Articles about what we do, where we eat and what our industry is doing.
A new hair and beauty salon called The Wonderlab, based in Chorley Wood, opened its doors in 2013 and has launched a new responsive website. Designed by ROAR Creativity and developed by By The Scruff, the website uses the ever popular WordPress system with a bespoke design.
The responsive website allows customers to see whats happening in this beautiful award winning salon with up-to-date news, images, services and online booking system.
Katie May, co-owner, says “We have a specific target market where the visual impact of the salon speaks volumes about our work, it was imperative that the look and feel of the website translated our high end concept through to our guests when finding us, especially if this is their first impression of the salon.
Many of our guests lead busy, modern lifestyles and the ability to access our information, service guides and booking whilst on the go will increase our reach and ensure they can find what they are looking for 24 hours a day. It was also very important that we were able to have a site that could be easily updated so that we can keep the content fresh and interesting for guests.”
Go to the website for more information thewonderlab.co.uk
Its a sad day but one of our nearest and dearest companions is moving to a new family. Our loved and cherished Bonzini table football is leaving the office. Its fait is in the hands of an open auction on Ebay. We have had some good times with you little table but its time to fly the nest and spread the love. We only hope you go to a good home and are loved as much as you have been here. We also hope to get at least 500 quid for you which would mean you haven’t cost us a penny. It would make a good replacement for a dog, or child if you like that sort of emotional replacement. It does take up quite a lot of space though and we’ve changed over the years.
I think given the time we’ve had the table it held its value very well and has stayed in great condition which is testament to the quality craftsmanship in these kind of tables. Still, it will be sad when you are hauled out of the office onto the back of some fixed wheeled hipster keeno. They will never know the times we’ve had in between our hard work. Many a score has been settled and tense moments dissolved over a quality doubles match.Lee, it all changed when you buggered off to Mexico. On your head be it!
So you’re a business in the market for a new website. You already know that having the best open source content management system would enable your business to edit the content of your website, maintain it and be able to get good quality support. Which CMS should you choose and how do you go about doing so?
You’re not a developer, so the technical aspects really shouldn’t concern you, what should concern you is the ease of use, reliability and cost of maintenance. These three are the most important factors and millions of companies have already made this choice. When it comes WordPress powers over 17.4% of all websites in the world. The second most popular CMS is Joomla at 2.7% and Drupal at 2.3%. (Stats taken from W3Techs and are correct as of 28th Feb 2013.)
What these stats mean for your business is the fact that you will have the largest developer resource available at the most competitive prices and you will always be able to easily find some help with WordPress either as tips, videos or live support within a few minutes of googling.
Here at By the Scruff, we focus on WordPress web development and use it in 99% of the websites that we build, this website is also built and managed through WordPress. Find out more about our WordPress design service
Its been too long to mention since we last posted a Shoreditch Lunch Club review and lots have changed in 860 days, a hell of a lot. The question is; have the lunch options and eateries changed in Shoreditch in that time? Dam right they have, and there’s more to choose from or at least there are different places to eat. One notable addition to the lunch circuit is Mark Hix’s, Tram Shed on Rivington Street.
Believe it or not this used to be a tram-generator building way back before we had fixed wheel bikes to get around the ditch. After several different uses over the years this now revamped location is an impressive new setting in the middle of a busy centre area of Shoreditch. Its sheer scale and centre piece artwork by Damien Hurst are enough to make your eyebrow judder upwards for a few seconds in appreciation on your first visit.
The menu is simple: meat, hence the significance of the formaldehyde-encased cow and cock set on a pedestal in the middle of the room. On our lunch we opted for the Spring Chicken for one each. The chicken comes standing upright proudly on a plate. A little weird but funny at the same time. This place has humour which makes for an enjoyable and relaxed meal. The food was also very good.
More info www.chickenandsteak.co.uk
We can build basic WordPress web sites in very short amounts of time, blogs, content pages, these things used to be long and complicated, but with WordPress, it all just works out of the box and theming these features is a breeze for any reasonably seasoned web developer. But what about advanced WordPress websites? What about custom listings and custom information bits? What if you have a product showcase and want to display repeatable information bits? Custom fields come to the rescue, however the standard custom fiels functionality is not very user friendly and can quickly become very confusing when you’re trying to manage any reasonable amount of content.
This is where the Advanced Custom Fields plugin comes in super handy, it enables us as the web developers to create a very user friendly backend interface for our users to manage the content and provides us with a very simple API to retrieve the content in the themes we build. This approach is a lot faster than the standard “build your own backend UI” and as a result has a very positive impact on the cost of the project.
Here at By the Scruff, we’ve been building advanced WordPress websites using ACF for almost 2 years and have had only positive feedback about it from our clients.
Here are some screenshots showcasing how we use the Advanced Custom fields plugin:
The use of smartphones to access emails is souring. According to a recent survey carried out by Return Path between 2010 and 2012 the use of mobiles to access emails has increased by 300%, and now nearly half of all emails received are read on mobile devices. According to Google 62% of smartphone users that use the internet on their phone use it to access their email; this accounts for more than those that use their mobiles for social networking or search engines (source: Google: Our Mobile Planet).
With these sorts of statistics you can see why optimising emails for mobile devices is crucial for email marketing. In this article I will take you through some of the aspects we consider when we produce email campaigns for both desktop and mobile; we call this responsive email design.
Email for mobile and desktop
When putting together an email you have to consider how it is going to appear on both the desktop and the mobile, how it is going to render across different email clients, and which elements and call-to-actions you wish to capture the audience. If an email does not display correctly 69.7% will delete it immediately. (Source: BlueHornet ‘Consumer Views of Email Marketing’ (2012))
Below is an example of one of our responsive emails for the London Review of Books. It shows how the email appears on the desktop in comparison to the iPhone. When designing for the smaller screen it is best practice to eliminate horizontal scrolling. We develop the email to rearrange different elements into an easy to scroll format, in addition we are able to change the text size and spacing so that it is easier to read on smaller screens.
There are also other things we need to take into consideration, such as the size of the call-to-action buttons and linked text. It is very difficult to select small buttons and links with your fingers accurately when compared to using a cursor, therefore we ensure the spacing and positioning of elements are ideal for both desktop and mobile.
Hiding Items / Navigation
We are also able to remove elements from the mobile version that may make it too cluttered and/or force the user to scroll unnecessarily and consequently distracting your audience from the main call to action. In the example above we remove the ribbon pattern in the mobile version to keep the size and quality of the logo. In the example below we remove the navigation and change the layout of the headline to remove any need to scroll horizontally.
Another new development in technology is retina display. If your email is not designed with retina display in mind, your customers with the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and any future Apple devices will see your images displayed at a low resolution. We take this in mind and code in higher resolution images that appear crystal clear on your retina device.
When compared to other forms of digital marketing email is more lucrative. Email outperforms social-media advertising three to one, according to the Direct Marketing Association (source: Business Week Article), and with mobile use growing at its current rate marketers should not ignore the potential for responsive email campaigns.
The new magazine Womens Walking is out in the shops on 28th December and the website launches this week. Set to have searchable directories for events, kit, groups and more the site will promote this great way to keep fit.
This website was built using a custom designed responsive template so the website works across all computers, tablets and mobile devices. The technique allows easy management of the website through the Wordpress CMS and means that the increasing number of mobile users get a website that is truely mobile friendly.
Go to womenswalking.co.uk