We were tasked by Nicholas Associates to build them a corporate network of websites all sharing similar styles and content but controlled from one central framework. We identified WordPress as the ideal framework for this project due to its inbuilt capability to host a network of sites and for its industry leading CMS functionality. With some bespoke customisation to the multisite setup, we were able to create a shared content management suite across all network sites.
All designs were provided by Nicholas Associates.
WordPress Multisite allows for a single installation of WordPress to create and manage multiple individual websites. This allows for greater ease of maintaining and updating the central framework as well as 3rd party plugins.
For this project, Nicholas Associates needed to have a central repository of content assets (such as news articles, team members and downloadable resources). Through customisation of the framework, we allowed all sites in the network to make use of this data without the need for duplication.
Another great aspect to Multisites is the ability to make use of different domains for each site in the network, as well as using subdomains interchangeably, catering for all network setups.
A big aspect of the brief from Nicholas Associates was the desire that they could create customised page layouts without being forced into a fixed layout template for every page. Whilst some pages can often benefit from a set template (such as a contact page which serves a very distinct function), larger content sites such as Nicholas Associates need to ensure each page feels fresh and unique in order to retain visitor attention and engagement.
Our solution was to develop a custom content builder and make it the centerpiece of the CMS for most of the pages on the website. The builder allowed CMS users to choose from 14 pre-defined content elements – ranging from simple text boxes through to latest news digests and interactive staff department structures – and set them up as content blocks on an individual page. The builder allowed users to drag and drop these elements to create a unique layout that best suited the content in question.
The result, as intended, was a network of websites where every page had a unique feel that kept visitors engaged. To find out more about our custom page builders, and what else we can do, visit our WordPress page.
Mobile browsing of websites in many instances has now overtaken desktop (fixed) access, meaning it is more important than ever that a website can be properly accessed and viewed on all mobile devices.
Using a custom responsive framework, we made sure that the Nicholas Associates network of sites were viewable in as many devices and screen sizes as possible. This ensured that the information the client is showing is accessible to a greatest range of users.
We also ensure our websites are fully cross browser compatible to all modern browser software. We regularly check against legacy browsers (such as previous versions of Internet Explorer) to ensure the best coverage for all users.
WordPress was the ideal framework for this complex project, and to best suit the clients needs. Not only does it provide an industry leading Content Management System (CMS), but it packages with the functionality to cater for a multisite network (as described above).
We have been working with the WordPress framework for many years now and time and again, find it is the best tool for the job, and our clients all agree. We have become very skilled at enhancing the packaged CMS to provide a bespoke solution that meets and often exceeds the requirements of the project, wether it be a custom data type or a customisable magazine style content builder to ensure that the project does not feel like a small collection of overused templates.