Posts by Matt Down

WordPress as a corporate CMS

This post could be seen as a part 1 or part 2 in a series as my colleague Sam Freeman will also be writing a post about wordpress, but more about the background as to why we chose it as a team. This post focuses on the corporate CMS opportunity of wordpress and to dispel a few myths that it is simply a blogging platform.

As a team, we’d all agreed that WordPress was the sensible platform to go with. We had enough HTML / CSS skills in the team to create templates and themes as well as PHP / MySQL skills in order to tweak and create bespoke functionality.… Read the rest

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Mobile Accessibility

It’s now widely known and accepted that mobile web access is as popular and will slowly overtake desktop access within the next few years. With this ever-growing usage of mobile devices to connect to the Internet, users with special needs, such as the blind community must also be taken into consideration when we’re creating new sites. Research commissioned by Vodafone in 2009 estimated that, across 19 key markets (representing 1.76bn people) approximately 136 million people, or 11%, experience “moderate or minor disability or impairment”. Continue reading

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Faster, faster, faster

In the last few months we’ve made some major steps forward in our approach towards delivering responsive websites. We evaluated a series of responsive frameworks before settling on Twitter Bootstrap and then set about creating our own WordPress multisite framework with it. I think it’s safe to say that everyone in the team can now start to see the advantages of the framework and that general deployment times for sites is starting to decrease. Design and layout constraints are now being overcome and the sites that have been launched so far on new.devon.gov.uk have a fresh and vibrant feel about them and don’t all look the same which was one of the initial concerns when choosing the bootstrap framework.… Read the rest

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Choosing the framework

In my last post, I touched on the importance of responsive layouts in site designs so that all devices can display digital content correctly and improve the end user experience. My research into this ever-expanding web design trend / neccesity has continued over the last month and I’ve had great pleasure in sharing my learning with the rest of the team. All the things I have learnt have recently been put into practice with the creation of a sustainable responsive framework for the beta.devon and new.devon multisites that we are currently in the process of setting up.

We started the project by accessing some of the most popular CSS frameworks that have been released and are available as free downloads on the net.… Read the rest

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A new pair of trousers

Picture the scene…. It’s 11.30pm on a Monday night, my PC downstairs has been switched off for a while and I’m tucked up in bed ready to catch some flies. It then suddenly dawns on me that I’ve got a christening to go to at the weekend and ideally, I could do with a new pair of smart but casual black trousers. There won’t be any opportunity for me to get into town to have a look around the shops before the weekend, so online shopping will have to do. I can’t be bothered to wait for my ageing PC to boot up again and I haven’t got the luxury of an iPad so it’s all down to my trusty iPhone with wifi connection again.… Read the rest

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