quote to build a website for their similar project.
QMUL asked for the same structure, but in the end their requirements were much simpler. Their first called gained 40 applications, which was a great start to their programme. Thanks to the stability of the Drupal framework their website was able to cope without any problems, and the security of the site kept the applications safe.
Heinrich Van Der Westhuizen, Managing Director at Digital Defence Ltd
Digital Defence is a long-standing client, for which we've built several websites. With their latest website they were undertaking a branding exercise for which they needed help.
Because we were in the process of building the new website for Digital Defence, we needed a powerful strapline for them. As the company was considering a rebrand they commissioned us to carry out some research and production of appropriate straplines they could consider
Our branding experts took on the case and produced a list of appropriate suggestions for the company, for which they chose a couple The simple strapline 'Fast. Seamless. Powerful' was chosen for the website. The secure software sold by Digital Defence is sometimes difficult to explain, but this strapline encapsulated the important aspects of it right away.
Beechdale Asphalt approached their local printer, Zoo Solutions, who were offering websites as a part of their service and using The Webmaster Centre to help fulfil that need. Beechdale Asphalt did not have a website at all, but needed a presence to demonstrate their work and give credibility
Zoo passed us the work and we looked at what needed to be built. Because there was such a small requirement we built the site in WordPress. This allowed us to produced a nice clean design with a basic gallery and contact details.
The website can be updated and added to by the staff at Beechdale Asphalt, and they have a professional looking website to demonstrate their work and give them credibility.
Sky Badger approached us as they wanted to expand their current operation from a single national website to many, regional websites.
The website is essentially a directory of charities and organisations that can help families with disabled children. This needed to be ported across to the new website, along with an updated look and feel.
Sky Badger work with a team of coordinators and 'scouts'. Scouts are volunteers who find and add the organisations to the directory, while the coordinators each have a number of scouts to look after, and approve the information the scouts are submitting. This meant that the permissions for each role needed to be finely grained so that each person only saw the amount of information and the functionality on the website that they needed. There were also a number of rules that needed to be set up so that the appropriate people are alerted when organisations are added to the website.
The website was also integrated with Sky Badger's CRM so that any new or updated information from the website could be automatically forwarded into the CRM system.
The website was built on Drupal which is easily able to handle all the intricate technicalities of the website. Each regional website is being built one at a time, and this has been made easier by the use of Drupal and its special modules to handle aspects such as sharing certain information from the main site and displaying region-only information in the directory.
Racetech Harnessing Electrical Systems
Racetech Harnessing is one of our oldest clients, having his original website built in an early version of Drupal the owner has now had a rebuild to bring his website up to date.
The owner wanted a simple site that displayed his services and demonstrated what he did. Racetech work with top racing car teams, so have access to a lot of great photographs of well-known teams and the cars they drive. This was highlighted in a gallery which is administered by the site owner.
At the time Racetech did not particularly want to market the site, but use it as a back-up when talking with prospects. For this reason SEO was not focussed on, nor links to Social Media sites etc. Because of the nature of Drupal though, it still ranks well in the search engines for relevant keywords.
Pork Farms were interested in our assistance when their IT team needed to build a company-wide intranet. Rather than buildl it for them, this time one of our Webmasters went along to help a couple of the team learn the principles of Drupal so that they could finish building the website themselves.
When Priority Plant approached us they had a big problem: their site was half-way built and their developers had abandoned the project.
When we were appointed, we looked over the whole site and provided an analysis of whether the site had been built correctly up to that point in the first place, and what needed to be done to complete it. We also worked with the owner to produce a plan for promoting the completed website so that hits were increased, and as a consequence, sales improved.
In the end the site was totally rebuilt to a much higher standard so that the owner is now able to administer the content in a much easier way, it is totally secure and easier to rank in the search engines. We work with him to maintain the site and also use Social Media and Search Engine Optimisation techniques to promote the site and bring more customers to the site to buy.
The Webmaster Centre built the original website for Africabound Adventures when it was just a start-up, but times and trends moved on, and the company grew and offered other services, so it was time for a revamp.
The Client was approached by us with the offer of a website review which she readily accepted. At the review we discussed the way she works with the owners of the venues she promotes, and how her whole website should be a showcase for the holidays she sells. Imagery is a massive part of the website and we suggested she have an area where travellers could upload their own pictures with comments. Also, because the company is very small it seemed a good idea to use the website to help with administration by allowing the venue owners to update their own portfolios.
The site was built in Drupal so that the client could update it with new information herself whenever she wanted to.
Access was granted to travellers who had been on a holiday with Africabound Adventures so they could leave a testimonial and some photographs on the website. This would be moderated by the client so anything live on the site was approved and appropriate.
For the moment, we would not incorporate the functionality for venue owners. This would be added in the future.
The client is very active on Social Media, so all her accounts were properly incorporated into the site (some of these are new since the old site was built, so it was worth updating for that!)
Finally, we made sure the images were the first thing that visitors saw on the site, and put a gallery straight onto the homepage so that they were highlighted more.
New Charter Housing Trust Group
New Charter Housing Trust Group is a group of five different companies covering different geographical areas and business. When we met them, each company in the group had an individual website, sometimes duplicating content, sometimes creating their own, individual content on the different programmes that they as companies ran individually.
The main website for the group itself was unwieldy and very difficult to navigate because of the amount of information on it: no-one could find what they needed. New Charter also wanted to use the website to answer queries and relieve the telephone staff somewhat.
As a large organisation New Charter put the job out to tender. When The Webmaster Centre made its presentation, we demonstrated to them how best to approach the project, as well as the best way to build the site. Because of our extra help and demonstration of our expertise, we were awarded the work.
The website was built on Drupal, because we can build a number of websites in the same installation. This meant that the different members of the group could share and display information that was relevant to all, whilst maintaining their individuality.
We also set the administration so that different members of staff could contribute content as appropriate, but their content was not automatically published on the site. The Centralised Communications Team would be alerted that there was new content, then they could check for style to ensure it met with New Charter's standards, and then publish the content. This could happen across the group, so there is now a lot more communication and co-ordination between them.
On this particular website we worked with a separate designer who was also commissioned by New Charter.
New Charter Housing Trust Group now have a group website that is manageable by them and navigable by their clients. Co-ordination is much better, and work is reduced due to the ability to share content across the different sites.
Serio approached us to rebuild their website which was already on Drupal. Their business is provision of IT Service Desk software, so they work with customers who are IT savvy and work with the latest technologies. Serio felt that their current website did not reflect their modern approach, so they needed a new design and logo, and to improve the layout of content on the website as there was a great amount of text and not many images. At the time it was built the website was very good, but with modern technologies they now needed to upgrade in order to stand out from their competitors, many of which had similar websites to theirs.
The Webmaster Centre provided a number of website designs and new logos to choose from, and set about rebuilding the website. It needed to be fully built in Drupal with no special code so that Serio could continue to use and develop it once it was done. Some special features were required; for example Serio have an agent in New Zealand, so they wanted the website to display the New Zealand contact details when visitors in New Zealand visited the website, but they needed the UK contact details to display when visited by users in the rest of the world. They also wanted the ability to add more offices with this functionality as and when they expanded.
The site needed to be easily translated, which was accomplished using Drupal modules. When they are ready to translate, they will be able to do so on the page, with no need to create a new website and therefore no need for additional costs, meaning they can keep their focus on looking after their customers.
Serio had a very large blog which needed transferring to the new website. This was migrated across using a Drupal module, and redirects were created so the site did not lose the rankings it had obtained through the blog.
Serio now have a website that stands out from the crowd because of its great design and strong functionality. It has a strong foundation for search engine optimisation that the team at Serio can build upon, meaning more customers will be able to find them. Because of their in-house skills, they will be able to continue to use and develop the website when they want to, but always know that The Webmaster Centre is available to lend a hand if necessary.
Sandra Winfield, Project Co-ordinator, Cascade Fellows at University of Nottingham
The University of Nottingham were selected to run an EU project under the Marie Curie programme, which they named Cascade Fellows. The purpose of Cascade Fellows is to enable applicants to find a host organisation overseas and carry out research there in order to gain Fellowship status. Because of the way EU funding works, they needed a website for this project within two months of finding out they were to run the project.
Sandra came to us with a fairly detailed brief which we then helped her to expand during a day-long planning session. Because of the short timeframe we agreed to ensure that by the go-live date, all the functionality and design was complete to allow interested applicants to register on the site and apply for the programme, but we would stage the rest of the work and add in the functionality for evaluations after go-live. This meant we were able to focus on the very important parts of the website properly without compromising the quality.
When we started the work we then had about four weeks to go-live. In this time, we built the public-facing side of the site with a section all about the host organisations which can be smoothly added to by Sandra when more come on board, and integration with a main map of all the organisations would be fully integrated. The application portal was built, enabling applicants to read all the eligibility criteria and know what to expect when they registered on the site. And finally, behind a password protected area we built the application form. This is a very large document where the applicant can upload supporting documentation, type information into fields and save as a draft part way through as they work through the form when they are able.
The site was built by the deadline and Sandra was able to put the call out for applicants on the day that had been set. In the first month the site had over 2000 hits and five applications started, which is unusual - normal practise has been found that applications are made further towards the end of the call.
Through good planning and excellent communication with the client this website has been a great success so far.