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New and improved bespoke content management

Calendar Posted 9th May 2014 | Category: Company | Feed Icon


We are extremely excited to announce the launch of a major upgrade to our content management system (CMS), BlueEdit. This is the first significant overhaul to our in-house CMS for a few years and a lot of the core framework has been re-built from the ground up.

Why improve our bespoke content management?

The previous version of BlueEdit served us well for many years and is still in use in 80% of our existing client sites. However, over the years we have built a long wish list of client requests for extra features and added our own ideas about how the system could be improved. It's not that the old system was a bad one; we just knew it could be even better.

An important factor for our team was to increase the speed of development and flexibility for new features. The new CMS is significantly quicker when rendering front end pages and the underlying code is much more straightforward to maintain and extend. This all adds up to a system which is more easily customised to meet our client's needs. Read more...

Filtered search for online shops

Calendar Posted 28th January 2014 | Category: Web Design | Feed Icon


Here's a quick spotlight on a feature we've added to a few e-commerce sites recently. The filtered search lets users select product values with tick boxes to narrow down the results until they find what they need.

You may have seen similar features on websites like Amazon, B&Q and Staples. It's a popular feature across e-commerce site because it makes things easier for customers.

All of these websites let you filter your search results further by selecting from a list of values. This can include price range, average customer rating, colour or size. Read more...

Responsive websites for mobile and tablet users

Calendar Posted 22nd January 2014 | Category: Web Design | Feed Icon


You may have heard the term 'responsive design' in relation to websites. This is the increasingly common solution to the problem of how to make your website look good on different devices. The 'responsive' part of the term refers to the fact that the website dimensions are automatically altered depending on the dimensions of your screen. It's all one website but 'responds' differently depending on the user's device, so they get the best experience possible.

The unstoppable rise of mobile internet usage

Few people are surprised about the growth of mobile internet usage, especially with increasing network speeds and the popularity of tablet devices since Apple's iPad launch. As the devices themselves become not just more prevalent but better at what they do, the usage will only continue to increase.

Our own website statistics reflect this trend, as our Google Analytics graph below shows. This is a simple graph showing the number of mobile and tablet visits to our website from January 2010 to December 2013 per month (click the image to see a full version including labels). Read more...

How to auto-fill addresses online from a postcode

Calendar Posted 17th December 2013 | Category: Web Design | Feed Icon


When you've bought products and entered your address online, you've probably typed a postcode and selected your address from a list. It's a familiar feature with online shops, but you may not know how to add it to your own website.

We've applied this functionality to websites and online applications to save users' time and improve the accuracy of addresses. We use Postcode Anywhere to provide this service within our address forms because we've found it easy to use and cost-effective for our clients.

How we use Postcode Anywhere

We recently launched a new online shop for The Cheeseworks, which incorporates a postcode 'lookup' feature in the billing and delivery address forms of the checkout process. Instead of having to type their whole address, customers just enter a postcode and look up their address in a list. Read more...

Responsive design and how to size your website images

Calendar Posted 20th November 2013 | Category: Web Development | Feed Icon


We are currently re-designing the Bluelinemedia website (watch this space!). One of the new changes we are making is to code the site to the HTML 5 standard and with this we want to make the site responsive, so it re-sizes for smartphones and tablets.

One of the issues we came across was what to do about images in a responsive website. We don’t want site users to have to download large images only to have them resized using CSS to fit their screen resolution, especially if they are using a mobile device. There are a lot of different methods to achieve responsive images, each with pros and cons depending on your website. Since there is no current HTML 5 standard for responsive images (according to this article we decided to use the method I have detailed below.

Bigger is not always better

We decided to go with quite a simple solution that proved to work well. In our CMS whenever an image is uploaded we automatically resize it to four sizes. The sizes of these images are what we judged to work best with four different screen resolutions when viewing our website. When a user visits our site initially the HTML just loads up the smallest images. The JavaScript then checks the users screen resolution and amends the image directories accordingly so that the best size image can be served to the user. Read more...

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