Well we burned the midnight oil last night, and went live with the new web site for Diesel Tuning UK, a great business run by Andrew Pawley in County Durham.
Having build web sites before for Andrew and done quite a bit of web marketing to support his business we already had a good working relationship (I hope!), but this site was a little different to say the least. The difficulty if you can call it that, is that the old site though a bit rough round the edges was already generating really good business for Diesel Tuning UK, and while upgrading the site we had to do so by evolution rather than revolution, so as to ensure there was no prospect of losing the good rankings that the site had already developed.
The chosen technique was to extend the existing site rather than replacing it, (evoution not revolution) and so its existing simple content management system had to be restructured and extended using the PHP programming language, but integrating best practice and search engine friendliness into the design. This was in many ways restrictive to what we could do, and we found ourselves having to write fresh code that would already have existed had we used one of our preferred open Source systems.
(We normally tend to shy away from writing custom systems for just this reason - they involve unnecessary "re-inventing of the wheel", when great content management systems already exist that will do whatever you need. However in this instance we decided in partnership with the client that the additional effort was justified.)
Our designer came up with a clean new look to the page - again a bit like the old site but clearly upgraded, and the catalogue of vehicles had to be upgraded to reflect the latest vehicles, and the new products that were available with DTUK.
We have added blogging to the site, so its now up the Andrew to get in there and start the blogging habit; often a challenge for many web site owners.
The payment process has been streamlined - we took a number of clicks out of the payment process, though PayPal has been retained as the payment gateway for the time being, it may well be upgraded in the future.
Overall the number of pages in the site has been greatly increased, as has the ability of the content management system to configure those pages in the proper manner. We are looking forward to seeing how the site now grows and matures, and of course to ensuring that Andrews customers enjoy the experience of the new site and continue to choose him before his competition.
Overall we'd welcome feedback and ideas for the web site - but for now just please go and have a look around! (By the way they make your diesel car go really well - and save fuel too!)