We contracted with Ed to give us advice and ongoing support for our new website. We needed to move from a horrid little static html site (don’t you just hate those “page builder” things that hosters offer) and into a dynamic, engaging and scaleable solution to match the ambitions of the organisation and support our efforts to gain funding.
Ed very quickly assessed our level of technical knowledge and then worked at exactly the right level – he said what he thought we could do ourselves and what he’d need to roll his sleeves up and do for us. He was able to explain the complicated stuff without making us feel like dummies – a skill sadly lacking with most technically adept folk.
He used this approach as we went through our requirements for hosting in terms of volume, security and reliability. He walked us through the options for building the site (WordPress – hallelujah – has been a revelation) with some great tips on themes, styling, functionality and menus. He was also very smart about making sure we didn’t do anything that would jeopardise us extending the site – sound advice that has already paid dividends.
We also used Ed to help us with our IT infrastructure – in our case we’ve adopted Google’s GSuite with its superb document capabilities – imagine an online library and collaboration platform. It’s proving to be transformative in the way our little organisation works together.
So what we’ve ended up with (so far) is a robust and rather gorgeous website that we can build upon; an engagement platform (using WPforms and linked to our MailChimp system) that has exceeded our expectations by a mile; a GSuite infrastructure that, once the users get familiar with it, is getting highly complimented and can accommodate our internal growth; and an ongoing support and advice arrangement that delivers exactly the right input when it’s right for us.
Ed’s advice has been very sound and honest. He’s been spot on so far with the “you can do that yourselves” and “leave that to the tech head” recommendations. He’s been like an engaged partner rather than a distant contractor and that’s been a recipe for success for us. Unreservedly recommended.Ben Brangwyn, Comms, Alcarelle.com, 2019
We asked Ed to help us review our website and web IT (web hosting and email). We didn’t feel confident about them and didn’t have the time or inclination to approach the situation. We had email issues, and the site had done great service but was out of date and used a site builder we didn’t like.
Ed talked to us, our previous web supplier and web host, and made sense of our situation diplomatically. He investigated the web host, compared it to other services and made recommendations which we followed (to stay and upgrade).
An important part of website building is the decision-making process. Ed organises meetings effectively, prepares well, and helps us make decisions we need to make. Following a pragmatic and cheerful workshop process, he updated the website with an interim Information Architecture and design within the existing site builder to tide us over while we reviewed our branding. During this process we agreed to replace the site builder and theme with the WordPress standard Gutenberg page editor and a simple, elegant, multi-platform theme on his recommendation.
Once the branding was complete, Ed built the next site on a ‘staging’ location with the new theme using Gutenberg. This meant there was no website downtime. We were able to review the changes remotely, show the options to the board, get an agreement, and switch to the new site with only one remote meeting.
The website is now something we can be proud of, enjoy editing, and is open to future developments. We don’t feel ‘locked in’ to technology or supplier as we’re using standard systems that we understand and others can pick up easily if necessary.
Now Ed is sorting things out we don’t have to worry about them. He is a safe and reliable pair of hands.Dominic Acland and Kim Robinson, Wessex Community Assets, 2019
I would like to thank you for the excellent support you have provided for the development and design of our new Dorset Community Energy website based on WordPress.
In particular your inclusive approach, working closely with two directors of Dorset Community Energy to agree the design, layout and content was very useful to ensure that the website met our needs. Your technical advice on WordPress themes and functionality plus training on adding text and images to enable us to edit the website ourselves was an ideal combination.
Finally your efficient project management, including sharing of agendas, and actions through google docs helped us meet our website design brief on time and in budget.
I would highly recommend your services to organisations looking to develop or update their websites.Pete West, Secretary, Dorset Community Energy, June 2017