I am guilty of not celebrating the business wins that have consistently been happening over the last number of years, so this blog post is to try and rectify a small amount of that. The web design and web development work from the amazing team in Wibble have seen us rise to one of the best web design and development studios in the UK and Ireland.
One project that reflects our level of web development and, specifically, web management expertise is the public tender that we have won for the support and management of a suite of websites under the control of the HSC – Health and Social Care is the publicly funded healthcare system in Northern Ireland, which is a massive project for us to win.
I can’t stress enough how important the HSC is to the people of Northern Ireland, especially since the start of the pandemic and we won this tender in October 2020, right in the middle of the covid crisis. I felt Wibble now were playing a small but important role in the communications of vital information to the people, a critical part of the management of the covid crisis.
We were requested to tender for this project with the summary of “… requires third party support for a custom developed HSCNI WordPress Theme currently used to publish and content manage a number of HSC websites.” – this tender was absolutely perfect for us, we have built an entire service around the management and support of WordPress websites that we have not built – The Wibble Rescue Package is built for this – we could not have been invited to a more perfect tender for us.
We are a web design and web development studio, without question, but I also see us as a phenomenal web management and web support agency – website management and WordPress support is what I have built this whole business around, we put a massive amount of emphasis on supporting the websites under our control and reviews and testimonials from our clients reflect this. Our reviewers regularly leave reviews like the below examples and they regularly speak of the team and the support that they receive in their web design projects:
Couldn’t recommend Wibble enough. Not only are they highly skilled in what they do, the customer service and the team really push this company above the rest for us. The support team are fantastic.Obbi Solutions
Wibble are exceptional at what they do, they specialise in high end WordPress design, build and support… Wibble are unparalleled in service, standards and professionalism, I was so impressed by the support and expertise they providedDepartment of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs
Professional Management of WordPress sites
One key aspect of the Wibble Rescue Package is we can take any WordPress website built by a web studio or using any WordPress theme and manage it – taking care of all updates, edits, patches etc. The WordPress themes being used by the HSC suite of websites were not built and developed by Wibble, they were built by another developer. However, this makes no difference to us, with our experience of building high end, massively bespoke websites using this CMS, taking over and managing WordPress sites built elsewhere is relatively straightforward for us.
In this project, we are not responsible for the WordPress core updates or plugin updates but we are managing the functional changes to the themes themselves. Working with the HSC web team we run, test and deploy our changes to a dev server before bundling and shipping them for the HSC team to deploy to the live server – which are being seen by tens of thousands of people every day and providing a key web resource for the people of Northern Ireland.
Our initial involvement was to fix a number of bugs that existed in the themes and be there as an outsourced support team for the HSC BSO ITS team. We worked on an approved process for the testing, deployment and backup of all changes. One key process that we felt was missing from the previous developers was a version control system – we created a GIT repo so that we could track, collaborate or roll back changes the site – this was not in place and something we insisted upon for the good of the project. We applied how we build websites and what our well-rehersed web design process is to make the process of pushing changes, quicker, trackable and less risky.
Website accessibility improvements
The latest part of our support and maintenance project for this suite of websites is to review and improve the accessibility of the websites for use by individuals with disabilities. We have collaborated along with the HSC team and an English company that are experts in accessibility audits and improvements to push a swathe of changes to the website themes. This is an ongoing process and is under constant review but I am very proud of the impact that we will have on making the HSC sites more accessible to users. This will make an improvement to the usability of these sites for thousands and thousands of people and this is something I can’t help but be proud of.
Accessibility is something we, as a company, are putting much more emphasis on – it would be easy for us to ignore accessibility but we are building in accessibility improvements into our base Wibble theme by default – this is the starter theme we use for all web design projects that we undertake. Taking on the responsibility for improving the accessibility of our websites, without being requested to do so, is a big step for us and one we hope will help the users of all the websites that we design and develop. In the design stage of our web design projects, we make accessibility considerations – foreground to background contrast, font size, form labels, not placing text on images etc are all part of our web design process. These are small steps but critical ones that individuals with disabilities require and depend upon to use websites.
This tender was open to all web design and web development studios to tender for and we won it based on our expertise in managing and supporting existing WordPress websites. This is something that I am exceptionally proud of.
The work the HSC do for the health and well being of the people of Northern Ireland is amazing and the fact that we help the HSC to make this process a little easier, I’m delighted.