Tim has written twenty books for teenagers and won fifteen awards, including the prestigious Carnegie Medal. He has been described by the Sunday Telegraph as ‘the master of the psychological thriller’ and by the Independent as ‘one of the truly individual voices in British teenage fiction’.
We were chosen by Tim Bowler and his current website manager to re-design his website, whilst retaining all the content from the current website. Tim’s site was very content rich and there were pages upon pages of news, information on all the books he’s written, as well as explaining about himself.
The first thing we did was try and streamline the pages of information so the site became more book focussed.
Once we decided upon a website structure we then moved onto the website wireframes.
We wanted to ensure that every page contained the navigation, Tim’s logo and website search. We decided the fat footer which would also feature on every page would contain the latest news, navigation repeated and social media links.
We also wanted to ensure that all books appeared on the homepage, as well as a photo of Tim and a bit about him. For returning visitors we wanted to include the news so they could instantly see what was new on the site.
The design of the website changed and evolved over time. This was due to Tim’s launch into Twitter, so we included this in the changing designs, we also felt the site was becoming too book focussed rather than Tim focussed. Often Tim’s books would have microsites promoting his new material, so Tim’s site should be a balance between his books and him.
The final design has more of a ‘wow factor’, with a large header featuring Tim next to one of his books (which are on rotation). The style of the site is vibrant, yet the copy is readable on the cream background.
As I’m sure you’ve already guessed as the client would like to update their website frequently we developed the site with (drum roll please…) WordPress! We still believe that WordPress is the most user friendly content management system. We felt that the clients needs fitted perfectly with WordPress’s capabilities.
There was some additional functionality which wasn’t included in the barebones WordPress platform, so we enlisted the help of some plugins.
Mail Poet allows you to drag and drop content into a newsletter format. You can tailor the newsletter to your style and branding. It also allows you to import subscribers and mange lists.
Slider Revolution is an image and content slider. You can not only add images, but videos, html and even posts to your slider. You can change the transitions on each slide and have custom animations on each element as well. They have a great support team, so if you are having any problems with the plugin they are able to assist you (a feature we utilised!).
Display Tweets is a simple little plugin which allows you to pull Tweets through onto your website. You can amend the amount of Tweets as well as what types of Tweet you would like to pull through.
Linkify Text allows you to set up links automatically throughout the website so you don’t have to do this manually. This was great on Tim’s site as it allowed us to automatically link book titles to their respective pages.
Page Links To
Page Links To is another simple plugin that we’ve used several times now. It allows you to re-direct a page to another page. In Tim’s case we have used it to re-direct the Events page to the news category ‘Events’.
SI CAPTCHA is yet another plugin we couldn’t do without! We would have triple the spam if it wasn’t for SI CAPATCHA.
The build went smoothly and it wasn’t long before the site was ready for population. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to export the current’s site content, so the clients website manager manually populated the website. At the time this seemed like a daunting task, but now looking back on it I think this wasn’t a bad move as it made us re-assess some of the old sites content and how it was displayed and we believe the site looks much better for it.
The site went live last month and we must say that we are particularly pleased – www.timbowler.co.uk
Tim Bowler commented; ‘I’m blown away by the new site, you have achieved wonders and I couldn’t be more happy. Thank you so much.’
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Posted by Lu