WordPress has come a long way since its beginnings as a blogging platform.
It is now a professional web CMS capable of customisation. Optima builds all websites from the ground up, making them entirely bespoke. With WordPress we do not purchase and modify premium themes; you will get a website built to your exact specifications.
The WordPress community allows us to incorporate add ons to extend the capabilities of the platform including ecommerce, customisable forms and our own developers have a strong foundation in bespoke WordPress development.
We start by building an underlying architecture and installing all the core functionality we foresee for the site requiring based on our research, discovery meetings and design. We build a flexible set of templates to cover most use case scenarios.
These templates are created from individual “flexible content blocks” which can be utilised on different page types. These blocks can be reordered using drag and drop functionality to construct the pages based on your specific content without compromising the website’s design, style and functionality. This method offers you significant flexibility in creating new pages and sections of the website.
The flexible content blocks will include, but not be limited to, a minimum of;
- rich content blocks allowing a lot of familiar options available in most text editors
- video embed blocks,
- an accordion content block
- image and embeddable multimedia blocks
- image galleries
- call to action blocks
- combination text and image blocks.
Alongside this standard set of bespoke, flexible content blocks, we will develop further options for additional, unique functionality designed to your needs and requirements. Our process allows for complete control over the style and feel of your website, making sure it is as future-proofed as possible. This approach limits the need for developing a new website every 4-5 years – we ensure it can evolve, support new functionality and remove redundant elements, allowing your website to develop and respond to the needs of the business.
Our websites use industry-standard plugins to handle extended functionality, with things such as SEO, site optimisation, quality of life improvements to the CMS and security improvements. We develop custom plugins where necessary to extend the functionality further, especially if you require precise solutions. Developing so many elements in-house gives you complete flexibility in the functionality of your website and peace of mind that if changes and updates are needed, we have the expertise to perform these to the highest specification. Another benefit is the future-proofing of the site; our expert knowledge of the development of each element of your
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.
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.
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.