We created a sophisticated, responsive WordPress website for Circle Financial, allowing the company to edit and manage content on a secure platform.
Circle Financial experienced issues on their original website, meaning they were unable to manage the site. As a quick fix, the website was moved to a temporary static website to allow the company to stay online. However, Circle Financial needed a suitable website on a content management system, with a focus on security.
We created a WordPress website with security at the heart of the site, allowing admins to edit and add content when needed.
Who are Circle Financial?
Circle Financial Services are part of the Circle Group, delivering advice to clients and professional connections throughout the UK. Circle Financial specialise in delivering financial planning advice, including independent quality research and reports for clients. The firm also makes use of specialist independent research services to ensure a robust methodology and analysis is undertaken prior to any advice being provided.
Due to the clients past experiences with website issues, Circle Financial needed a website that focuses on security. In addition to this, they needed a website that allows admins to manage content, as the current holding website did not allow this functionality.
This meant that the main features of the new website needed to include:
- Allowing them to stay online and reach customers;
- Allowing them to add and edit content on the site;
- Having a similar structure to the current website;
- Having reliable security features
Working with Circle Financial, we created a step-by-step plan to develop a new website. This included:
- Constructing a custom WordPress template mirroring the websites current structure
- Migrating content over and proofreading, as well as training on how to use the CMS once the website launched
- Setting up page redirects to ensure that existing search engine rankings are maintained
- Focusing on a more sophisticated, cohesive brand proposition with strong CTAs
Look & Feel
Circle Financial provided us with their logo, however they were missing brand guidelines. As part of the project scope, this required us to create a suitable colour palette for the site, testing for and achieving a minimum of level AA WCAG 2.0 accessibility for colour contrast. Additionally, we needed to identify the font used in the Circle Financial logo as well as research a complementary display font. The primary typeface, Ridley Grotesk, is a readable, humanist font that is used for the majority of text, paired with a secondary serif display font, Noto Serif, to further enhance the idea of sophistication and add interest on larger text.
For the design and layout, we researched other websites in the finance and professional industry, settling on a minimalist design sticking to a narrow colour scheme taken from the logo. The result is professional and sophisticated while remaining approachable.
Owing to the minimalism of the site, a greater focus was placed on motion to add to the user experience and highlight key elements. We aimed to achieve our motion effects through pure CSS to keep the website lightweight and reduce any negative impact on page speed.
The Technical Details
WordPress is a Content Management System, meaning that it allows users to collaborate in the creation, editing, and production of website content such as web pages, articles and blog posts. What’s more, WordPress is a fast and reliable platform – with continuous updates and development, it means that the platform is great for secure websites such as Circle Financial if maintained properly.
In addition to the main navigation, we have designed and developed a full-screen dropdown menu on desktop devices which gives us space to give information on the company and the services that they provide, to help aid the user’s decision to click through.
This is a responsive menu though, meaning on mobile and smaller devices users get a slightly different experience whereby the main menu appears as a list, and the dropdown becomes a secondary menu that slides in from the side – with all the same additional service information as desktop to help guide users to the content they need.
One feature we thought important to include was a staff profile on Louise Claro, the Managing Director. This also lends authority and trust as users can associate a real person with the services on offer.
All the text on the website was duplicated from the current website, with the exception of one new page for NHS Pensions. We collaborated with the Circle Financial team to ensure that content was up to date, allowing them to add new text where required.
As the website is built on WordPress, it makes it easy for website admins to add, edit and manage content on the website in the future.
Additional Graphic Design
For brand consistency, we have updated the companies previous PDF documents in line with the new branding. We have also created a range of PDF staff profiles with the new colours, logos and fonts. This allows the company to grow and protect their brand.
Support & Maintenance
Following the website development and launch, Circle Financial have taken up our support and maintenance package. This is where we provide ongoing support to ensure that WordPress and its plugins are kept continuously up-to-date, to ensure they aren’t vulnerable to any security issues – a main focus for this website project.
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