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Just a few days before christmas we relaunched our own agency website at schwarzdesign.de using ProcessWire! The old Drupal-based site was getting a bit outdated, we wanted to rebuilt it with fewer, more focused content pages, clean & minimalistic design and better performance for mobile visitors. Note that the site copy is only available in German.
After a couple of successful ProcessWire projects such as Engfer Consulting and Joachim Kobuss, we decided to use it for our own site as well, mostly for it's small footprint and developer-focused API.
We also have a dedicated ProcessWire page on our new site, check it out here!
ProFields Automatically Link Page Titles TinyPNG Image Compression Color Tracy Debugger Sitemap Duplicator ALIF - Admin Links In Frontend A focus on content
We went for a minimalistic approach with a limited set of design elements to highlight our content, which is mostly copy about our services and approach to web design. The two-column layout is built with a single Repeater Matrix section with fields for left and right copy, left and right images and a couple of display options for column width and alignment. Other Repeater Matrix types include a full-width image with some additional links (used on the homepage), teaser sections for current news and projects as well as a list of services.
We used dedicated page types (templates) for services, projects and news. This allowed us to use those as taxonomies for our reference projects, and create cross-references to those pages in one go. For this purpose, there's also a dedicated CMS template and pages for all Content-Management-Systems we use, allowing us to categorize our projects and news in regards to the CMS used and show appropriate pages in the recommended content sections.
Server-side, we use the ProcessWire page cache to minimize server response times, as well as Cache-Control headers and GZIP compression to make sure all assets are as lightweight as possible and cached client-side. One problem we had were the large header images requiring transparency. We ended up combining a couple of approaches to minimize image loading times:
SVG assets where possible (for example, all the service pages (Kompetenzen) use SVG for the header images. Responsive images to serve the smallest possible image for each device. PNG compression using the TinyPNG service and the TinyPNG module. This had possibly the highest impact, sometimes reducing the image size by about 80%! Design highlights
One of the adornments of the site are the large, variable sized header images. Position and size can be controlled through the backend: We built display settings for size in viewport width or height, vertical and horizontal alignment as well as optional offsets. The header images are fixed to the viewport, so they always stay in the background. The blurred background uses CSS filters, with a fallback to a simple opacity reduction for older browsers.
As a gimmick, there is a light and a dark theme for the website, the latter being the default. You can switch between themes using the sun icon in the menu. On the technical sides, both themes have their own stylesheets, compiled using the same SASS source files with different variables. Only the active theme's CSS is directly loaded on the site, the other is included as a preloaded asset. The active theme is saved in the session, so it stays active for the duration of the browser session.
For our reference projects (Referenzen), we replaced the background color with the primary color of the project (each project has a color field for that purpose). We determine the luminance of the primary color programmatically to find if the color has higher contrast to black or white, and use the light or dark theme accordingly.
Our agency website is not exactly new, because we relaunched it late 2014. At this time we have build it with the CMS Contao and Bootstrap as framework. Although I always liked our website, I was never quiet happy with it. Contao is a great CMS, but knowing ProcessWire it felt tedious managing content. Also it limited me as a developer.
So the past months I have rebuild our website with ProcessWire and switched the framework to UIkit, because it made a good first impression on me and I wanted to learn it. Now I am happy with our website, because it is cleaner, faster, easier to manage and more optimized for search engines.
ProFields ProCache Map Marker Pages2JSON Markup Sitemap XML Tracy Debugger Email Obfuscation Regards, Andreas
Was wondering if any of you had any recommendations for where to advertise for a small agency partner?
Ideally someone who's preferred area is graphic design/logos, though not necessarily.
The idea is to be part of a two or three man/woman team working with small/medium-sized companies throughout the Midlands/Cotswolds area.
Currently have an office in Solihull.
Obviously advertising on here too, in case there are any interested parties!
Any thoughts/ pointers would be appreciated.