Evolution of the project
We initially provided this newly formed company in May 2021, at this point they had a requirement for a web presence but wanted only basic company information and background about their service offerings.
Our websites are intentionally designed to be forward-thinking; we always look extensively at how the company expects to grow and evolve when devising our approach to a project. In this instance, we know that the initial single-page site would grow into a multi-page offering with in-depth information about services, their sector, and clients.
It’s always nice to watch a client grow, in this instance it was much more rapidly than anticipated. Just over a year after the launch of their initial website we’re pleased to announce we’ve just gone live with their new “version 2” website. Our initial design was built with this expansion in mind as a natural evolution of the site, for example we already knew how the multi-level navigation would fit into the header design and the service structure would work.
Aqua Operations now has a range of high-profile clients including Unilever, Coca Cola, and Northumbrian Water.
How we did it
From the outset we wanted to future-proof the site by building it on a modern and progressive framework; designed to work optimally on all devices, connections, operating systems and screen sizes. In addition, it was important to make the site as accessible as possible and easily indexable by search engines.
We chose a combination of the React and Next JS frameworks for this purpose, with the site being served from a Node JS webserver. There’s lots going on behind the scenes here in order to deliver such a quick-loading and optimised website. We took full advantage of Static Site Generation (SSG) to the quickest possible response times, this means there’s no compilation or server-side processing happening when you access the site, it’s already compiled and ready to serve. Traditionally there would be database queries and server-side processing happening before a page is loaded which slows down the navigation and load speeds.
There is further trickery going on too. Due to the modular nature of React, the site pre-loads the other pages it expects you to navigate to while you’re browsing. So when you’re on the homepage and decide to view the services page, it has already been loaded in the background by your browser. Clever, right?
Each project is different, and the approach will depend on the site requirements. In this instance the static nature of the content really suited a headless Content Management System (CMS) and statically generated site.
SEO is a complex, far reaching and ever-evolving topic. However there has been a large shift to load speeds, accessibility and response time in more recent Google algorithm updates. A site should respond quickly, degrade gracefully, lazy load images and assets and provide easily indexable content. This was one of the core aims of the project in order to help build interest in the new company and tie in with other marketing activities.
The approach used for Aqua Operations has resulted in a site that flies through Google Lighthouse speed testing and Pagespeed Insights on mobile and desktop synthetic tests. This gives the fresh content of the new site the best possible chance of ranking well in search engines and being located by interested parties.
In real world testing, the approach has resulted in a well-structured site that’s easy and quick to navigate on any device and screen size. The user experience (UX) was refined to provide a clear path through the pages with a curated visitor journey throughout.
We look forward to working further with Aqua Operations as their needs continue to evolve and their website expands and grows with their business. In the meantime, take a look at their freshly relaunched site at: https://aquaoperations.co.uk/