Mark's Business Consulting, Support & Services Blog

An Important Message About Internet Neutrality

As a professional web developer with clients all over the world it's my job to keep an eye on the "internet". One of the biggest challenges that will impact all of us is the attempt by corporations such as Comcast in the US to take over the web. With massive budgets and lobbying they are trying to make the internet a two tier system. This means that services like Vimeo, YouTube and Netflix will go up in price and that many websites will find themselves "slower" than their corporate competition. If you care about net neutrality then take a moment to find out more and click the take action now button. You need the net, and the net needs you! Thanks and enjoy my blog.

VenomtechVenomtech Ltd are a fast growing UK company who in a matter of years have become the UK's leading supplier of venoms and toxins for scientific research and drug discovery. Based in the Discovery Park in Kent they provide venom and toxins to aid research throughout the UK, Europe and worldwide. They are also pioneers in animal welfare and developing non-invasive, non-destructive methodologies for venom extraction. Their research into animal welfare has proven that spiders, insects, snakes etc. need stimulating environments to thrive and this is certainly in evidence when you see how much care they put into animal husbandry and welfare. It comes as little surprise that they've been on national TV and collaborate with the London Science Museum and Universities. They will be on BBC4 at 8pm this coming Thursday.

Venomtech first approached us when they had been trading for a couple of years. Having built their first website in house on a tight budget, but it was not really representing their business in a professional way. We took it on, providing additional functionality and redesigning it to look and function more professionally. Their business has continued to grow and develop and subsequently they contacted us recently to carry out a major content revamp.

Revamping a Website

There are many reasons for revamping a website and normally people think in terms of aesthetics. Here are some reasons we've revamped client websites recently:

  • To change the aesthetics corresponding to  a corporate rebrand.
  • To reflect a change in business focus or a new avenue of business.
  • To comply with (new) legislation.
  • To reflect a company merger.
  • To introduce new functionality, for example adding eCommerce or custom functionality.
  • To respond to a competitor.
  • To take an existing old design and modernise it.

In the case of Venomtech they had a new range of products and were taking their business in new directions so they needed to make sure the website matched their newer goals while still supporting their existing clients and business. This meant that while the look, style and feel of the site was not to be changed, the page content, structure of the site navigation and key images were to be updated. This also had an impact on the target SEO phrases and so while updating the content we also updated elements implicated in SEO.

Venomtech Website
The whole process went extremely efficiently and was delivered on budget. I can attribute this to two main factors: 1) we've refined and developed our processes over many years to ensure that business critical changes run smoothly and 2) The team at Venomtech are really professional and worked directly with us in a collaborative way to facilitate the process.

There is no right or wrong way to do things but there are certainly good outcomes and so what I'll share here is the process we used to make this migration a success.

  • Venomtech contacted us and alerted us that they needed to update their site.
  • We asked for information to define the scope and any deadlines for the work. To make it easier for them we gave them guidance on how best to provide the information, which was straight forwards.
  • Venomtech sent us a the information we needed, in simple word document format and image files.
  • We then provided a detailed estimate breaking the project down into the three steps of 1) developing the new version 2) testing, evaluation and tweaks 3) roll out to production.
  • Once the proposal was approved the process ran as follows:
    • We setup an independent test version of their website which was password protected. This allowed them to follow the changes in real time and provide interim feedback. It also meant that the main site was not touched during the development phase.
    • On a pre-agreed date we delivered all the changes as requested and this allowed their key decision makers to evaluate the work done in a coordinated and scheduled way.
    • They collated their feedback and provided concise feedback which made any revisions easy and efficient to implement.
    • Once all the changes had been done and agreed we rolled the changes out to the live version. There was zero downtime on the live site.
    • Once the site changes went live we did a final due diligence check.

Venomtech are a pleasure to work with and as pioneers in their field I wish them well. I'll leave it to Steve Trim (founder) to have the last say:

"Venomtech's recent website upgrade was part of our business growth strategy and had tight timelines and budgets. From previous experience working with Zaretti Consulting, we knew they could deliver the comprehensive overhaul in a very short time to an agreed budget. They delivered exactly what was required and right on the agreed time, which included our review and board approval.  Thanks!"

Steve Trim, Founder of Venomtech Ltd

Add a comment | Posted by Mark Zaretti at 14:47

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