So, it’s time to refresh your website. You start by taking a look at what you can improve, and an audit finds your workflows aren’t quite right, your content matrix doesn’t quite work, and your design isn’t accessible. You decide a rebuild is the most effective route, so you putout a tender, choose an agency and move forward using the data you’ve collected and the issues recorded with your now defunct website.
Three years later, your company has grown and rebranded. Now, your website needs to cater for users across the globe, and your UX doesn’t quite fit newly heightened expectations. Time for another audit. You review your website, only to find the changes that need to be made will cost almost as much– and take just as long – as building an entirely new website. Before you know it, you need to start the entire process all over again.
If this story sounds familiar, you’re not alone. We’ve known many companies spend thousands on developing a website, only to find when they need even relatively small changes, there are significant cost and time implications.
Today’s accelerated pace of digital change means the traditional approach to web development has become outdated. But there is another way.
At Proctors, we’ve developed an approach to web development that gives websites the flexibility, scalability and longevity needed to support ongoing business needs.
Microservices to the rescue
Microservices architecture is a software development architecture which makes things much easier. Creating a microservice architecture involves splitting up all of the different services integrated into your website and sales process, then creating protocols for them to communicate independently to collect and deliver their data and services to users and website visitors.
Separating out your front-end into its own microservice allows you to free your design and UX from the limitations of your data systems. A separate front-end can connect to multiple data sources and present them in one central place for our users, often for multiple devices as well.
You can read more on microservices here.
What is a dedicated front-end?
At P+S, we specialise in Angular as our front-end framework of choice. While there are many front-end frameworks out there, such as React and Vue, Angular is more structured and has a more complete out-of-the-box framework. We’ve found it offers more consistent results, and is a more suitable tool for enterprise businesses.
Angular allows the front- and back-end of your website to operate as separate entities. Angular will function as the public face of your online presence to your users, and will connect to, and draw data from, all the other services using modern RESTful APIs; for example, content from Drupal and booking data from a booking engine.
This means any additional or changed functionality in the back-end of your website, such as an API integration, will not affect the front-end of your website.
An added bonus is if you realise your website needs to be updated a few years down the line, whether that’s from a UX standpoint or company rebrand, the front-end can be completely redesigned in isolation from the back-end, eliminating the need for a complete rebuild and minimising disruption to your online presence.
How can it help you?
Angular saves time and money.
Once Angular is set up alongside your content management system, your website is almost limitless.
If your company undergoes a rebrand, your Angular front-end can be re-skinned with no disruption to your website – check out our Atomic Design approach to making this process more efficient, too.
Should your company grow, the data used to set up your initial user journeys often becomes outdated. Not only is it possible for us to completely redesign how users interact with your site, we can even separate your site out further and conduct split A/B testing against other variations.
Alongside these core benefits, there are a range of other positives. You can reduce load time due to application processing taking place in the browser, rather than the server. And you can support and facilitate multilingual development in a much easier, simpler way than via a traditional CMS approach.
Finally, as many companies choose apps as a way of engaging with their customers on a more personal level, there’s potential for streamlining the process here, too. While the majority of businesses need to build their website, then build their app in iOS before building it yet again in Android, Angular makes this much simpler. You can run your apps from the CMS that drives your website (usually Drupal), and use your Angular front-end for both iOS and Android, for minimised build time, whilst avoiding the duplication of functionality as the majority of it will be readily available via your CMS.
Looking to the future
At Proctor and Stevenson, we’ve implemented a Drupal/Angular approach for a number of key clients, including global tech giant, Panasonic. This approach has enabled us to create a number of future-focused solutions for our clients, spanning multiple continents, in multiple languages and engaging millions of users.
Decoupling a front-end works extremely well for enterprise businesses which rely on legacy back-end data or back office systems, where it’s a real challenge to modernise this data and present it to customers in a modern, multi-device world. Given the current global pandemic, businesses are realising they must be able to operate remotely without a negative impact on efficiency or customer experience. Decoupling a front-end is therefore one of the most pragmatic, healthy and cost-effective choices a business can make today.
When it comes to digital, our in-house team can take care of everything: from back-end development, to front-end and digital design, SEO, AdWords, automation, information architecture and content optimisation.
Get in touch and let’s discuss how we can transform your business’ website.