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ExpressionEngine ExpressionEngine

A flexible and secure way to build and manage websites.

Optima has been developing websites using ExpressionEngine since 2010.

ExpressionEngine is a powerful content management system (CMS) which is customisable to the needs of each project and is built on a robust PHP framework which is less vulnerable to security breaches than other platforms.

As professional web developers, Optima use ExpressionEngine to provide totally bespoke content management rather than a templated solution. We create different types of fluid content blocks, which give clients the flexibility to edit almost everything on their website. This is designed to clients specific requirements by using a library of available addons and also creating custom addons where necessary.


Our clients find that the ExpressionEngine CMS is incredibly easy to use. Optima always provides client training, support and a simple manual to enable our customers to be able to manipulate and control their new website. After this training, clients are able to populate their newly built website with all required content.

EE is an open source licensed product and is driven by a large global community of developers, so it is continually developing and improving. 

Using ExpressionEngine helps to future-proof websites because additional, custom functionality can easily be added at a later date. We do not expect EE to reach ‘end-of-life’ as some other CMS’s do because it is continually evolving, with new versions released being incremental rather than monumental. Furthermore, the beta release of Coilpack promises a new era of ExpressionEngine development with newer, more powerful technologies such as Laravel and GraphQL. 


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Our Approach
1. Strategy

Optima work closely with clients to develop a shared understanding of their business objectives and user needs. We listen, absorb and reflect on what you tell us. We ask lots of questions and challenge preconceptions, and we will always bring new possibilities and ideas to the table based on our experience and skills.
2. Scoping and specification

Optima undertake research that, depending on your needs, may include UX workshops with different stakeholders and users, a review of analytics and competitor analysis. During this phase, all the resources and requirements needed to build the website are detailed and aligned with user and business strategies and objectives.
3. Site structure

Optima then design a website structure defining how users will interact with the website and how the system will respond to these interactions. We create a detailed sitemap determining how the website is organised, and information is prioritised. An SEO audit, strategy, and consideration of the customer journey through different digital touch points underpin this process.
4. Wireframing

Optima creates ‘skeleton’ page plans for each website that show the arrangement of elements and content on different devices. These plans are essential to understanding site navigation, the responsive grid and the priorities of different content. We refer to these skeleton plans as ‘wireframes’ as they demonstrate the website architecture underlying the visual design.
5. Website design concepts

Building on the previous steps, Optima design stunning websites which develop a distinctive online brand presence for your brand. We ensure the design treatment fits your website and business objectives and reflect your brand vision and values. We consider specific design elements and how they contribute to user experience and create memorable associations with your brand.
6. Website development and build

Optima build robust websites on a variety of content management systems. We build page templates and stylesheets to current web standards and mobile responsive technologies and deliver pixel-perfect web pages. We have built hundreds of responsive websites using HTML5/CSS3 and are experienced in delivering websites to W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1.
7. Testing

Optima complete a high level of testing before websites are deployed. Our code is rigorously tested across the main browsers and devices, and any bugs are addressed. We also test website functionality, such as forms and data capture and do a final proofread, ensuring no placeholder content is visible before it is presented to the world.
8. Website launch

Optima coordinates website launches in collaboration with client teams to ensure a smooth and timely transition. Pre-launch, we confirm we have the necessary details to deploy the website to a client’s server or in the server space we provide from our trusted UK providers. We are proud of the websites we launch, and each go-live is celebrated by ringing a bell in the office!
9. Website maintenance

Optima continue to monitor and tweak the performance of newly launched websites to ensure they are working effectively. Beyond this, we offer a range of maintenance packages which enable us to continue to update the site and monitor site health as it develops and grows alongside digital technologies.
10. Website promotion

Optima can assist with promoting your website to ensure it is discoverable and remains visible to your audiences. We offer various digital marketing services to support this, including SEO, pay-per-click, digital advertising, content marketing and email marketing.

Take a look at some of our website projects:


International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness

Advancing global action for eye health

World Heart Federation website being displayed on a tablet device and a mobile phone

World Heart Federation

Helping heart health stay at the forefront of the global agenda

Example of Coveris desktop website


A website reflecting Coveris as packaging innovators


Amberley Labels

A website with the wow-factor for premium labelling company

Small Steps Big Changes homepage on desktop

Small Steps Big Changes

SSBC website helps parents of young children in Nottingham

East Anglian Air Ambulance mobile website example

East Anglian Air Ambulance

‘On a mission’ for air ambulance charity

Laptop showing the Promote Lincolnshire website

Promote Lincolnshire

Proudly promoting Lincolnshire to the world


King & Co

Making it easier to find a new home in Lincoln

IUF desktop homepage example


Campaigning for the rights of people working in the food chain