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Here at Dorset Web we love to work with successful small businesses to create websites that have that personal touch. In an age of multi-national corporations and mass-produced imports its lovely to see companies that were started locally and yet have gained an international reputation for unique products made with the highest quality of craftsmanship. Dorset Weathervanes is one such company. A small business started by one man (Graham Smith), who has been making weathervanes since 1986 after combining his artistic skills with manufacturing expertise from fifteen years as a Precision Engineer. After building up a reputation locally, the company has gone on to gain an international client base and has produced over 9000 hand-made weathervanes across 20 countries. Dorset Weathervanes offer a comprehensive personal design service, which means that many of their products are unique and personal to the client. And it is precisely this personal touch, which is the key to the company's success.
Likewise, Dorset Web share the same ethos of client centred design. We produce unique websites, individually tailored to suit each client's needs. So in response to the need to reflect both the locally-produced artisanal nature of Graham's products and his global reputation, Dorset Web developed a site which could accommodate both Dorset Weathervanes' growth and their personal and unique service. Their previous website had been running for 12 years and was not able to reflect the high levels of professionalism nor the international service that the company provides. Therefore, we were able to supply them with a highly efficient e-commerce website system for their standard product ranges together with more personal touches like company history, product images and client testimonials. By simplifying Dorset Weathervanes e-commerce system, making it visually stimulating, yet more intuitive and familiar to the end user, Dorset Web have also ensured that potential customers feel at home when visiting the site and therefore more comfortable to spend money. Indeed, this is essential in an international context, where it is imperative to communicate that all-important sense of trust to prospective customers.
Alongside these things, we also made the new website “responsive”. In other words we made a site that would keep that same level of usability on all hardware, including mobile phones and tablets. A responsive website will have adaptive scaling parameters and use relative units like percentages for images and page elements. This allows for ease of reading and navigation on all devices, and ensures that a minimum of resizing, panning and scrolling is required from the user. We did this to ensure that potential customers viewing the site on mobile devices remain on it for longer than the first 30 seconds, which are critical for ensuring that first time users continue to use it rather than look elsewhere.