So I was given the brief “design and build a really cool website with the wow factor”. This was a tough brief, not only because I knew expectation was high, but because the client was a family friend and I was doing the site as a favour. Find out about the new WordPress website I built them.

The project background

My great friends Lee and Nat from Great Orme Getaways have a couple of holiday properties that they let out in a beautiful part of North Wales.

The existing site was split over three; one acted as a landing page, and the other two were individual sites per property. The sites used Flash and weren’t even responsive, let alone mobile first. They also had a lot of duplicated content, and there was no clear user journey that allowed switching from one property to another. It used a closed source CMS which was very limited.

WordPress website – the new solution

The solution was easy to arrive at, and I threw together a brief which was essentially this:

  • Get rid of the separate sites and put all the properties on a single page.
  • Make sure the sites are mobile first, accessible with a great user experience regardless of device being used to access the site.
  • Bring interaction to the site, make use of video to add the extra ‘wow’ factor.
  • Get the sites off their closed-source bespoke CMS and make sure the site is built on WordPress so that Nat could easily manage the content.

I sent over some wireframes and a breakdown of things I planned to do, they gave the the thumbs up.

Technologies used

The site uses a custom post type for the properties, so they can easily add new ones if they acquire more property.

![HTML5 video brought the pages to life](https://i0.wp.com/www.stewright.me/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/5567d45dcc394f1a949333e6ad19a488_28_1920-1024x678.jpg?resize=660%2C437&ssl=1)HTML5 video brought the pages to life
They used a booking system provided by TripAdvisor which surprisingly didn’t have an API. I wrote a parser which collects availability calendars from their counterparts on TripAdvisor and cached them locally. It’s not ideal, but it works.

I made use of structured data so that the extended property attributes were visible on SERPs.

![The new WordPress website had to be mobile first](content/images/2016/02/29a48ec93dd545759a07eb59234dce74_17_1920-1024x683.jpg?resize=660%2C440&ssl=1)The new WordPress website had to be mobile first
Finally I built a lazy loader so page load times were lightning quick. I managed to get a YSlow grade of B with no WCAG 2.0 errors.

Take a look at the finished product

Visit the new look Great Orme Getaways