ClientMailer is a well-established company providing email marketing services to businesses. Their aim is to help organisations build loyalty with their existing customer base and encourage cross selling. The previous website was no longer adequate. It did not present the services ClientMailer offer in a clear, modern fashion and it did not show off the email designs that they have produced. It didn’t work on mobile phones and didn’t appear in the search engines so there was a strong imperative to redevelop the site.
As with any client, we started off by talking with Peter Davey, the director, about the business, its objectives and their clients. This lead on to us defining a series of ‘personas’ which are fictional characters which represent a segment of the clients which ClientMailer worked with. This helped us enormously when considering design options and in helping Peter craft content for the site as we could easily keep the target market clients in mind through these personas.
We produced a static design of the site which covered a colour palette, typefaces, heading, paragraph, link and button styles. We went through 5 iterations of this before we were all happy with the final graphic design.
Design of the navigation was an interesting challenge as ClientMailer wanted a main menu with dropdown options which also included images and other links. Such an unusual navigation system added greatly to the design of the site and it took some effort to get this working properly across touch screens, non-touch screens and hybrid devices.
On mobiles, the 2 level navigation was more easily achieved and extensive testing was carried out later to check this worked correctly on all device types, operating systems and browsers. (See image below for how a dropdown menu item appears on a desktop/laptop non-touch screen device.)
In parallel with the design of the navigation, we worked on the page layouts starting with mobile phones and building up to wide screen desktop devices. ClientMailer worked on the content and we started on the development of the site.
ClientMailer wanted to be able to update the content of the site easily as well as have the ability to publish blog posts. We selected WordPress as the best content management system (CMS) in this case.
We created a custom theme for ClientMailer and loaded the content as Peter created it until all was completed.
In addition we wrote a comprehensive workbook for ClientMailer to use once the site was live which would guide them through making amendments to the site and in creating new blog posts. We used this as the basis for the training session we ran.
We then entered the formal testing phase of the project where we checked all pages for correct functioning across a range of nearly 50 combinations of device, operating system and browser, including older devices, and non-current versions of operating systems and browsers. In this way we could be confident that the new site would work whatever device users whose to use to access the pages.
Migration & Implementation
The previous website was made up of nearly 400 individual web pages and it was important that anybody attempting to access an old page address should not receive a ‘page not found’ error. To address this we built a matrix to map old page addresses to the most appropriate pages on the new site. This mapping was implemented on the server so that users would be smoothly redirected to new pages should they use an old page address. This is best practice for migrations to ensure that the value built up in an old site over many years is not lost when a new site is implemented.
Implementation then proceeded smoothly with almost no downtime at all.
See also our blog post on this project.
Peter was very pleased with the new ClientMailer website and commented:
You kick yourself for not contacting AttractMore 6 months, 1 year or even 2 years earlier so you could have had a highly effective website growing your business sooner!
The site works well on screens of all sizes and the pages load quickly. Search engine positioning for key phrases is good.