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Project Overview

The Computersmith website was designed to showcase what our company can deliver for clients, as well as being an example of what can be achieved with a grid-based Umbraco CMS.

Computersmith Homepage Screenshot

Key Challenges

Images of the key challenges for the website

Speed and Efficiency

One of the core goals of the project was a speed. The sooner an initial website was created, the quicker a web presence could be established, and the more time the website would have to be exposed to clients.

In order to achieve this, the initial scope of the website was shrunk to cover only the essential parts of the business, and third party assets, such as the Font Awesome icons and Civic cookie banner were used instead of creating our own.

It should be noted, although both resources were free to use, that like most third party resources, they did impact the performance of the website - but it saved considerable time initially, and we aim to replace them with our own custom resources in the future.

Images of various attempted logo designs

Design and Branding

Although we would normally recommend working with an independent or freelance designer (as stated in our process), the entire Computersmith branding and website were both designed and created solely by ourselves.

Not only does this include the layout of the desktop website, but also the selection of brand colours, which fonts to use, the creation of a logo, a favicon, social media logo, and images used on the website, as well as different layout designs for tablet and mobile.

Doing this not only kept our own costs low and meant the website could be created quicker, but the website also now stands as a showcase of what we can achieve using only our own skills and resources.

Modular Layout

Screenshot of Computersmith content management system

This Website's Key Feature

The big difference with this website when compared to some of our other projects, such as GovWatch, is the grid-based modular layout we used in the CMS.

It allows an owner or administrator of a website to completely control the layout of a page, by simply selecting and dragging pre-built modules into various layouts. These modules can then be filled in with all the site content needed.

Of course, it takes time to build such modules, but the true beauty of the system is once a section is created, it can be used repeatedly in innumerable amounts of pages, in various combinations, and with a range of content.  

Image showing the content publishing process

Simple to Use

Once a module has been created, it is really easy to use. For example, on a completely new page there are only a handful of steps:

The first step is to select the layout you want to use (such as a full-width, or perhaps a layout with a sidebar). Then, select a section to use from the list.

After filling in that particular sections details (this varies depending on the type of content, and sometimes there is nothing to do here at all), click save and publish. Once the content is published, it is live on the site, and ready for you to view!

Screenshot of Computersmith content management system

Flexible and Extendable

If a website is created using this modular layout, it is considerably easier to create new modules on demand post-launch.

This means we can create a handful or so of critical sections for use in a minimum viable product, and later, once the scope of the website has expanded, create more specific or more complex modules to fit with the changing demands of the business.

We have already done this with this website, allowing us to publish our core content as quickly as possible, and expand and elaborate our pages afterwards, giving us the maximum amount of exposure to potential customers.  

Project Summary

A Successful Launch

The Computersmith website only took a little over a month from the concept stage to being fully live in the Summer of 2022.

Not only are we immensely proud to have a proper website to showcase our services after being without one since 2019 (which is when the company was created), it does highlight the utility of CMS controlled modular layout, with many of the website's pages using the same sections but with different content, which has helped save valuable development time.

From it successful launch, we have continued to expand both the website's functionality and content, with many more features still planned for the future. 

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