We’re now into February and I really can’t believe how quick January went. I’ve been working on many different projects to kick off 2018, which has been super exciting. From local businesses in Herefordshire, to some web design work with London based clients.
If you haven’t heard, not only am I a freelance web designer, I’ve now launched a brand new digital web design agency, Ryan Gittings. It’s been really exciting to be able to cater for all types of clients. It’s the same service, just a new name and an infrastructure to allow for growth on my part. I found myself having two main different types of clients, larger businesses who need that assurance of a bigger design agency and the smaller clients who want someone personal to deal with. By having both, I cater for all requirements without any sacrifices.
I still very much enjoy working with individuals, startups and all types of businesses who I’ve enjoyed working with over the past 3-4 years.
Our First Project of 2018
On behalf of Ryan Gittings, our first project of 2018 was UpTick. UpTickXL connects Excel, securely and in real time, with anything. Trusted for mission-critical applications by leading global trading firms.
We wanted to really build an engaging small site that expressed personality, identity and really focuses on the product. With engaging interactions, unique design and powerful visual language. I couldn’t be prouder with the final outcome!
You can view the brand new website for UpTick, here.
Personally, I’ve been working hard to try and improve some technical elements of the sites I build. I’ve been working harder than ever before to make websites load as fast as they can, utilise latest technology to provide breakthrough experiences and a seamless browsing experience. It’s never been a better time to explore new technology. Browser support generally these days is pretty consistent, compared to previous browsers.
Lean & Mean
Thanks to Bullets, I’ve reduced my CSS and JS file sizes massively. It’s made my foundation lightweight, lean and makes me think about every byte of file-size. I’ve also been working with Webpack to build modern JS structures that are easy to maintain and manage. It’s allowed me to approach larger projects with confidence that I can deliver a website that performs brilliantly, and works well technically.
I recently read Design Systems by Alla Kholmatova, which I’d highly recommend. It made me think about websites in a new way, trying to breakdown elements into these reusable components to make the front-end easier to manage, whilst making code cleaner and easier to find. It’s made me think about my use of SASS and how I structure the files that make up the bundled CSS. I tend to create files on a component basis now, which really satisfies my OCD when it comes to clean code.
I used CSS Grid for the first time on the Ryan Gittings site in our work section. It allows for a dynamic structured layout that break boundaries rather than just being a flat grid.
I had a really cool time experimenting, learning and prototyping some ideas for it’s uses and I can’t wait to start doing cool implementations in client work.
Over the Christmas period, I built the Ryan Gittings website with Craft CMS. I wanted to explore the popular options available having used both Perch CMS, and Wordpress previously. My initial impression of Craft CMS are that it’s a fantastic option for medium to large sites. It’s definitely going to be part of our toolkit for both Ryan Gittings and all my freelance clients. I recently posted an article comparing both Craft CMS and Perch CMS which you may be interested in reading.
I recently took part in my first ever official photoshoot. We worked with Shooting Reels to create some new videography and photography. We worked with the Shooting Reels team to create a client case study and a promotional video for Ryan Gittings. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and I’m super excited to see it all come to life.
We were super impressed with the team and we’re looking forward to working with them again in the future, I couldn’t recommend them highly enough.
It’s Always About Results
I’m now in a position to manage websites for clients with confidence as I've delivered results time after time reassuring both me and the client that I offer value for money. I now incorporated digital marketing campaigns and strategy to all clients and work with them actively on improving the website in all areas, from technical implementations to detail like text content and architecture tailoring. We’ve been working hard on some small digital campaigns for our clients. Some initial statistics for January:
- 197.75% increase in traffic from organic search compared to previous period for Golden Valley Inflatables
- Our new agency site is appearing #2 for “web design Hereford” just a month after launch
- The Practical Dev post I created has been liked 130 times on Twitter and retweeted twice by the team, “How to Structure a Homepage”
- Valley Yurts have seen an increase in rankings from bottom of page 2 to number 2 for the keywords they’re wanting to optimise. We’re going get them to number 1.
What’s Coming Up?
In terms of Ryan Gittings, we’re working on some large projects for a variety of different clients, which we’re going to be sharing, so watch this space. We’re also looking forward to sharing our brand new promotional videos.
We’re also going to be posting some results on our social media, @bykingfisher. I’d love to know about what self improvements you’ve made so far this year, feel free to Tweet us!