University of Nottingham Students' Union (2017-18)

A combo of WordPress and bespoke CMS

Published by Richard GoodwinFiled under Projects

Sometimes you create beautiful, pixel-perfect sites building on assets from a design team; sometimes it's a last minute rush from a sketch on a piece of paper.  This job required both extremes and everything in between.

The main site used an older, proprietary CMS that was quite hard to use and poorly documented for their use case.  As a for instance, it mostly understood a subset of HTML 4 tags, so important HTML 5 structural tags might be stripped out - or some might not.  This was especially frustrating as most designs had to be designed offline and copied in, only for parts to collapse seemingly at random.  I managed to figure it out (and document it) in time to implement their big rebrand; but also used simplified secondary templates and per-page CSS to bring small microsites back in-house without compromising on design.

Prior to this, struggles with anything other than basic data display had meant they usually just sparked up a new WordPress instance for every new venture, which led to increasing costs at an external hosting company.  Re-using, fixing, and culling old sites brought this back to a more managable level.  Fixing and upgraded security on those WordPress sites was also a necessity.

Quite often sites had to be put together quite quickly, for instance many societies held balls at the same time all of which required a website.