Our new website goes live!

Posted Jun 12, 2012 | ~4 minute read

After a frantic late-night coding session, I have decided to put the new [codepotato] site live.  There are still a few remaining issues that I want to solve, but already at this point the site is a much better reflection of what we do currently than our previous site.

I wanted to take a moment to run through the new & noteworthy features of our site.

1. Simplified design

As much as I loved our previous site (when I launched it) it quickly became apparent that the design was not only below par to the work we would normally complete but was quite "busy".

I'm a huge fan of simple yet functional sites and really wanted to spend the time to get the design of the new [codepotato] site right. Only time will tell how it performs, but I feel a lot happier recommending people to go visit our site. It carries the right feel for the services we offer and just feels a tad more professional.

2. More than just mobile friendly

Mobile-optimised websites are all the rage at the moment but it's of my opinion that you shouldn't just embark on a mobile optimised site just for the fun of it. I had been monitoring the number of "mobile" visits to the [codepotato] site for a while and it was obvious that mobile visits were increasing steadily.

This iteration isn't just mobile friendly, I've spent some time to consider my target audience, their restrictions and their purpose of visiting our site and decided that I needed to do more than build a flexible layout.

Given that a high percentage of visitors to our site are busy professionals I wanted to set something up that acknowledges the constraints of our visitors and offers an alternative to navigating round our site on a tiny screen whilst riding the tube.

If you visit the homepage on a mobile device, instead of the funky slider on the main site, you'll be greeted with a section that we feel could be quite popular. We use present-day technology to work out if the visitor is using a mobile device (the assumption is that they have a small screen) and offer an alternative to browsing the site.

The form that they are greeted with sends me an SMS with their details to give them a call as soon as possible. I've integrated the brilliant service powered by @textlocal and it works out at the moment that each SMS would cost around 4.5p.

I have had this idea for quite some time, but haven't seen an implementation of it anywhere. I like being different!

3. Improved Typography

Typography is sooooo much more than the font chosen and the colour you've used and it really makes or breaks a website. This is the first of our own websites where I'm actually happy with how the typography has worked out.

On this site, I've chosen three fonts from typekit. The first, used for headings is "Proxima Nova". On the majority of headings I've chosen to use the "light" weight of that font, but an increased font-size to the standard size used throughout the site.

The main paragraph font is "Rooney Web" and is a more traditional "serif" font.

I really wanted to make sure that the content on our site was readable and all articles I've seen online point to serif fonts being the popular choice for long passages of text. However the majority of serif fonts appear too "oldy-woldy" and would have looked like a lemon on the site. Rooney web carries a slightly softer feel, whilst maintaining the features that make it an awesome paragraph font.

The final font was "Bouffant" and was just used for my signature on "our story" page.

For the web folks reading this, I've elected for this CSS setup :

    font-size: 18px; 
    line-height: 1.6em;
    margin-bottom: 1.6em

I've tried to keep the general width of content areas down to a reasonable width, to save having to read across an incredibly long line of text. These small tweaks massively improve the readability of the content shown on our site.

4. Other odds and sods

The testimonials page has been massively overhauled on this version of the [codepotato] site, and now includes mug-shots of some of our clients.

Our Portfolio is also more useful as it allows you to filter out projects by their type and the technology used (where applicable). It's entirely controlled by WordPress and gives us plenty of room to grow!

I hope that you like the new changes to our site and would love your feedback.