Published on: 22nd December 2017
It’s been another busy year at Alacrify; one in which we've worked with many long-standing clients, and also on many new and exciting projects that have come to us throughout the year. It has also been our first year in our super new office; a year which we have particularly enjoyed. To top it all, it's been our 20th anniversary year; we're very proud that our business continues to thrive in such a new and dynamic profession.
Our expert team at Alacrify consists of two full-time team members - Jon and James - with Nicola now providing project planning, copywriting and additional social media expertise to the business. Together we have undertaken and completed a colossal amount of project design work in 2017, offering technical support and training to many clients, as well as running social media campaigns and bringing our expertise and experience to our business consultancy. We live up to our name by inspiring as many people as we can, and we are proud that our small, happy, hard-working company is driven firmly by our core values.
We’re already looking forward to what 2018 brings.
The end of such a busy year allows us a brief look back at the highlights of 2017 for Alacrify:
We moved into our new office at the heart of Dorchester, on the top floor of the handsome landmark NFU building, in the first week of December 2016, so we're also celebrating our first full year here. We hope our clients have enjoyed visiting the new offices as much as we have enjoyed welcoming them. The change of space has allowed us to make great improvements in the way we now structure our day to day work; increasing our collaboration between us on projects and improving our productivity. It has been a big change for the better for all of us.
Social, Charitable and Community Work
Our long commitment to social, charity and community projects continues to be a key part of our values-driven work. 2017 has seen us work with many amazing charities, helping them to raise money and awareness for important causes and to really make a difference in the local community and further afield. As well as charities we've also been working with many volunteer based organisations that do excellent work in Dorset and beyond.
This year we have sponsored, worked alongside and built websites for Macmillan Christmas Fair, Friends of Dorset County Hospital, Home-Start West Dorset, Volunteering Centre Dorset, Dorchester Literary Festival and Try This Dorchester and there have been many other long-standing clients that we have continued to support throughout the year. We particularly love to work with these kinds of projects as it allows us to give something back to the brilliant people who devote their time to improving the lives of others and their community.
Transformation: Going Fully Responsive
Having a responsive website (one that works seamlessly on all devices including phones, tablets and desktop computers) is now considered a key element in gaining a good Google ranking. Google now takes into consideration whether or not your site is responsive when deciding where to place your site in its search results. Indications are that anyone who doesn't have a responsive website heading into 2018 will start to see visitor numbers dropping from searches on Google as their sites are re-positioned below their competitors' responsive website, or even start to notice that their sites don't appear in mobile searches at all. This change to the search algorithm has mainly arisen because of the rising use of mobile phones to browse and search the internet.
All websites that we create have been built to be fully responsive as standard for the past 3 years and in 2015 we started our transformation project to make all our existing clients' sites responsive too. This project has snowballed throughout 2017 and seen many of our clients' sites upgraded this year, with some opting for a complete rebuild and rebranding as part of the update.
People often ask us: How can I check if my site is responsive or not? There are a couple of easy ways to check, just by looking at your site on your phone or tablet. If you’re having to zoom in, or if the text or images don't 'fit', meaning you have to swipe left or right on each page to view everything, it's likely that it’s not a responsive website. You could also click here to check your website using Google’s 'Mobile-Friendly Checker'. If you find that your website isn’t responsive and you’d like it to be, give us a call on 01305 265893 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be more than happy to help.
Some Of The Large Projects Of 2017
We’ve been lucky to enough to work with so many amazing businesses of all sizes during the course of 2017. Here’s just a handful of some of the big projects that we have worked on, many of which we will be continuing to work with or develop further in 2018:
- David Noton Photography – The website was built to showcase the stunning images taken by the internationally acclaimed and award-winning photographer, David Noton. The site also allows David to present a portfolio of some of the commercial work he has completed, and gives visitors an insight to his world and the partners he works with, amongst them Adobe and Canon. Do take a look at his website; it's a breathtaking (virtual) trip around the world, and represents a new highpoint for Alacrify's design vision.
- f11 Photography Magazine - The f11 Photography Magazine is a professional photography magazine, published monthly online for subscribed Members. The magazine's publisher is David Noton, who regularly documents his photo trips around the world, sharing insights and tips with readers. In each issue David also includes video tutorials which explain the different techniques of editing and processing images, and includes many tips for creating stunning images. The magazine is a real insight into the world of photography and we highly recommend it.
- The Association of Festival Organisers - This brilliant organisation, that brings together the expertise and enthusiasm of hundreds of music festival organisers throughout the UK, has become a client of ours this year. We are in the process of launching the new site that we've built for them over the past six months. Part directory, part event listings magazine, part library and training resource, the site combines public and Member-facing information about events in the UK. It covers a whole spectrum of practical issues that face festival organisers, and offers advice and support to anyone involved in putting on cultural festivals, from the small to large. The site should be live by the end of January.
- The Waste Place - Run by two experienced waste management gurus, Ben and Dan Ling, the site has been engineered and designed by us at Alacrify to combine their industry knowledge with tens of thousands of records for businesses that handle, move, recycle, reuse and dispose of waste in the UK. The site is designed to be a must-view for anyone who generates waste as part of their daily lives, at work or at home. Builders, hotels, shops and offices can all find businesses that will be able to handle their waste requirements; from removing building rubble, or getting rid of asbestos, to reprocessing WEEE waste or destroying confidential papers. Take a look at the site and bookmark it for the next time you need to deal with waste from your home or business.
- Dorset County Show – Alacrify has been working with the Dorset County Show for several years now. In 2017 we were proud to be an official sponsor of the event. This year we took the opportunity to redesign their website, and we also managed the Show’s Twitter account in the build up to the show and live tweeted during the show. We developed an entirely new section of the site to showcase Traders and Exhibitors who were booked to attend the 2017 Show. We spent many hours and days researching, curating and publishing over 450 trader pages on the site, building our understanding of these businesses, and giving us a great chance to network with and to promote them on Twitter in the months running up to the Show. We started to manage the Show's Twitter account from late June, using it to strengthen the networks of exhibitors and announce their presence at the Show in September. As the months passed the engagement grew from a few thousand impressions in the first month to reach over 600,000 impressions by the end of the Show. We "Live Tweeted" as @DorsetCShow from the Showground on both days, in the sun and rain, and actively promoted the brilliant activities happening around the Show rings, marquees and arenas, alongside the exhibitions and stalls of the traders. We’re already looking forward to the 2018 Show!
This small sample is just a tiny handful of the many diverse projects we worked on in 2017 and will be continuing to support and develop in 2018. To view more of our portfolio, visit our portfolio page.
Christmas Office Closure
This year we will be closing the office from Friday 22nd December and re-opening for business on Tuesday 2nd January 2018. We will reply to phone calls and emails received during this period from 2nd January onwards. We wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!
Looking Into 2018
We’re really excited to get 2018 underway. We have so many exciting opportunities and projects in the pipeline, all of which we are really passionate about. As usual we will be sharing as much of our progress as we can in our news stories during 2018. We will also be tackling a large technical task straight after the Christmas break, to get our existing (and any new) clients' websites GDPR compliant (a piece of data protection legislation). We have started talking to our clients about this already, and will pick it up in earnest as soon as we return from the Christmas break.
We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported and worked with us during 2017. We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings. We hope you all have a wonderful festive season, and wish you every success and happiness in the New Year.
Jon, James and Nicola