New website for research project on voting rights for Britons living abroad

Britons Voting Abroad
We've just completed a large website that tries to throw some light on the hot topic of voting rights for British citizens living overseas. This is a major resource with many links to academic publications, research papers, journals, blogs, detailed PDFs, procedural documents and much, much more. Because the site is so text heavy, we used a lightweight theme, with a simple, powerful banner image. Behind the scenes there's a custom content management system which looks after nearly all of the content and allows the client to change text and add new research material/discussion papers, together with links to associated PDFs and so on. Interaction with visitors is encouraged and we used the free version of Vanilla Forums to create a message board where people can express their opinions and exchange ideas on this subject.

New e-commerce website for musician

Dave Pegg
Dave Pegg, the renowned English bass player and member of folk-rockers Fairport Convention approached us to create a website, primarily to publicise and sell his autobiography - Off The Pegg. Being a canny musician, he didn't want to pay on-going fees for an e-commerce platform so we found a shopping plugin that came with a one-off price and no monthly charges. We set this up to work solely with PayPal and created a whole bunch of shipping rules to handle postage around the world. Over time the site will grow and incorporate other elements of his life and work but for now, there's just the book and a simple blog page for news and announcements.

New website for Bach Flower Remedy therapist

Bach Flower Remedies portfolio
Here's a new website we've just finished for a registered practitioner of Bach Flower Remedies, based in the lovely city of Edinburgh - probably our second favourite city...We used an elegant, classic-looking theme from Michael David Designs which features a nice vertical navigation menu and a really well-implemented mobile one, and only tweaked the theme's settings slightly because it felt so well-suited to the project 'out-of-the-box'. The theme has a nice built-in slideshow and we added a responsive FAQ accordion, an inexpensive blog hosted via Tumblr, a contact page with map and a brief description of services. The site performS well on mobile devices and took only three days to build from scratch because the client was organised, engaged with the process, provided speedy feedback and - most important of all - had nearly all of the content ready before work began.

New website for local tree surgeon

Sussex Tree Works
We've just finished a new site for a local tree surgeon, Sussex Tree Works. This well-established Sussex-based firm wanted a site that was simple, showed off the company's range of services, and performed well on mobile devices. We added several before-and-after slides to the Services page so visitors can see immediately the results of procedures such as a Crown Reduction of Hedge Management and we also added a simple feed from Instagram which allows Geoff and his team to upload photos and captions of any works in progress. This keeps the site current in a straightforward and immediate way and doesn't involve any complicated and time-consuming content management.

Revamped design for band website

Dylan Project
The Dylan Project website needed a bit of a wash and brush up. The fundamentals were there already but the chaps felt it needed cleaning up and wanted to move away from the one-page scrolling model they'd used before. We paired the existing content with a new Rapidweaver theme which allows for a big, bold banner area that still integrates well with the existing design, colour scheme and content. The result is a slick, responsive site that will last the band for years to come. The Dylan Project will tour again this winter and if you're a fan of Bob, this is the band that he deserves. Check them out.

New website for Lewes-based flat racing trainer

Lewes-based horse racing trainer Suzi Best needed a simple website produced at speed that would still allow her to update the front page herself and also add new photographs to a gallery. Time was of the essence so we chose a theme that let us use a large 'hero' style header image on each page, added a live feed to Instagram for new photos, and incorporated a very basic content management system (CMS) so news could be added to the front page. Top it off with a contact form and a map - which also offers personalised travel directions - and the whole site took just over a day from start to finish.

New website for Brighton-based band

The Complete Set
Some clients are happy to leave the design of their website to us, while others come with firm ideas about what they want - and don't want. The Complete Set - a loose collection of Brighton-based musicians who meet, record and play intermittently - had a very clear sense of what the site needed to look like and provided a selection of remarkable photographs that we collaged and then turned responsive, so that they worked well on mobile devices. We added a News page so that the band could add news - new recordings, 'tours', and other musings - whenever they liked and a Band page with links to their Soundcloud presence. The result is quite unlike anything we've built before.

New website for criminal defence lawyer

We've just finished a new website for a Brighton-based solicitor specialising in criminal defence - Tildens Ltd. The site incorporates a bespoke content management system (CMS) which allows the client to change the text on many of the pages along with the list of costs for individual services; there's also a full-featured blog which feeds the latest posts to the front page of the site. What made this site really fun to do was the client's visual sense. Each page is topped by a classic photo from the 50s, 60s or 70s, showing either recognisable public figures (yes, that is Mick Jagger) or memorable scenes from the news that many visitors will remember - for example, the scene from the miner's strike on the home page.

The brief was to keep the site clean, use a minimal colour scheme, add multiple contact forms, plus buttons so that visitors can contact the company using Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp on their smartphones.

New website for childrens' book illustrator

Emily Bolam blog entry
We've just finished a new website for children' book illustrator Emily Bolam and it was a treat from start to finish. Emily came to us with a clear idea of what she wanted from the site and some references from other websites so we could get a good visual feel of what she was looking for.

As with any website where the visuals are the star attraction, we felt it was the job of the design to get out of the way, so decided to keep things as simple as possible - nice tidy sans serif body and navigation and a hand-drawn Google font for the main title. The rollovers on the front page disappear on tablets and smartphones, but the galleries work well across all devices - visitors can use a mouse or trackpad on their computer and simply swipe from side to side if they're using a touchscreen device.

Thanks to Emily's organisation and enthusiasm, the whole thing was completed within a week of her first getting in touch. This is a great example of how you can save money on a website if you're organised and prepared to respond quickly as new versions of the site are uploaded.

Website for business to business company

Darwin Cooper
The key with this new business to business website was to match the company's existing, related site. As an established buyer and seller of businesses in the UK it was important that the new site matched the livery and style of the other site. We used the free-form Foundation framework to match the existing site in lots of different ways but softened the overlays and panels by introducing subtle corners to each one. We mimicked the fonts closely as well, in order to deliver a looked-for 'family feel' so that the site would immediately feel as if it came from the same stable.

In terms of copy, we went for slightly more casual, friendly tone of voice, since the business at hand is often a very personal matter - a vocation more than just another job - and the client wanted to communicate clearly how well the company understands the specific needs of the veterinarian community.

New website for Electrician in Hove

GB Electrical
When Geoff at GB Electrical Installations Ltd came to us he already had a website but felt it didn't reflect the nature of his business as well as it should. The site was too wordy, difficult to navigate and placed too much emphasis on the domestic side of the business, whereas in fact, the company does mainly commercial work - mostly in schools and larger firms. We kept some of the look and feel of the existing site - horizontal navigation, same logo (though re-done in a more modern, flat style) and a similar colour scheme, but opened the design up, made it properly responsive - so it works well on smaller devices like mobile phones and tablets - and added some funky masonry portfolios which are able to incorporate photos of different shapes and sizes. The result is a slick, simple, easy to navigate modern website which didn't cost the earth.

New website for local accounting firm

Walker Brown
We've just finished a complete re-design of a website for Walker Brown, a firm of accountants based in Southwick but serving Brighton, Worthing and the rest of Sussex. The company had run their own website for a while using an online website builder, but had discovered that it didn't allow them to produce something that looked good, got their message across and was mobile-friendly. We used the Foundation framework as the basis for the site, added a simple slider with some compelling message text animated on top and then linked the site to a specially created Tumblr blog. In addition we added a small, friendly content management system that allows the company to add useful links to go alongside the blog in the sidebar. The whole site was delivered on time and to budget.

New website for exhibitions project manager

Hamish MacGillivray, a freelance exhibitions project manager came to us because his existing website was too fragmented and disorganised; he had plenty of material and a good story to tell but it just needed knocking into shape and incorporating into a new, responsive design. Hamish is a great user of notebooks so we found a theme which echoed this and used it as the basis for the site. The front page is a blog powered by Tumblr, while his CV is presented in the form of an innovative timeline. The website build went quickly and easily and on-budget, at least in part because Hamish had all the materials he wanted to use pretty much ready to go; and as the site developed he was very good at providing feedback so we both knew we were moving in the right direction. Here's a link to the new Acme Museum Services website.

New website for solicitor

Wisdomlaw is a solicitor based in Hove which specialises in dental negligence claims. Since it's probably not a good idea to show images of dental disasters it was important to get across the three main planks of the company's offering as quickly as possible - hence the banner photo montage showing a library, an open mouth and Brighton Pavilion; this establishes the company as authoritative, local and tells visitors very clearly that the service is associated with dentistry. The centrepiece of the site is a relatively complex form which allows visitors to provide the background to their potential claim and which is designed to respond with an automatic email outlining the next steps.

New website for local beauty salon

Just before Christmas we finished another new website, this time for Maison de Beauté, an exclusive beauty salon right here in Hove. The brief was to create something simple that matched the brand's existing marketing materials - especially the printed brochure which gets handed out to clients and prospective clients. We used the Elite theme as well as a great little price list stack which performs really well on small devices - there are a lot of prices on this site. The client chose photographs from iStock but going forward hopes to get personalised shots of actual clients to use on the site. The result is a professional-level site, produced on a budget in less than a week from start to finish. Sometimes these short jobs are among our favourites because you're able to really concentrate on the getting things done, making design decisions quickly and still delivering a great website.

New musician's website

Fraser for blog
We've just completed a complete overhaul of Fraser Nimmo's website. This Scottish singer, songwriter and actor came to us with a brief to modernise his original site, to make it more expansive, while preserving the majority of the content. And of course, to make it responsive so that it works well across all devices and won't be ignored by Google if someone searches for it on a smartphone or tablet. 

We used the Strata theme from Nick Cates Design - the first time we've used one of Nick's themes in a while - and were impressed at how easy to use and flexible it was; and how light on its feet. At a time when some themes seem over-burdened with 'stuff' to the detriment of their overall performance, Strata is a positive midget and damn well flies along. 

Elsewhere we used Doobox' Montage stack for the gallery and Yuzool's Cart stack for the online shop - still the nicest, simplest implementation of a Paypal shop we've seen.

Bensleys Timber Maintenance

We've just completed a new website for Brighton-based Bensleys Timber Maintenance. The brief was to produce a modern, responsive website that emphasised the benefits of looking after all aspects of timber in your house, while demonstrating Bensleys' experience and technical expertise. We used a series of thumbnails and light boxes to show different forms of damp proofing, treatment and timber maintenance in action and the client provided all the technical details for the associated captions. We used simple candid snaps of the three principals to emphasise the friendly, family nature of the company and how it prides itself on personal service. We used the Boutique theme from Themeflood for this site, together with the Masonry stack from Seydesign and the Hunter stack from Doobox.

Brighton Happy - connecting people through play

Brighton Happy
We're delighted to have been part of an extraordinary new venture called Brighton Happy - Connecting people through play. It's a remarkable new business based here in Brighton which is designed to help teams of people within organisations large and small, work together more harmoniously. Is it team building? Yes Jim, but not as we know it. Instead, Brighton Happy uses a carefully tailored selection of group games to help people understand and relate to each other more effectively in ways that are fun and challenging. We built the website using a heavily modified version of the Solstice theme from Themeflood and it works well across all platforms and screen sizes.

Pop up websites

Mint blog entry
Although there's no real right or wrong way to build a website (well there is actually, but that's a blog for another time) Rapidweaver, the program created right here in Brighton by Realmac Software and our development app of choice, is rather good at getting a website out of the door - fast. Take Mint Corporate Clothing. The company came to us needing a corporate clothing website that integrated two existing stores and created a simple but compelling visual brand; and the clock was ticking. Thanks to the excellent Solstice theme and one or two nifty stacks we were able to put the site together in days and have it up and running shortly afterwards. So if you need good value corporate logo clothing, you know where to go.

New educational website

New-Cilt website
This is the first site we've created using the Freestack Responsive theme. Rather than behaving like a conventional Rapidweaver theme, Freestack is a blank canvas onto which you can drop the various elements that go to make up a page design. This means it offers fantastic flexibility when it comes to custom design - you can essentially achieve any 'look' that you like. This site was for an educational consultant who specialises in making language learning an integral part of the primary school curriculum. It features a blog hosted on Blogger but designed to fit in with the rest of the site's style, together with a Mailchimp signup form which allows subscribers to access to regularly updated content to help with lessons in the classroom.

Website for Hove property consultant

Bowden Property Consulting
We've just completed a new site for a local business here in sunny Hove, Bowden Property Consulting. The brief was pretty simple but we needed a way of presenting lots of information in an easy-to-navigate, friendly way. We chose a nice accordion - decked out in the company livery - to go through the different services on offer (and there were a lot of them) and a montage effect for the various portfolio photographs. The site's responsive so it works well on the smaller devices that everyone's using these days, and uses one of our favourite themes - Solstice from Themeflood - tailored to suit Bowden's requirements. The blog is based on Google's Blogger platform but styled to work as part of the website so the client can update it whenever they like without having to come back to us.

New website for accent reduction specialist

We’ve just finished a new site for Speakeasy London, which specialises in accent reduction. The owner, Emily wanted a simple, contemporary site which emphasised the location of her business - hence the choice of logo - and also the use of .london as the URL. We added a private client area courtesy of a PHP script which allows her to upload lessons for each individual client and manage their preparation for ongoing lessons; the section requires a user name and password login. The site took about a month from start to finish and is up and running at Speakeasy London.

A new look for Hove Web Design

The cobbler’s children are always the last to be shod so they say, and it’s certainly be true for us. Nevertheless, we’ve finally made it and Hove Web Design has a brand new look. We’ve re-designed the logo to give it a contemporary feel and made the site full width so there’s more of a sense of space. Most important, we’ve made it responsive so it’s easier to navigate on mobile devices. Since more and more people are going online with phones and tablets, it’s important that websites follow suit, adjusting their content to suit the size of screen that they’re being viewed on.
Hove Web Design for blog

Ilsa Brittain - figurative painter

Ilsa Brittain web site slide
Something slightly different - a pop-up website if you will. We found the domain, registered it, sorted out the hosting, designed the site and had the whole thing up in just over 24 hours. The centrepiece is a Flickr gallery which displays on two pages and allows the artist to update the content herself whenever she pleases. There’s also a Mailchimp form so that visitors can sign up to receive new whenever Ilsa adds a new painting to her collection and the whole thing is wrapped in another excellent Themeflood theme.

Family History website

Bromley Coppard blog screen shot
We’ve just completed a new family history website - a bit of a first for us over at Hove Web Design. The client was keen to present the different parts of his family history in book-style chapters rather than using a conventional family tree so we came up with a way displaying each one in a pop up lightbox that allows visitors to scroll through each chapter. The text and graphics are prepared in PowerPoint which the client is comfortable using and then saved as PDFs which sit on the server and are ‘called’ whenever a visitor triggers the lightbox by clicking on an image thumbnail. The index on the last page is actually an Excel spreadsheet which is called into the site and styled using a bit of jiggery-pokery, and is also searchable so visitors can find family members easily.

The Paint Pot Men

Paint Pot Men blog photo
Meet Nik and Ben, otherwise known as the Paint Pot Men, interior and exterior painters and decorators working in Brighton and Hove and beyond. We were asked to design a website that reflected the boys’ sense of fun as well as their professionalism and attention to detail. The site is small but beautifully formed (well, we would say that) with a slideshow and testimonials on the front page, before and after examples on page two which work on mouseover (or by tapping on a touch screen device) as well as a Tumblr blog, integrated into the site that they can update whenever they like.

Pet Bereavement Care For All

Pet Bereavement Care For All blog
’Tis another new site, this time for Anji Baker, a pet bereavement counsellor based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Anji wanted a simple site, low on graphics and high on content to give her counselling service a presence on the Internet. It comprises a home page which introduces Anji and what she does, a more detailed description of how the counselling service works and what people can expect and an enquiry form. Moving forward we may add a booking form and payment system, but that’s for the future.

River Running

This is the web site of angling writer Rob Beattie. Rob's the author of 101 Golden Rules of Fishing and a regular contributor to Waterlog, the world's finest angling magazine. He wanted a site with all the benefits of a blog, including the ability to update it from anywhere - even his iPhone - support for RSS feeds so that visitors could subscribe and entries organised by date; but he also wanted it to look like a 'proper' web site, with its own web address, banner slideshow and so on. We were happy to oblige. (Note: eagle-eyed visitors will realise that Rob Beattie (the angling author) and Hove Web Design (the site you're looking at) are one and the same person. Who cares? We liked the site so much we wanted to feature it anyway.

Ummagumma Creative Design

We’ve just finished another new site for a designer in Newhaven. Andrew Easton is a well-established designer trading under the name of Ummagumma Creative Design. He works extensively with a wide range of quality book publishers and also does a considerable amount of corporate work, designing all kinds of print materials, stationery, logos and letterheads. Andrew felt it was important to have a site that let his work speak for itself so we put together a simple design with portfolio pages that showcased a selection of his designs. By minimising the graphical elements elsewhere on the site we were able to make sure that the designs themselves were the focus of attention.

The Dylan Project

Here's the web site we've just completed for The Dylan Project - something of a supergroup of the folk, rock and blues world featuring the talents of Steve Gibbons, Dave Pegg, PJ Wright, Phil Bond and Gerry Conway. The chaps wanted a simple clean site to support their tours and promote their CDs; we pitched in with a nice photo slide show and are looking forward to adding more features like a blog, or maybe some social media stuff. Early days, but the band needed the site up quickly for their Winter tour and fortunately we were able to turn it around in less than a week. They’re touring in November and December and we suggest you check out the web site to keep up to date with what they’re up to. But then of course, we would...

Lea Velez

Here’s another new site for a screenwriter and script doctor based in Madrid, Spain. Lea wanted a simple site with plenty of white space to use as an electronic calling card for her work in the Spanish TV and film industry. We set up a showreel page with links to some her many videos on YouTube and added a blog that she can update herself. This allows her to have control over the content and keep the site fresh when it suits her, rather than having to keep coming back to us. It’s also more cost-effective to manage new content in this way.

Helen Watson

Helen Watson's web site
We’re delighted to have just signed off on Helen Watson’s new web site. Helen’s one of the country’s finest jazz-blues singers with a back catalogue and track record to match the very best. She tours as a solo act, part of a duo and with both Burden of Paradise and The Lovenotes. She wanted a site that showcased her music and the ability to update gigs herself using a simple content management system. We added a carousel effect on the Music page that helps us fit more content into a smaller area without things feeling cramped; we also used a natty MP3 player for the music samples. Helen Watson’s web site.

New musician's web site

Fraser Nimmo's web site
Here’s a new site we’ve just built for Fraser Nimmo, a Scottish singer, songwriter and actor. Fraser was keen to update his old web site with something more contemporary that he could use to promote his live appearances, sell CDs and generally keep fans - and promoters - in touch with what he’s up to. The launch of the site was time to coincide with the release of Fraser’s new CD - The Best of Five and a Wee Bit Live. The site incorporates a couple of nice, simple features - a shopping cart that works with PayPal and a music player which lets visitors hear snippets from Fraser’s last two albums.