Simon Kelly

by Simon Kelly

Saying hello to the new DigitalHappy website

So we finally got around to redesigning and rethinking our website!

It’s been overdue for a long time but was continually overlooked in favour of client work. However we’ve finally managed to get something together and present ourselves with a more appropriate web site.

The old site had served us well and had received some nice comments over the years, but it was just no longer relevant to the work we do. In terms of its content, there was quite a noticeable disconnect between the portfolio of work shown and the current reality of our client projects. As a company we’d also fine-tuned the services that we offer and this wasn’t best reflected on the old site.

Importantly though, we weren’t practising what we preach. We spend a lot of time talking with our clients about the importance of good, modern code and fast websites that are high on performance. But there was much that we needed to be improved on our own site that would better reflect the values we want to communicate and use on our client projects. If we’re talking the talk, then we need to walk the walk!

Working out our own needs and measure for success

For this new site then, we had a set of clear aims and requirements.

  • A much clearer focus on our current portfolio
  • A site build in line with our own standards and current best practises
  • A site that is fast and performs to the same standards as our client work
  • A refreshed, visual design
  • A content review that better reflects what we do and how we do it

An updated and revised portfolio

We spent time first looking at how to present our portfolio as that is essentially what users come to our site to see, and it’s what future clients are interested in. A key part of the design was working out how to show that the work we do for our clients are modern, responsive web design projects. We decided early on to use device mockups (mobile and tablet) alongside a desktop screenshot to show how client projects adapt across varying screen widths.

We also wanted to emphasise the quality of our working relationships with our clients, and so each portfolio item also carries a client testimonial. It’s a common device, but these are real people with real, positive experiences to share and that’s important for us.

Building the site to our own high standards

The site is lean and fast, and good site performance is something that we take very seriously. The CSS (gzipped) for the whole site is just under 6Kb; the home page has just 23 http requests; we make good use of responsive images throughout; we get great scores from page analysis tools.

The site is built with Perch CMS (as are a number of the projects shown in our portfolio). It’s such a lovely CMS and a real pleasure to work with. Most importantly, it provides a fantastic editing experience for the end client, and it will never, ever interfere with our code. So when deciding how to build and manage our own site, there was never really any doubt about which CMS to choose.

At present we’re happy that we’ve finally managed to get a new site out there. But we know that there is still work to do. We’d like to add an About section and give a little history about us and the company; we’d like to commit to regular news and blog post updates; we’d like to review some design features once it’s been up and running for a while. That’s hopefully all to come.