Hello again! I have had a bit of a depressing time since my last update. My family received some really bad news in September and the global political situation hasn’t exactly helped. Fortunately, I have been super busy with work and my Masters which has helped take my mind off of everything else. So without further ado, here is a brief summary of the sites that I have been working on since August.
Marcus Wareing Restaurants
Marcus Wareing is a celebrity chef, most famous for his two Michelin starred restaurant at The Berkeley and as a judge on “MasterChef: The Professionals”. He also owns two further restaurants, The Gilbert Scott and Tredwells. Previously, each restaurant had their own unique branding and website. Without created a new brand identity for the whole restaurant group. Whilst each restaurant still has it’s own logo and colour scheme, the design and typography remains the same.
I created four websites (the three individual restaurants along with the main restaurant group) utilising WordPress’s multisite feature. Each restaurant site was simplified to a single page containing the most important details such as menus, reservation information and the location. It was also important to advertise the brand and other restaurants, so there is a “global navigation” which appears on all of the websites. This allows the user to easily find out more information about Marcus Wareing and hopefully introduce them to the other restaurants.
One of the biggest challenges with this project was the introduction of e-commerce. There are actually two aspects a shop selling experience vouchers and books, and a bespoke page selling “Treats” (ie surprise pre-paid glasses of champagnes for those lucky enough to have a reservation). I used WooCommerce to power the main shop. It took quite a lot of time to get everything just right but the client was very happy with the end result and it has been very successful so far.
The “Treats” was a little more straight forward. I created a simple form along with a plugin that does all the necessary Stripe magic to allow the user to make the purchase and checkout very quickly.
Without have been working with Pure (a London based chain of delis) for many years now. In fact, I developed their previous site a little over seven years ago. Their website was definitely in need of a refresh as it wasn’t mobile compatible and running on an out of date version of TYPO3.
The largest aspect of this site was probably the searchable and filterable product database. To achieve this I used Custom Post Types, Taxonomies and SearchWP. Other pages of note are the all singing/dancing About page, and the location search on the Shops page.
I actually developed a third website for Without, unfortunately it won’t be going live any time soon (if ever).
In my previous update, I talked about the new website for Firefly drinks. The Web Kitchen asked me to develop the site for their parent company, Purity Soft Drinks, using the same basic structure as the Firefly website. It is a very straight forward website; a single page along with a password protected assets page. The new website should be live in the next few days, and I’ll go into a bit more detail about the assets page in my next update.
I have had to spend quite a bit of time over the last year cleaning websites that have been infected with malware. More often that not, this will be because a client has opted out of an SLA and then neglected to update WordPress. From now on, I will push clients/agencies to host on specialist WordPress hosts. These hosts, along with numerous other benefits, should ensure that the codebase is always up to date and secure. Prior to developing the Marcus Wareing and Pure websites, I researched into several of these hosts: WP Engine, 34SP.com, Flywheel, and Pagely. In the end, we decided to go with the most well known, WP Engine. They aren’t the cheapest but so far I have been very impressed.
Ever wondered what a norovirus outbreak will do for your website traffic?
Finally, the more observant of you will hopefully have noticed that this website looks a bit different. I honestly can’t stand the default WordPress Twenty XX themes. They aren’t at all representative of the work that I do (I never use themes), and they are also pretty ugly and bloated. So I finally spent a few hours to make a very simple theme (shout out to Medium and Ghost for design “inspiration”).
As always, thanks for reading.