Devstars http://www.devstars.com London Web Development Agency Thu, 21 May 2015 13:27:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Nana Nice Cream http://www.devstars.com/blog/nana-nice-cream/ http://www.devstars.com/blog/nana-nice-cream/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 11:14:51 +0000 http://www.devstars.com/?p=3076 Nana produce 100% dairy free ice cream made with (you guessed it) bananas. Their new website is our latest collaboration with Mystery and is a fully mobile ready responsive built using the Yii framework. As you’d expect from Mystery the design is bold, stunning, visually rich and captures the brand essence perfectly. Sites like this aren’t always […]

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Nana produce 100% dairy free ice cream made with (you guessed it) bananas.

Their new website is our latest collaboration with Mystery and is a fully mobile ready responsive built using the Yii framework.

As you’d expect from Mystery the design is bold, stunning, visually rich and captures the brand essence perfectly.

Sites like this aren’t always the easiest to code and optimise especially when dealing with everything from large desktop screens to mobile and everything in between. The site requires lots of cross platform testing and fine tuning to ensure usability is as good as the experience.

For optimisation we use a number of tools like Gtmetrix to see where improvements can be made, as you can see here getting an 98% A grade for page speed.

If you’d like to find out more about how we put stand out sites together click here.

To visit the new Nana site click below :-)

nananicecream.com

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Building a New Site for the Royal Academy of Music http://www.devstars.com/blog/building-a-new-site-for-the-royal-academy-of-music/ http://www.devstars.com/blog/building-a-new-site-for-the-royal-academy-of-music/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 08:22:01 +0000 http://www.devstars.com/?p=3003 Developing a modern website for a 200 year old internationally renowned institution takes some planning. Our design partners Mystery had already done some extensive brand development with the Academy which helped lay the foundations for our initial discussions regarding the sites focus, key functions and primary goals. From the planning meetings wireframes, site outlines and mood boards were developed […]

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Developing a modern website for a 200 year old internationally renowned institution takes some planning. Our design partners Mystery had already done some extensive brand development with the Academy which helped lay the foundations for our initial discussions regarding the sites focus, key functions and primary goals.

From the planning meetings wireframes, site outlines and mood boards were developed and all presented to the academy’s board at key points.

A very detailed technical spec accompanied by an interactive wireframe (created with Balsamic) was completed and we were ready to begin production.

One of the great things about this much planning is that when the production process begins the client and all the team have a very clear idea about what is happening and when.

The site was designed by Mystery and built by us to the agreed schedule and launched early 2015.

Since the launch we have extended the sites reach including new interfaces that pull from the database and present upcoming events via TV screens in the foyer.

Click here to visit the site

 

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Responsive WordPress site for brand design agency Mystery http://www.devstars.com/blog/responsive-wordpress-site-for-brand-design-agency-mystery/ http://www.devstars.com/blog/responsive-wordpress-site-for-brand-design-agency-mystery/#comments Tue, 06 Jan 2015 09:42:03 +0000 http://www.devstars.com/?p=3051 We’ve worked alongside Mystery for almost 10 years now. It’s a partnership that has grown with both companies supporting each other technically and creatively and has lead to some fantastic sites. Over recent years we’ve developed ground breaking sites with Mystery for Gnosh, Rebel Kitchen, Pernod Ricard and most recently the Royal Academy of Music. Our own […]

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We’ve worked alongside Mystery for almost 10 years now. It’s a partnership that has grown with both companies supporting each other technically and creatively and has lead to some fantastic sites.

Over recent years we’ve developed ground breaking sites with Mystery for Gnosh, Rebel Kitchen, Pernod Ricard and most recently the Royal Academy of Music.

Our own sites often take a back seat but working together we’ve finally got Mystery’s new responsive WordPress site live (and we hope our own Devstars site will be soon to follow).

Find out more here

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New Multilingual Site for Saliena Group http://www.devstars.com/blog/new-multilingual-site-for-saliena-group/ http://www.devstars.com/blog/new-multilingual-site-for-saliena-group/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 09:40:26 +0000 http://www.devstars.com/?p=3049 Fresh of the Devstars press is this new WordPress site for the Largest Property Development Project in Latvia. For more info click here or click here to visit the site

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Fresh of the Devstars press is this new WordPress site for the Largest Property Development Project in Latvia.

For more info click here or

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Official Taylor Swift Store http://www.devstars.com/blog/official-taylor-swift-store/ http://www.devstars.com/blog/official-taylor-swift-store/#comments Thu, 21 Nov 2013 09:29:30 +0000 http://www.devstars.com/?p=3039 We’ve just added a new merchandise store for multiple Grammy Award winner Taylor Swift. Built for leading music merchandise company Chris Cooke Management the site is part of our multi site e-commerce engine which allows clients to add new sites and manage inventory from one location. The same system is already in use by Cooke Management […]

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We’ve just added a new merchandise store for multiple Grammy Award winner Taylor Swift. Built for leading music merchandise company Chris Cooke Management the site is part of our multi site e-commerce engine which allows clients to add new sites and manage inventory from one location.

The same system is already in use by Cooke Management for The Specials, Bob Dylan and west end musicals like Singin’ in the Rain .

 

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How To Grab A Mobile Consumer http://www.devstars.com/blog/how-to-grab-the-mobile-consumer-audience/ http://www.devstars.com/blog/how-to-grab-the-mobile-consumer-audience/#comments Mon, 07 Oct 2013 16:30:35 +0000 http://www.devstars.com/?p=2449 Next time you find yourself on the bus or train, perhaps during your commute or leisure time, look around and observe one of the most important developments of the modern age: mobile internet. People exist every day with their device bound to their palms as though possessed, with fingers scrolling through emails, websites, endless documents […]

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Next time you find yourself on the bus or train, perhaps during your commute or leisure time, look around and observe one of the most important developments of the modern age: mobile internet. People exist every day with their device bound to their palms as though possessed, with fingers scrolling through emails, websites, endless documents and check-outs, absorbing a myriad of online data.

We live through our phones, communicating, purchasing, browsing and posting, and we expect every result and page to come to us in an instance. While it’s all very well to sit and observe, it’s all the more important to understand the business advantages to be gained.
Here are a few pointers and tips to help your website make the most of those scrolling fingers:

The Times They Are A Changin’
First and foremost, if you haven’t already, make sure that your site is mobile accessible in that it’s geared up for use on a tablet or smart phone. You’ll need a RWD (responsive web design) which is clever, compact and simple to navigate, some scrolling but not too much pinching.

Life In The Fast Lane
You must ensure that your website is up to speed and fast to navigate – These days, people expect pages to load within two seconds before the service is considered slow.

Big Love
Ensure that buttons, links and especially pictures are large and easy to click and view. The more time the customer spends pinching and zooming into different products the less likely they are to bring you valuable conversions. Amazon mobile and now Ebay are championing larger buttons and simple userjourneys

amazon-buttons

Get On With It
Try and keep form-filling to a minimum for mobile devices. Customers want quick transactions that they can speed through, enabling them to get on with their day. If they find themselves faffing for eons entering masses of personal info on tiny keyboards, they’ll become irritated, lose interest and kaput goes your sale.

Hello, I Love You…
Okay, maybe ask for a name, but reign in your craving for data and resist asking your mobile customers for registration. No one wants to miss their bus stop because they were too busy creating a whole online account with the website that they just wanted to quickly buy a jumper from. Ask for minimal details – If they appreciate your service they may sign up on their own accord when they have more time.

White Room
This goes without saying but keep your mobile web design stylish, spacey and uncluttered, not only will this look a lot better but your customers will thank you for the simplicity too.

white-background-ecomm

Boldly Go Forth
Ensure that your site is unique and engaging to keep the customer on the page. Surprisingly, mobile customers are easily distracted by their outside world, and captivating colours, pictures and stylish fonts and copy will hold their attention even whilst that woman falls over the curbside opposite.

Is It This You’re Looking For?
Everyone loves an easy access search bar that works, and when your time and screen space is limited, it’s all the more useful. Provide your customers with a prominent search bar where they can find exactly what they need with minimum effort on their part.

If You’re Gonna Do It – Do It Right
Devstars have helped a number of forward thinking businesses become mobile-ready using techniques which enable you to see the whole screen regardless of browser size and casually flip the layout horizontally with a twist of your device. Creative Director Martina Langer’s site was designed with a deservedly chic, stylised look which is completely mobile friendly, perfect for those viewing from a tablet. Simple features such as the mobile drop down implemented by Devstars made the difference for mobile users, providing a speedy and convenient experience..

Please call us on 01784 772405

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Get smart with rich data and microformats http://www.devstars.com/blog/get-smart-with-rich-data-and-microformats/ http://www.devstars.com/blog/get-smart-with-rich-data-and-microformats/#comments Fri, 20 Sep 2013 10:00:28 +0000 http://www.devstars.com/?p=2436 A few years back Google CEO Eric Schmidt confidently predicted that it would only be a matter of time before Google would be able to give you your search results before you typed in the query. Thankfully, this rather alarming prediction has not come to pass, mainly due to the simple reason that Google, and […]

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A few years back Google CEO Eric Schmidt confidently predicted that it would only be a matter of time before Google would be able to give you your search results before you typed in the query. Thankfully, this rather alarming prediction has not come to pass, mainly due to the simple reason that Google, and other search engines, are not as smart as he (and us for that matter) seem to think they are.

Let us explain. Search engines do not read and fully understand the content of your Web site. This applies no matter how well the site has been designed and written. All they are able to do is match the words to a specific search query. You will realise straight away here that the problem is context.

Say, for example, your Web site has the words “based in Birmingham, we sell sinks all over the world”. Google et al will pick up Birmingham and sinks as specific to you and possibly world (but try typing that into Google and seeing how many results you get). The rest of the statement is meaningless to it.

Whereas, a person reading the site who is based in Australia and looking for a sink supplier will understand immediately you are able to help but will they get to see the page? Just by typing the search in Google will not match the supplier with the customer in this case.

sinks-snippets

Rich snippets

So, what can we do to get round this? Fortunately there is something that can be done to overcome this and it’s called ‘rich snippets’. They are the few lines of text that appear under every search result and are designed to give users a sense for what’s on the page and why it’s relevant to their query.

If Google understands the content on your pages, it can create rich snippets. For example, the snippet for a restaurant might show the average review and price range. In the example we used above it could detail what you provide (sinks) and where you provide them to (globally).

Below we have a good example where a show’s website is built without rick snippets but the ticket sales site adds in the event rich snippet, resulting in a more informative summary in Google.

rich-snippets

Existing code on web sites can be adapted by wrapping certain content with tags that tell Google if the item is a product, place, person, news article, event etc.  The list is growing rapidly with Google now supporting specific tags for reciepes, films and songs for example.

If you’d like your web site adapted to support rich data and microformats or are have any questions about this please give us a call on 01784 772405 or click here to email us.

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Will moving your email provider be good for your business? http://www.devstars.com/blog/will-moving-your-email-provider-be-good-for-your-business/ http://www.devstars.com/blog/will-moving-your-email-provider-be-good-for-your-business/#comments Tue, 17 Sep 2013 13:54:17 +0000 http://www.devstars.com/?p=2425 For as long as we have been building websites, we have been managing emails to help our clients stay connected through their domains. Recently we have been re-evaluating our email providers to see if they still offer our clients the best and most secure way to manage their emails. Over the years, email has become […]

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For as long as we have been building websites, we have been managing emails to help our clients stay connected through their domains. Recently we have been re-evaluating our email providers to see if they still offer our clients the best and most secure way to manage their emails.

Over the years, email has become a more specialised web discipline as the rise and rise of spam has required more sophisticated systems to cope with the high levels of viral attack.

  • Reliability. This is the key reason to use a third party. Generally they will work hard to maintain the integrity of their mailservers and establish trust across the Internet, which means an increase in the number of your emails that are successfully delivered. With a self-hosted solution you’ll be relying on your own mailserver (or the mailserver of your web host) which could, if you’re unfortunate, get blacklisted for spamming or in many cases have its outgoing emails delayed or rejected. These problems can occur with a third party provider but they usually have a team of people constantly at hand to spend time resolving such issues.

We believe that clients should have the most secure and robust email service. We recently made the announcement to clients that we have decided to stop using the Hostgator service  and have suggested moving on to one of the following services as an alternative.

Gmail

we have been using the Google Apps suite for the past 2 years and have never looked back. The speed of search to find just the email you need is head and shoulders above Outlook. You can also help your business collaborate quicker using the Apps suite, with a calendar, document creator and storage facility to share ideas in real time. More details can be found here http://www.google.com/intx/en_uk/enterprise/apps/business/

We have a standard swap over price of £250. We include setting up the domain, creation of up to 10 users, creation of 3 groups and 30 minutes of phone training.We need access to your DNS to carry out this work.

Outlook 365

Get business-class email, a website, web conferencing, and document sharing, with no IT skills needed to manage it all. For all businesses that feel more comfortable using the microsoft office suite. Google reads and works with these formats but there are slight differences and functions.

http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/business/compare-office-365-for-business-plans-FX102918419.aspx?redir=0

Fully Managed Email services

If you think you need to get mobile and move away from your current provider please contact Greta in the office, 01784 772405 and we will help where we can.

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Social commerce is empowering your customers http://www.devstars.com/blog/social-commerce-is-empowering-your-customers/ http://www.devstars.com/blog/social-commerce-is-empowering-your-customers/#comments Thu, 23 May 2013 13:29:41 +0000 http://www.devstars.com/?p=2298 Although the term social commerce was first used way back in 2005 it has always been looked at as something for the future. Even though Facebook and Twitter have been used for buying and selling goods for some years the idea has never really caught on large-scale – but that is just about to change. […]

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Although the term social commerce was first used way back in 2005 it has always been looked at as something for the future. Even though Facebook and Twitter have been used for buying and selling goods for some years the idea has never really caught on large-scale – but that is just about to change.

Buyers have been driving this by ‘liking’ or ‘tweeting’ what they have bought through social media and the sellers have been scratching their heads wondering how they can best take advantage of this. The experience of organisations like Gap has shown that is not just a case of taking their usual in-store or e-commerce approach and putting it onto social media platforms. The Brand’s global ‘Be Bright’ campaign was anchored with a new social hub site at the Styld.by URL. The site takes on the style of a blog but promotes the products through most social channels.

screenshot.614 screenshot.613 screenshot.612

Converting ‘likes’ to sales

A whole new approach is required, one that is best exemplified by Pinterest, a social media site setup for retailers to interact with potential customers. By focusing on striking visuals and imagery it offers the ideal platform for lifestyle brands to reach out to customers. Successful retail users of this site have realised that by allowing a potential customer the ability to click through on a compelling image it is more likely to create a sale than just putting a complete catalogue online. We are pleased to highlight the good work by Plum Baby on setting up and running their own Pinterest board, it is gaining momentum quickly!

Pinterest is not alone; there is now a whole raft of tools as well as add-on functionality for businesses on sites like Facebook, so retailers need to be looking closely how best to engage. Even those retailers with extensive investment in ‘bricks and mortar’ stores, like Tesco, are testing the water. Tesco have just launched a social commerce wine site that allows buyers to club together to purchase wine at discounted prices.

The company driving the Tesco wine push is Buyapowa , they sum up the current business model as ” Your key distribution partners are used to buying at one price, retail customers at another. They are also used to having influence over your range where the general public are not. All that has changed – now your actual customers have the potential to become key distribution partners themselves.”

So what is in it for the end customer apart from spreading your products around their networks? Well buyapower say it more than that, “The buyer who brings in most other buyers gets their product free. So they do it again – and so the cycle continues”. A very powerful marketing tool indeed.

So, if you are in the retail space, start looking at social commerce now!

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It’s a mobile future – make sure you’re ready for it! http://www.devstars.com/blog/its-a-mobile-future-make-sure-youre-ready-for-it/ http://www.devstars.com/blog/its-a-mobile-future-make-sure-youre-ready-for-it/#comments Thu, 16 May 2013 11:40:22 +0000 http://www.devstars.com/?p=2272 What is called the post-PC era is rapidly gaining pace according to a raft of recent statistics. For those of you baffled by this term, the post-PC era is defined as the trend of declining PC sales in favour of mobile devices such as Smartphones and tablets. You might think such an event is something […]

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What is called the post-PC era is rapidly gaining pace according to a raft of recent statistics. For those of you baffled by this term, the post-PC era is defined as the trend of declining PC sales in favour of mobile devices such as Smartphones and tablets.

You might think such an event is something for the future but actually (according to VC firm KBPC) global PC shipments were overtaken by Smartphone and tablet shipments back in Q4 2010. It is also predicted that the global installed base of PCs will fall behind Smartphones and tablets by Q2 this year. Interestingly, according to MIT, Smartphones are spreading faster than any previous technology in human history – from 5% to 40% in 4 years!

global-shipments-smartphones

Is your Web site ready?

As a user of mobile technology you will have no issue with this, but as business owner who needs to promote your goods and services over the Internet, have you considered the implications for your online promotion strategy?

In particular your Web site that was designed a few years ago may look great on 15” laptop, but what does it look like on 4” Smartphone screen? Do all the key messages appear on the screen, or does your potential customer have to scroll down or across to see what you are offering? Do the menus still work or are they obscured?

 

Device responsive sites are the future

The fact is you now have to ensure your Web site has been designed and coded to cope with the post-PC era. It needs to be able to adapt to whatever device it is being viewed on to ensure the key messages/themes are displayed to best advantage.

This is something Devstars understands. We are already building device responsive sites like http://www.martinalanger.com/ that display perfectly, whatever the device. So, make sure you’re ready for the mobile future and have another look at your Web site – on a mobile device.

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