The way that you’ve liaised with Gareth regarding content updates and Richard for the design and branding consistency, has ensured that the site has a totally professional look and will be a point of reference that we as an organisation will be proud to present to the banding community, not only in Wales, but globally! It is everything (and more!) that we could have possibly hoped for.Andrew Jones, Chairman for Brass Bands Wales
Last month we supported the launch of a new organisation here in Wales, with a new, purpose-built, and fully bilingual website.
Brass Bands Wales is a brand-new organisation established to promote and support Brass Banding in Wales. The organisation is run by a voluntary steering group with a wide range of backgrounds and is ultimately supported by its members.
The initial launch of the website on February 4th was met with great interest from Brass Bands, their members, as well as other people and organisations from the Brass Banding world. Needless to say, this project is one with that has been met with great interest, making the perfect project to start the year with.
This project is not just another WordPress-based site however, with a large volume of data, dynamic data display and filtering, as well as a feature-rich community system for collaboration between members are a few of the key challenges this project had to offer.
The number of Brass Bands in Wales is something that projected the first hurdle this site would have going forward. Whilst having as many bands onboard as possible is great in one respect, the volume of data that would have to be added to the site, maintained, and consistency of styling between all those pages would soon create a maintenance-heavy task as the membership increases. To overcome this, custom post types have been created, consolidating all Brass Bands records, Supporters records, and Directory entries into their own sections within the Admin dashboard. What’s more, each of these custom post types has their own purpose-built forms, allowing the team at Brass Bands Wales to easily input just the required information for a Brass Band, Supported or Directory contact, making data-entry a self-explained and efficient task.
With the database structure clearly defined through the use of custom post types, the consistency of how that data is displayed on the front end, especially when it comes to page structure and styling was the next hurdle. Fortunately, the latest version of our theme of choice (provided free to our Designer clients) gives us the ability to define templates for individual post types, meaning we only have to design the one page how we like it, and the Brass Band or Supporter information is pulled from the databased and presented in a perfect, consistent structure and style. And should the layout of all Brass Bands or Supporters ever need to change, the use of templates for these custom post types means only one page layout has to be altered, rather than potentially hundreds of individual Brass Bands or Supporters pages.
Building on top of the custom post type defined for Brass Bands, we looked at how the site could be made more interactive. One of our favourite features on the site is the Band Map, a dynamically populated map of Wales, with a pinpoint for each Brass Band registered on the Brass Bands Wales website. We can’t take credit for all of this part however, thanks to the simple but effective plugin produced by Lodovic Riaudel, we were able to include a completely dynamic map, populated from our custom post type’s records, just by adding a couple of extra fields to the purpose-built form for that post type in the admin dashboard.
Looking at the last major requirement on this project – the community platform is another one of our favourites, and one used on a number of other sites we have developed. Vanilla Forums is the feature-packed community application empowering the users of this site, allowing the team at Brass Bands Wales to easily share news, offers, files and other resources exclusively with their members via a completely private forum application. Separating this functionality into a separate web application also proves to be no issue when it comes to styling, with the forum seamlessly embedded into the website itself, and also offering single-sign-on for the administrators of both the website and forum.
Finally, working on this project hasn’t been something done alone. This has been the first of what we hope to be many future projects collaborated on with Richard from Lovely Stuff Studio, the artist behind the branding and styling of many of the pages on the site, as well as the logo and social media banners used by the logo. If you’re a fan of the graphics design demonstrated on this site, be sure to check out some of his other works.
As always, we are grateful for every project we get to work on, and especially enjoy the challenge of something new. If you’re looking for a new website built, or maybe have one in need of an overhaul – be sure to get in touch.
We are delighted to announce the launch of a brand new website for the Three Feathers, Ruthin.
The website focuses around 4 main elements:
- The Feathers Pub
- The Corporation Arms Pub
- Mobile Events Bar
The distinction between these 4 elements remained crucial throughout development, whilst maintaining easy navigation between the different sections. The site also features more interactive features such as a news and updates page, as well as an eye-catching events page, listing all upcoming events in either bar.
The more functional element of this site is found in the Accommodation section, allowing the site to accept bookings and payments for the various rooms available at the Three Feathers Pub.
Be sure to check out the new website, and follow their social media for the latest events right in the heart of Ruthin:
This year has seen many ups and downs, however for many of our clients, the challenges have been met head on.
We have been delighted to help develop the Totally Music platform, working with longstanding clients Denbighshire and Wrexham Music Co-operatives, part of the North Wales Music Co-operative.
What’s more, we have also thoroughly enjoyed putting together the cartoon videos you’ll find adverting the platform.
Totally-music.com is an online resource for pupils in foundation phase, all the way to upper sixth – providing various online music lessons, activities and resources all in one place.
The major challenge facing this project is the quantity of content and sizeable media, the fluid delivery of that content to thousands of pupils across North Wales, and added security requirements on most parts of the site.
This site utilises a secure and scalable video hosting service, powered by Microsoft Cloud, and what’s more, the website is entirely secured using Office 365, working seamlessly with music service tutors, and providing scope for further integration with individual school Office 365 tenants.
Whilst much of this site is restricted for pupils and schools, feel free to take a look at the site’s homepage and marketing videos, or alternatively, a lot of press coverage can be found on the launch of this new platform.
We are pleased to announce the launch of a new website for local Managed Service Provider – Boyns Information Systems. The new website provides a fresh perspective on the well established MSP and the services they have to offer. The new site not only refines existing content, but focused in on their latest venture – Cybersecurity accreditation. Throughout the site, there is a focus on all things cyber, a core part of their business and the services they offer.
The site also features a built-in social media platform – allowing automated posting across multiple social media channels from one centralised dashboard. All posts generated by the site link back to the site – constantly driving traffic to their way.
Be sure to check out their site and consider them for IT Managed Services or Cyber-essentials Accreditation.
Check out their website!
21st Webb are pleased to announce the launch of a revamped site for one of our longstanding clients – the Music Mania Summer School.
We have hosted Music Mania’s website for many years, and have watched both the course, and their site’s requirements grow during that time. The new site is designed to be more dynamic, expanding with the course as they add more groups, members to their team, and galleries for each year gone by.
This site has been designed to be both easy to navigate, but fun and inviting at the same time. The layout is a modern approach on the more traditional side navigation menu. Be sure to check out their new site at the usual address:
21st Webb are thrilled to announce our support for the Chester Ethical Hackers – a University of Chester society.
Always looking for new ways to improve our services, as well as maintain a secure and reliable level of service for all our clients – the Chester Ethical Hackers really plays into one of the biggest issues we are focusing on today… Cybersecurity.
You may have seen our previous announcements about our free 256bit SSL Encryption on all packages for all clients, as well as the availability of 2-factor authentication on all client accounts and application dashboards. Cybersecurity is one of the biggest issues facing individuals and companies of all sizes today. While we are constantly working to ensure the security of our services is at its best; we are also supporting a brand new society at the University of Chester, one which aims to increase the awareness of cyber threats to any and all students at the university, but also develop their cyber skill-set both individually and as a group to help tackle some of the issues we all face today.
The society is a not-for-profit group, under the (charity) Chester Students Union, and is always looking for support from industry, with anything from equipment, materials or monetary support towards events and conferences throughout the year. Be sure to check out this up and coming society, and offer your support today!