A Responsive Rye Christmas

The branding for Rye’s Christmas Festival is very M&S this year and we think this complements the quality of the town’s High Street. We offered to reflect this identity with a free website.

But, we don’t do things by halves so just because we didn’t charge, didn’t mean we produced a sub-standard product, oh no!

As always we used WordPress as the content management system. We then built a bespoke theme which makes use of the responsive framework called Foundation by Zurb.

What this means is that the website will look great on any device, and we don’t have to worry about it!

Responsive websites really are the way forward and we’ve undertaken plenty of research to make sure that we’re ahead of the game in this respect.

So here it is, our first site that meshes together two great frameworks, WordPress and Zurb Foundation.

It’s simple, and we like it!

Laura’s New Website

Laura Oakes is widely recognised for her unique style of “digital decoupage”, featuring layers of vintage and hand-drawn imagery with her own photography.

We’ve been working with Laura for six months to develop her designs and ideas into a working and functional website.

Laura has had an integral role in designing the look and layout her own website from the overall layout to the roll overs and jQuery features.

Our job has been to pull her ideas and requirements together into this beautifully designed package.

Her website is powered by WordPress with a bespoke theme that makes use of built in features to deliver her content.

Laura can easily manage all content within her site but that’s not all. We have developed her WordPress theme to work for her. When Laura uploads a new product and tags it with relevant keywords, the site automatically displays the product on other “similar” product pages using a jQuery image slider.

Product pages also make use of other jQuery elements including a feature called “Cloud Zoom” which allows users to look at the product images in more detail.

Laura’s unique designs have made her website a refreshing challenge to develop and it is no surprise that we look forward to working on new features that are already in the pipeline!

World Wild Web

We’ve just given the website for Wild Boar Week a makeover ready for this year’s event.

Wild Boar Week is a food event in Rye, East Sussex and this year the website needed re-vamping to be able to include all the new events that are being organised from live music to art exhibitions.

The original website was setup with WordPress but using the default theme. We have designed and developed a completely new theme which makes use of WordPress’ new built-in header and background options.

The theme also allows for posts to contain location data (latitude and longitude coordinates) which means that posts can be automatically placed on a Google map.

Custom fields have been used to allow a post to define another post as it’s “location” which means that event and menu item posts can be assigned to their restaurant or venue posts.

Featured images are made use of and these images are shown both on the post pages, on map pins and on archive pages as promo boxes with jQuery rollover effect.

Our aim was to create an event theme that would be able to display all the different types of information to the user in a clear and aesthetically pleasing manner.

WordPress Hacked

We’re not going to say that you can make your WordPress website completely impregnable, but there are a few simple things you can do to make it less likely to be targeted:

  1. Make sure your passwords are strong
    Do not use weak passwords such as dictionary words, always make sure that your password contains numbers, punctuation and both lower and upper case characters. The easiest way you can do this is to think of a song lyric that you will never forget and use that.
  2. Delete admin accounts that are not used or needed
    Do not keep  user accounts that have administrator privileges if they are not used or needed, they are a risk as they provide potential hackers with another possible avenue into your control panel. Don’t worry about losing content that these user accounts have created, when deleting you can assign all content to another existing user.
  3. Secure your Admin account
    It’s one thing to make sure you have a strong password but if your administrator account has the default “admin” username then this just makes it that much easier for hackers to try to brute force the password. If they don’t know the username, the password is even more secure!
  4. Make sure your WordPress installation is up-to-date
    Wordpress updates are released for two reasons; to release new features and to fix known problems. The latter is extremely important. You should update WordPress whenever possible (making sure your theme and plugins are compatible with the new version) as this will make sure that known vulnerabilities in the core system are patched and potential threats avoided.
  5. Keep your plugins in check
    If you’re not using a plugin then deactivate it, preferably deleting it as well. Unused plugins can be a security liability if not updated and may even slow your website down. If your plugin has an update, make sure it’s installed. Out-of-date plugins may contain security flaws.

Don’t forget that when performing any changes to your website you should make sure that you first have an up-to-date backup of your files and database in case something goes wrong.

We hope these tips help you keep your website secure and give you piece of mind.

Camber Holiday Cottages

We were briefed by a client in Camber to develop a website that would allow them to easily manage all their holiday cottages. Georgina wanted her new site to be very much image driven as using beautiful photographs of her properties was the direction in which she wished to progress.

We have now helped her launch www.camberholidaycottages.co.uk which uses a bespokely developed WordPress theme with multiple custom templates for the various sections.

We used custom fields to allow Georgina to add dynamic maps and rates. Custom fields were also used to embed a third party availability chart.

Allowing Georgina to easily select various facilities with icons for each property was solved by further developing WordPress’ post tags to incorporate icons that match the tag slugs.

Overall our favourite part of this website’s design, however, is the use of our WordPress plugin, Easy Slider, which shows the properties in a random order on the home page and property photographs on the cottage pages.

All in all, we have thoroughly enjoyed working on this web site and are very pleased with the end result … as is Georgina!

“A brilliant collaboration – Olly you are amazing, thank you for your patience and understanding … brilliant site.”
Georgina Holt, Camber Holiday Cottages

Lovely Laura’s new Website

Today we had a great meeting with the beautiful Laura Oakes to discuss her website revamp.

Laura’s unique style has propelled her onto the shelves at Liberty, Rocket St George and Abode to mention just a few!

As a designer, it is extremely important to Laura that she produces the artwork for her new website (as she did with her original website, pictured). We are there to realise her design concepts as a multi-templated WordPress theme so she can easily update her own website.

Today we had a sneak peek at her new design and, no surprise, it’s lovely. We can’t wait to start work!

Dynamic Website

Today we launched a brand spanking new website for one of our favourite clients, Dynamic Conferences and Events Ltd, who we have been delighted to have been working with.

www.dynamic-events.co.uk has been developed with a multi-templated, bespoke WordPress theme that makes use of custom menus, featured images and our own plugin “Easy Slider” (not yet available for public download).

Dynamic’s deadline was quite tight but we took it in our stride and they are now at Confex 2012 showing their clients their new online presence.

Web Design on a Budget

A web site for your business needn’t break the bank but could be extremely cost effective if you are prepared to get stuck in. Here is an example of a WordPress website that our client produced themselves, all we had to do was setup the content management system and give them access!

Andy Bull (the proud new owner of Dunscape, a delightful holiday home in Camber, East Sussex) was able to build a brand new web site for his business with very little damage to his wallet.

Andy already knew how to use the content management system for WordPress and had already chosen a free theme to work with. Once we had setup his installation he was able to build his own web site for dunescape.co.uk by installing his chosen theme and creating the pages.

At the time of writing this we charge just £35 to help you setup WordPress as a blank canvas ready to use.

Battle’s Big Event

Today we’ve been working with Battle’s Big Event to help them install a new WordPress theme, configure it and modify it to their requirements.

Battle’s Big Event is a community festival of Sport and culture and will run from 29th June to 9th September 2012.

Hastings Pirate Day Website

We arrrgh extremely proud to announce that we will be producing this year’s Hastings Pirate Day web site.

“Jolly” Roger Crouch and his band of scurvy dogs will be working hard to smash the world record currently held by Penzance (8,734 pirates) and bring it back to Hastings where it belongs!

The date for your diaries is the 22nd July 2012 but in the meantime, please make sure you follow them on Facebook and Twitter to keep on top of the latest information.

The Highlands, Iden

Here’s a good example of one of our budget web sites www.rye-holiday-cottage.co.uk

All of this costs from just £150:

  • Setup of WordPress as a content management system
  • Installation of your chosen theme (free or bought)
  • Modification of your theme to your requirements (colour scheme, imagery, layout)
  • Setup of the web sites page structure
  • An hours one-to-one tuition to help you on your way to editing text and uploading photographs