My first LAN party

September 2002, I’m hosting my first LAN party in my parents garage on table tennis tables covered with decorating sheets. Our games of choice, Team Fortress Classic and Counter Strike on our huge CRT monitors and beautiful bage coloured PCs.

It was days like this where I developed my passion for IT, a passion I still have today. Learning skills like DNS and routing, all to make sure we were all on the same version of the game to play together.

And before any comments – that is me on the right.

Flaxmill Maltings Tour Dec 2019

I’ve been lucky to be part of the friends of the Flaxmill Maltings for almost 9 years, to see the progress over this time has been incredible. Today I was invited round with the other friends to see the latest development work, the roof on the kiln room is quite a sight and the views from the main mill span all across northern Shrewsbury.

Autarki Website

One of my favourite projects this year has been working with start up fashion brand Autarki. We developed their e-commerce platform showcasing their product range and integrating social media.

Their co-founder, Ben, popped in the office today and surprised Will and myself with Hoodies! https://www.autarki.co.uk/

The Web Orchard working in partnership with Housing Plus Group

Continuing their focus on accessible information for their stake-holders customers and colleagues, one of Shropshire and Staffordshire’s largest housing providers, Housing Plus Group, turned to The Web Orchard for assistance once more for the production of their 2019 Annual Report.

Building on the success of the 2018 report which saw us creating an interactive car journey to illustrate the organisation’s updates, the 2019 project has seen the project management team swell to include the skills of video production company 7video. This multi-agency approach has resulted in the production of the most interactive report that Housing Plus Group has ever had.

Objective

Working with Housing Plus Group we created a concept based around a self-navigating board game. Taking players around the board to illustrate the 12-month progress of the organisation, the game also introduces a new multimedia element. Incorporating video case studies and staff profiles, the 2019 Annual Report aims to make the information included within it accessible to all.

Result

Now available to view on the Housing Plus Group website, the 2019 Annual Report for the organisation is already receiving increased attention. Delighted with the result, Ben Payne at Housing Plus Group says:

“We are always keen to find better ways to do things to enable more people to benefit. The creative production and presentation of the 2019 Annual Report is a great example of this. Making the information we want to communicate more engaging, we look forward to see the increased reach that we can achieve as a result of this project.”

The Housing Plus Group 2019 Annual Report can be viewed at www.housingplusgroup.co.uk/annual-report-2019.

New Website for ‘The Dabbers’

Based in Nantwich Cheshire with a large and loyal fan base, Nantwich Town Football Club required a new website that would enable fans to quickly access information on the club and the matches via their mobile devises, whilst allowing the Club’s media team to easily update information.

Wanting to support the growing level of traffic to the website, it was important that a new website would be simple to navigate whilst offering impact via engaging visuals. Above all else, Nantwich Town FC wanted to provide a better user experience for their fans.

Objective 

Tim Crighton, Director at Nantwich Town FC elaborates on the brief that was given to The Web Orchard:

“The old website was looking dated and wasn’t designed with mobile or tablet in mind. The digital world has moved on quickly in the last 5 years and now 75% of our website visitors view the site from a mobile device, mainly as a result of clicking on links from our numerous social media channels. We needed a modern website that looked good and gave a great user experience, on all devices, from mobile through to desktop.

We have over 10,000 social media followers on one platform or more, which helps generate more than 5,000 unique website visitors per month. Together with “Dabbers TV” which highlights points of every game, the amount of traffic on the website is growing month on month, so it was vital that a new website would be able to effectively support this.”

Method

Understanding the objectives of the project, the team at The Web Orchard produced an engaging website that ticked all the boxes.

Introducing a bold, bright new look that made the website instantly recognisable to the thousands of fans accessing the information, bold headings and imagery was included to encourage intuitive navigation around the site. A live Twitter feed was also added to the homepage to enable browsers to access real-time information without having to leave the website, whilst simultaneously boosting website rankings on Google.

Ensuring that all aspects of the Club had an equal presence to the 1st team football information, The Web Orchard built clear layout into the website’s design to encourage browsers to visit more and different points of interest, spending more time on the site. Including large menu options and navigation buttons helped to both suggest a journey through the website, whilst also providing ease of use to viewers accessing the site from a touch screen mobile devise.

The Web Orchard were ball sponsors at the match against Scarborough Athletic on the 14th September 2019 at The Weaver Stadium.

Result

Delighted with the end result, Tim concludes:

“Further the website’s launch we have been able to hear the positive reaction of fans on social media and in person within the stadium on match day. The feedback is brilliant so far, the supporters are very pleased and with google analytics showing a huge ride in traffic to the website and time spent on the website, we are absolutely thrilled.

The new website looks great, the user experience is superb and works well on desktop, tablet and mobile. We are very grateful to The Web Orchard who have certainly delivered a website that goes above and beyond the brief.”

View the website.

Stained glass project to be unveiled at Shrewsbury Museum

Unveiling the results of many months of hard work on Friday 16th August, Shrewsbury Museum will be officially revealing a new stained-glass window which will be on permanent display. 

Created by local stained-glass artist Nathalie Hildergarde, the window was inspired by the Margaret Agnes Rope exhibition and the museum’s Hall of Rocks and Minerals collection. Designed to celebrate Margret Agnes Rope’s fusion of modern and spiritual elements, the project brings together two female artists on a similar artistic quest. 

Sponsoring the publication of a collection of journals detailing the meaning behind the window’s design, local IT company & web design agency Information Solutions/The Web Orchard are delighted to be a part of the project. Peter White at Information Solutions/The Web Orchard comments: 

“We are very pleased to be able to support a local artist to embark and complete a project that will become a part of Shrewsbury’s story. The finished window really is beautiful, she has done a wonderful job.”

The window will be located at the entrance to the Medieval Gallery. People visiting the museum will be able to view the window from Saturday 17th August. 

As featured in the Shropshire Star 19/8/19.

New Website for Kevothermal

A leading international manufacturer of vacuum insulation panels, Kevothermal appeals to a broad array of diverse markets. Selling to customers across the world it was vital that Kevothermal’s website complemented the excellent reputation of the organisation and supported its renowned high level of customer service.

Objective:

Portraying the company brand and service through a dated website for a number of years, Kevothermal were ready to upgrade and refresh their online presence.

Requiring a responsive website that would attract and engage new audiences, it was important that new customers were able to understand quickly what the company was and what it did. Offering a complex service whilst speaking to a range of industry sectors, it was vital that the website user could navigate easily through the website to find the information that was relevant to them. Wanting to retain viewers whilst increasing conversions, the new Kevothermal website needed to function as powerful sales and marketing tool.

Method:

Working closely with the team at The Web Orchard, Sales Manager at Kevothermal, Mark Launders talks about how the content and the design of the site was re-built with their customers firmly in mind;

“Focusing on the customer experience, we worked on making the information within the website easy to digest. Re-writing the content to make it more SEO friendly, the graphics and imagery selected for the website were specific to enabling quick understanding. This was important, as an internationally company communicating with people speaking a host of different languages, we needed techniques in place that would make that communication universal.”

Result:

Providing Kevothermal with a website that satisfied all the objectives, the organisation are now jeen to duplicate the design for their American website. Thrilled with final result, Mark concludes:

“The new website is fantastic and the service that we received from The Web Orchard was equally as impressive. Knowing us as a company and understanding what we would need in order to reach our objectives, made working in partnership with The Web Orchard very easy. They really did a great job.”

To view the Kevothermal website, please visit www.kevothermal.eu