Just finished Great Orme Getaways WordPress Website

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

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

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

Ste

Web Developer living in Manchester, working for Studio Skylab (http://www.studioskylab.com). Views and thoughts are my own.

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