Dockside Case Study

Thoughts on a quick site build

The Problem

I’ve known El and Steve for a long time. I’ve practiced at Dockside Studios for 20yrs and have known El longer than that as she used to drive my band around when we were gigging in Bristol and non of us could drive (yup, playing drums for 30 years, driving for 6 - you do the math)

Over lockdown El and Steve had an email from their website provider saying that the product they were using (Mr. Site Builder) was being retired and that they would be charged a fee to be moved onto a new platform.

The amount that they were being charged wasn’t, in my opinion, astronomical or unreasonable but it was a large amount when your business is shut and can’t make any money. I’d also offered to look at the site for them as a project earlier in the year as it was non-mobile and looked pretty dated.

The deadlines were pretty tight and I needed to move the site from the existing hosting to a new one in under 2 weeks.

The Solution

I needed to build a site, move the content and get it live in about 8 days. I’d been using Jekyll (which is a static site generator) for a while and knew that I could use that to build a very fast, mobile responsive site.

Jekyll to the rescue

I didn’t want to spend ages using a really complex CMS or have sub-standard performance from an unoptimised wordpress site. I wanted to build it quickly and ensure good mobile performance

The Compromise

Building it like this has meant there are compromises. El and Steve can’t update it themselves (yet!) as I hacked it together in about 10 hours. Amends are really minimal so this set-up hasn’t caused any problems.

Little Tweaks

  • I optimised all the images and brought the whole site down to under the size of some of the images.
  • I optimised page titles and set-up service pages.
  • I retook some of the photos to get some better resolution images.
  • Ensured that the CTA was clear on all main pages.
  • Updated copy and redid some older, out of date, text.
  • Stripped out unused CSS that wasn’t being used
  • Cleaned up a odd URL structure
  • Ensured that the internal linking was pretty solid
  • Installed GA
  • Set-up Search Console
  • Redirected all old URLs to new URLs

87/100 is pretty good

The Results

The site has been live for a couple of months and the lighthouse scores are great - speed index of 1.6s and everything under 3 seconds is pretty good. The migration worked and all new pages are now indexed

Get in touch

If you want to have a chat over email or a coffee, email me or message me on linkedin.