Time for a refresh
The previous website for spidrweb.co.uk was built using GeneratePress and Elementor.
While at the time of being built in 2019, it was a site that delivered what we needed back then.
As time went on, we needed extra functionality that Elementor was lacking. Besides perfmormance was also a key factor.
It was also a good time to bring Spidrweb’s stronger colours and newer branding into the mix.
The new site for Spidrweb needed the following features:
- Simple home page
- Comprehensive services
- Comprehensive projects
- Addition of sectors
- Addition of new custom portal (coming soon)
- Removal of hubspot
- Removal of WooCommerce (in favour of custom portal)
While most of the above was achieveable with the old site – the portal part has been our stumbling block.
So the decision was made to build our own WordPress theme which gives us greater flexibility. It also allows us to keep the site very lean. (53kb zipped).
With so many great premium themes on the market, we could have just purchased a theme and delivered a site within next to no time. However there are always shortfalls with premium themes for building business websites.
Chances are at some point there will need to be custom functions, styling or JS to get a premium theme working as you want.
So if we end up doing that, why not just write your own theme in the first place?
So we built our own theme.
Our development platform is a Docker solution with WordPress instances. This allows us to quickly spin up test environments.
VSCode is our weapon of choice when writing HTML, PHP, CSS, JS etc.
Only one plugin is used in development and that is the official Gutenberg plugin. The Gutenberg plugin gives extra functionality that is not available to WordPress core.
And thats pretty much all you need for developing a custom theme.
Theres only a handful of plugins used on this site. When it comes to having a fast and lean website you do not need much.
- Gutenberg – This gives us the extra features that WordPress core doesnt have (yet).
- Formidable Forms – This amazing form software helps us with contact forms. As web developers, the Elite version gives us so many options and flexibility. The spidrweb portal is where this product comes alive!
- Rank Math – We love the simplicity of this SEO plugin.
- Spidrweb WPaaS worker – This is our plugin for remotely managing and monitoring the site.
Maybe you need a new website, why not get in touch!