I spent the last quarter of 2015 working solely for BuroCreative on a few large projects. I have worked with the team at Buro many times over the last several years, but always on smaller/short term jobs. It was good to have the security of a few months booked up, and exciting to start something new.
Tri-Star openly admitted that their old site was very ugly, and difficult to use. As such it had become quite neglected and was rarely updated, so it was in need of a complete refresh. The core of the site is a database of all of the products that Tri-Star supply. I briefly considered the idea of using WooCommerce (or similar), and removing all of the check out functionality, however I soon came to the conclusion that I would spend more time removing/disabling functions than if I just started from scratch. In the end I just created a functionality plugin containing a custom post type for the products, along with a few taxonomies for searching/sorting.
Another complexity on this project was that each individual page was quite heavily designed around the content. This is obviously a good thing for everyone bar the developer (me). Rather than creating a template for each page, I used Advanced Custom Fields and numerous flexible content elements. This allows the editor to “build” the page, and by reusing the elements, they can easily add new “designed” pages.
At the same time as working on Tri-Star, I was also developing a website for Third Space, a new chain of luxury health clubs. Again, most of the pages were designed around the content so I used a similar approach of page building with ACF flexible content elements.
In addition to the main brochure site, there is a members area powered by a specialist service called EZ Runner. This is an external site where users can join a club, or book classes if they are already a member. I worked alongside their development team, providing them with HTML/CSS and coming up with a solution to pass data (such as class information) so that it could be displayed on the main site.
My final project was to create a more straight forward website for Caravan, a pair of restaurants in London. They previously had a separate website for each location, and didn’t get on with the CMS. Originally, I was going to make the website completely static but it soon came apparent that they wanted the ability to change all of the content without coming back to us. WordPress would be a bit overkill for such a small site, and I wanted to keep it as simple as possible so I chose to use Perch. I was really impressed with it, and the clients love it.
Caravan also roast their own coffee and wanted to begin selling their coffee online. Due to time constraints, I was not initially involved in this project and a specialist Shopify agency was brought into develop it. Unfortunately, this didn’t exactly go smoothly and I was required towards the end of the build to get it over the line. You can see the results at caravancoffeeroasters.co.uk/