The Bridge Digital’s team of web professionals specialise in building beautiful, robust, scalable and highly functional websites using the WordPress Content Management system.
We have implemented WordPress sites in multiple business sectors including government, finance, retail and automotive, either full-stack (design and development), or working in conjunction with designers and branding agencies.
We provide ongoing support and maintenance for WordPress sites, including patching, upgrades, security and hosting support.
Contact The Bridge Digital today to discuss your needs. We’re here to help you.
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On the web, “content is king” and few CMSes can boast as robust a content creation and administration process as Drupal.Drupal excels at high volumes of pages, posts, media files and custom content types, with a powerful filtering system (Views), content workflow support, and the out-of-the-box ability to publish content to multiple platforms at once.
Drupal is an enterprise-ready content management system that is, thanks to its open source nature, completely free for use. Using Drupal for your website project will save money on expensive proprietary systems, leaving more room in your budget for more important things like Design and Coding. Don’t compromise your look, feel and functionality by wasting your precious budget on licensing fees!
Drupal is capable of maintaining a website through humble beginnings as a landing page or blog, through to the largest and most complex of corporate websites. Governments, small to medium businesses, publishers, digital agencies, corporations, schools and universities can all make use of Drupal as a reliable and scalable platform for their website’s growth. By selecting Drupal, you can have the peace of mind that you won’t be forced into migrating to another platform as soon as your requirements grow.
Drupal’s developer-driven architecture simplifies integrating your website with your other software. Whether by third party modules, RESTful API usage or Drupal’s powerful import features, your Drupal website can easily talk to key systems like your CRM, intranets, mobile apps, sales portals and a lot more.
As noted, Drupal is a powerhouse at content management. Not only can it manage a mind-boggling amount of content, it delivers that content quickly and efficiently to your users through powerful caching systems and load-balancing options. Additionally, the dedicated Drupal security team and large developer base ensures constant updates and patches to address any critical security errors or function problems with the Drupal code base. With a global community over 40,000 developers working on Drupal and related modules, Drupal is extremely well supported, documented and constantly improving itself.
While we would love to be able to conjure up a nice low number and promise the world in features, the truth is that there is no simple answer to this question. A number of factors come into play when determining a new websites final cost: CMS selection, feature set, design requirements, number of pages, integrations, security, accessibility and hosting.
At the Bridge Digital, we take the time to review all aspects of your website requirements and tailor a realistic estimate for your project based on either a fixed cost when requirements and deliverables are very clearly defined, or on an ‘agile’ basis when scope changes and feature requests are expected to be more fluid.
An important consideration when costing a website is also ongoing maintenance and support for the finished product. Websites are becoming more and more complicated, with CMS systems requiring patching, maintenance and support; ever-present hacking and cybervandalism threats and the day-to-day management of hosting, backups and server software!
This a difficult question to answer as websites are not created equally in size or feature set.
As a general guideline, landing pages and microsites can often be completed within a week of development time. Allow 2 weeks+ for a small (less than 10 page website). Larger website builds may anywhere between 4 weeks to 6 months(!) to complete.
The biggest factors in determining project length are delivery/generation of content, scope changes, need for external review (eg compliance and legal) . and availability of stakeholder staff involved in the project.
Most websites run on top of a Content Management System, allowing users to update content themselves. WordPress is the most commonly used in the open-source space, along with Drupal, Umbraco, .NET Nuke, Joomla. Other non-open source or commercial options include Sitecore and Sitefinity.
Shared Hosting is the most common form of web hosting available. It is lower cost but also lower performance and lower featured than dedicated hosting but suits the needs of most small websites. Web hosting companies like GoDaddy or Crucial will provide a portion of disk space and hosting resources to a customer’s website, based on a monthly fee. What this means is that your website’s hosting will be shared with many other websites on the same server. This is a very economical way to operate your website but potentially does not suit larger business sites or those with high availability requirements. In a shared hosting setup, the performance of your website can be heavily impacted by how many other websites share the same infrastructure.
Dedicated hosting is recommended for high traffic websites or those high processing requirements due to more complex back-end systems. Dedicated hosting means that your site will run on it’s own server (or servers!) and not impact or be impacted by the traffic or resource usage of other websites. Dedicated hosting may also allow access to server software or features not available to shared plans. Security and privacy requirements in your industry may also require the choice of dedicated hosting.
There are a number of free and premium themes and templates available for use on your website. These can be a great way to kickstart a website with minimal design investment or as a starting point for a more custom design. However, if you choose to take this route with your website, keep in mind that many of these themes can come with bloated features that you may not use, may force the use of other plugins and modules, and may be difficult to customise exactly to your liking!
Responsive websites are the norm these days. A responsive website is built in such a way that the layout of the pages changes in response to the device being used. If the website is viewed on mobile, the menu will likely collapse behind the ubiquitous ‘hamburger icon’, multi-column layouts will collapse to a single column and content that is not suitable for viewing on mobile may be hidden or replaced. Responsive sites are easy to maintain as the website has one single codebase – all that changes is the look when viewed on mobile, tablet or differing screen sizes. Responsive sites also allow for a more consistent user experience as the UI remains familiar to visitors, no matter what device they are using.
Dedicated mobile sites redirect users to a seperate instance of your site based on the device. Rather than being ‘responsive’, you may be sent to a URL such as m.mysite.com that loads a different set of code altogether. This is less common today as responsive design has become the norm, but still has advantages in certain use cases.
At The Bridge Digital, the majority of our website projects are built in either Drupal or WordPress. These are two of the most used and powerful content management systems in the world – both free from licensing, robust and feature-rich and capable of running a wide range of sites. You can’t go wrong with either choice.
When starting your project we will introduce you to both systems and perform an analysis of which would best fit your technical needs, as well as the experience levels of the staff involved in managing your website going forward. Both systems have not a large range of benefits, and we believe in always choosing the right tool for the job objectively.
Of course, there’s always other options outside of a traditional CMS. There’s the ‘decoupled’ CMS approach, static site generators or a more bespoke application approach to your site. Generally though, most of our clients will be using either Drupal or WordPress – we are equally skilled and enthusiastic developers in both!
Selling online has become a lot easier in recent years with the introduction of dedicated eCommerce SaaS platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce. Self-hosted solutions for online sales include WooCommerce (a full featured web store plugin that works with WordPress) or Magento.
There are many options for creating a store, but the most important consideration is how you want your customers to pay. PayPal is the easiest way to accept online payments either direct through PayPal or via credit card but the fees can be quite high. Payment gateways such as eWay are easy to use and integrate well with most eCommerce platforms. Other alternatives such as your merchant bank’s own payment gateway exist also.
If you are creating a website completely from scratch, your dev and design team will need copies of any existing branding assets such as logos, colours, fonts and style guides, as well as at least an overview of expected content and pages (as a basic site map). As part of the ‘full-stack’ process, your dev and design team can then guide you through the process of wireframing, prototyping, content generation and implementation.
If you already have a web design created by a graphic design team or other agency, you will need to supply your development team with the original layered design files in a format such as Photoshop or Sketch. All content and supporting images should also be supplied to the dev team.
It is always best to consider your content early in the process as content helps drive design and layout.
The easiest method to address spam is by implemented Google ReCAPTCHA on your website. You will likely be familiar with this method from using online forms yourself. CAPTCHA forces a dynamic element onto the page that the user must interact with before submitting the form, stopping automated spam bots from exploiting your contact form. If you aren’t comfortable with adding such an element to the page or are worried that users will find the CAPTCHA annoying, there are other methods such as hidden fields that can minimise spam.
Cybersecurity is a growing concern for all website owners. Malicious and random hacks are everywhere, generally targetting known CMSes like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and others. In most cases, hackers aren’t singling your website out but have come across a vulnerability by automated scanning of large blocks of IP addresses. Most of these types of hacks are used to exploit your website into sending spam, publishing ‘phishing’ links, or content spamming to Google.
The first form of prevention is ensuring you have a maintenance plan for your website in place that includes regular backups and patching and updates to your CMS and hosting software. An extra level of protection which the Bridge Digital highly recommend is use of a web application firewall such as Sucuri. These products will create a virtual “patch” for your website software that will guard against known exploits. This kind of protection is particularly useful for situations where an exploit has been released into the wild for your CMS and is able to be used before your maintenance team are able to patch the site. There are also circumstances where your site will be unable to updated in a timely manner due to legacy code or other considerations. Firewall services like Sucuri also provide general security hardening, monitoring and cleanup of any malware/hack attempts as well.
“Decoupled” or “Headless” CMS usage is gaining a lot of traction in the web development world as a way to free front-end developers from the constraints of working with the built-in display layer (themes, templates etc) of off-the-shelf content management systems. A typical website built in WordPress or Drupal, uses that CMS as both for…Read more
Part 1: The Content Management System (CMS) When we initially discuss website development, either with a designer or a client directly, we follow a process that we adapt to our client’s circumstances. Whether you are creating company website for the first time, upgrading due to business evolution, or redesigning, there will be a number of…Read more
At The Bridge, we mainly build complex websites. By that I mean: They are bespoke. We don’t believe in reinventing the wheel, but often, in order to create a unique user experience, we need to modify, configure and develop to diverse requirements. This requires a very deep knowledge of the content management systemsthat we use…Read more
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