Managing Content with WordPress
Snook had used WordPress extensively in their own work but in very few sites as complicated as this. When previously used for complex sites, they found it quickly got difficult to use, and became slow and bloated. We were able to show them sites that offered a pleasant user experience and site speed while still being large and with complex content management needs.
If we had not been able to help Snook with these issues, they may have had to settle for the previous implementation of the website that was slow, buggy, failed to rank in search engines, and did not portray their brand values.
One of the problems organisations like Snook have is the sheer amount of content they have been able to produce over the last ten years. They have extensive design and strategy skills in-house but they do not have a core competency of development skills in-house.
The volume of content required for the site leads to a lot of complexity and different templates needed by the system. They don’t have internal development resources or the time to be constantly working with external developers in order to add new pages, new templates, or trim back the extra content.
Page Builders Rarely Solve Problems
To help Snook overcome these problems we consulted with them extensively in order to define their needs, resources, and the most appropriate resolution to their situation.
Built a responsive frontend for the site
Snook practices user empathy so it makes complete sense for them to have a great user experience for all of their website users. We built their mobile-first responsive website with HiDPI image options that take account of the user’s available screen size and potential bandwidth restrictions
Built an easy to use WordPress-based content management system
Load of content doesn’t have to mean getting rid of the usual WordPress archives and pages. We took an additive approach to the project and added new functionality where it made sense to do so and reused existing WordPress components where possible.
From their archives we created ‘projects’ and posts that are a hybrid of the page builder. They can also fall back to the more traditional content produced by WordPress’s built-in structure.
Imported almost ten years’ worth of content from across various sites
Snook have revamped their website numerous times over the last ten years. We helped them import this treasure trove of history into the new site and to manage what of that content is currently accessible to the public.
Content should be kept alive for the institutional memory of the company but sometimes it shouldn’t be publicly available.
A lot of the content produced over the years was full of inline styles and remnants of old branding styles where the content had not been treated kindly
Produced a flexible, easy to use page builder just for Snook
To save having hundreds of similar page templates that must be selected individually for the site to work, we decided it was preferable to build a component library that members of the Snook team could use to select the presentation they need for their content.
The page builder is easy to use and allows Snook’s website team to select, reorder, edit, and enhance individual page components. This gives them an unlimited number of possible page layouts with which to craft their message.
Created an organisation tagging system that lets Snook reuse content links in multiple places
Since Snook had a lot of content that needed to be used in multiple locations, we enabled an arbitrary tagging system that lets them add content to archives, and where needed, simply by tagging it correctly. This tagging and searching mechanism is key to their website strategy.
Optimised the speed of pages
Loading pages from potentially hundreds of different components adds a lot of complexity, can put a lot of stress on the database, and make page loads feel sluggish. We’ve cached the site heavily at the web server level. We’re not using any complicated WordPress plugins that add a fake caching layer. With our web server based cache, most pages never load WordPress, they just get fast delivery of content.