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Adelco Screen Process: company website

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Established in 1972, Adelco are a world-class manufacturer of jet air conveyor drying systems and oval automatic screen printing presses serving the international garment printing industry. Their worldwide distribution network provides customers with full sales and service support across 6 continents.

Visit the Adelco website
Adelco: Company Website on an Apple iMac, a MacBook, an iPad and an iPhone
Our new website looks amazing. I would like to say how delighted we are with the result and the way Real Life Digital has brought us a website that was exactly what we asked for and on time. I would not hesitate to recommend Real Life Digital to any company that wants a modern and professional website.

Mark Smith

Managing Director

Mark Smith - Managing Director at Adelco

The brief

Adelco approached us with the requirement of giving their existing website a simple facelift, but after running a requirements workshop it became clear that Adelco required much more than this. We identified five key areas for improvement:

  1. Product pages should be more detailed, consistent & engaging.
  2. More repeated calls to action to contact across the site.
  3. Showcase the worldwide presence of the company.
  4. Provide easy distributor access to restricted resources.
  5. Increase website traffic, improve performance and SEO.
Outcomes agreed between Adelco and Real Life Digital written in a notebook.

Designing in pattern lab

One of the key design requirements for this new website was consistency and as such this became our first ever in-house project to use a pattern library known as pattern lab which embraces the atomic design principles of now-infamous designer Brad Frost.

Pattern lab is like an online style guide or branding document, which informs the design of larger components of a website. Atomic design breaks design up into atoms (text, buttons etc.), molecules (widgets, menus etc.), organisms (site header, site sections etc.), layouts (news pages, case studies etc.) & pages (examples of actual live pages).

You can see how the design for the Adelco website is broken down by viewing the online pattern lab right on their site.

We'll write a more detailed article on why pattern lab is such a great design solution and link to it here when we do.

View the Adelco pattern lab
The Adelco pattern lab library being viewed on an Apple MacBook

Information architecture

Information architecture is one of the most important, yet often neglected aspects of creating a website. We always begin by architecting how various pages, content types, media types and entities might map together so we can plan for those relationships and ensure good URL practices when building out a site.

The previous Adelco website's architecture had been neglected, and the URLs were in disarray which we suspected was harming the website's SEO. By beginning with a solid foundation we were able to ensure that the new website would be easy to navigate, have increased cross-linking and interactivity and better search engine ranking.

A sketch of the information architecture for the Adelco website
Real life digital have been awesome. They have turned around our brand new website from scratch in just 9 weeks. They are fantastic to work with; friendly, responsive, helpful and obviously experts in their field. They listen to what you want and then use their creative expertise to design a beautiful and well-functioning website, that not only fulfils the brief but excites and portrays our company in a fresh and contemporary way. We have had problems in the past from other website building companies and you truly get what you pay for. I have felt part of the process without any stress or being overloaded with technical issues. The launch was handled with no complications whatsoever. Our traffic from day one has increased significantly. A faultless build and execution. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Barry & Darren.

Debbie Terry

Sales and Marketing Administrator

Debbie Terry - Sales and Marketing Administrator at Adelco

Building the solution with Drupal

Adelco were interested to understand why we recommended Drupal over the Wordpress solution they had grown accustomed to. The website editors had become familiar with the process of updating content in Wordpress and had heard that Drupal was significantly harder to use.

This is a common misconception with Drupal. When people talk about Drupal being more difficult to use they are referring to Drupal as a development platform, which is significantly more complex than Wordpress, but with that complexity comes drastically increased possibilities.

From a site editor's perspective, we believe that Drupal is actually easier to navigate than Wordpress, and this belief is backed up the testimonials we've received from our clients, including Adelco.

A site editor working on an Adelco product in Drupal CMS

Performance, accessibility, SEO and best practices

Of course, all websites should be performant, accessible and SEO optimised, but it's become increasingly important as technology develops. Page speed is now a significant ranking factor for Google, especially for mobile so it's more critical than ever before.

Luckily Google has provided a website audit system called Lighthouse which is significantly more efficient and useful than it's predecessor known as Google Page Speed Insights. Lighthouse measures your performance across 4 (or 5 if you're building progressive web apps) metrics. These are performance, accessibility, best practices and SEO.

We used Lighthouse to identify areas for improvement whilst in development and post-launch. The results speak for themselves. Adelco's new website consistently scores above 90 for all metrics and scores a flawless 100 for accessibility and SEO on every page. This is almost certainly the most compliant, SEO optimised, accessible and performant website we've released to date.

Adelco scoring high on a Google Lighthouse audit

Launch and continuous development with platform.sh

Another issue Adelco faced throughout development was tracking down who was in control of certain parts of the infrastructure of their existing website. We promised to make life simple for Adelco and to put them back in control. We did this by setting up a new hosting provider and DNS provider for them and then transferring the ownership back to Adelco once we were done.

Something that makes us unique as a web company is that when we launch your website, we make sure you own or control everything so if you ever decide to seek assistance elsewhere, you're free to do so.

Adelco in Google Analytics performing well since launch day
The website launch was seamless and instead of the usual (expected) dip in traffic due to Google's indexing algorithms, we saw a near double in traffic on launch day, and two weeks later we were seeing a 374% increase in traffic compared to the previous month!

Darren Fisher

Designer & Developer of Adelco's new website

Darren Fisher - Designer / Front End Dev

In summary

When Adelco approached us they were keen to understand why they should move to Drupal for their content management, and what we did that was different from other web companies they were talking to. Once we'd walked Adelco through our process of understanding the requirements of their business and translating that into value for their end clients, they were confident we could build the right solution for them.

Through solid information architecture, well thought out design and improved usability for both editors and end users we delivered on the key areas of improvement we highlighted and delivered a slick, future-proof website that Adelco are extremely pleased with. We hope to continue working with Adelco in the future to develop further functionality on the back-end to aid their engineers, sales team and distributors alike.

Visit the Adelco website
The Adelco website on an Apple Macbook

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