A mutual friend recommended me to Creative Landscapes recently to work with them to move hosting companies and refresh their website. Creative Landscapes are a flourishing landscape gardening firm based in Aslockton and working across Nottinghamshire.
Preparation is key
A few weeks before our scheduled work time I met with the office manager, Donna. She would be the company member to take the project forward. Between us we worked out what was to be retained from the existing site and what was needed for the replacement. This included content and visual legacy. We also discussed setting up a new hosting package and the mechanics of switching domain ownership and other registration issues. The good news during this phase of our work was the expertise we could draw upon from the new hosting company, Proweb. They were exceptionally knowledgeable and approachable on issues surrounding domains and hosting. A good combination for building confidence during changing times. With Donna’s permission I took a back up of the entire existing site. Better safe than sorry.
On a wet Thursday morning in February the rebuild started. The existing site was left in place and the new site was developed in a separate area. This meant that Creative Landscape’s clients would not be left without a website whilst we were making the new one. Work continued at a frenetic pace. Being on site meant that all of those little questions over colour and layout are resolved instantly without getting lost in misunderstood emails. During the day we took time out to tie in Facebook and Twitter to the new site. We also spent some time discussing publishing schedules, what makes a story and how to achieve better search engine rankings. Donna took copious notes.
By the second day the site was pretty much built. We spent a fair bit of the day practicing how to use the site, how to make galleries and how to edit existing menus. I also worked through the snag list from the previous day’s efforts. By 4pm the site was ready to go live. Everyone at Creative Landscapes had read the content, spotted snags that had been resolved, spent time captioning photos and so on. A fantastic team effort all round and by far the most efficient way of working on this kind of task. A quick call to Proweb and the site was live, replacing the old one in minutes.
I am looking forward to working with Creative Landscapes again to develop their use of the new website to achieve more. Right now they have a new site that they have full control over. A perfect end to the week.
UPDATE: Just received a lovely quote to share from Creative Landscapes.
“It was a pleasure working with Alan and I would certainly recommend, if at all possible, carrying out such work in your work place; it was such an efficient way of working – decisions were made instantly, glitches resolved, reassurance given. As a complete novice I now feel confident in overseeing and updating the site and am actually keen to learn more about it. The site itself is exactly what we wanted, Alan managed to comprise all we asked and steer us in the right direction – he’s a patient man! It’s reassuring to know he’s at the end of the phone if needed but I honestly feel that he has equipped us with the knowledge to go forward confidently.” Donna Leadbeater, Creative Landscapes (Nottingham) Ltd.
Creative Landscape’s Website: www.creative-landscapes.info