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.
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
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
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