Pacer

A user-friendly website and CMS with a US variant, to allow admins to add content to communicate with customers.

Information

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Launched 25th July 2022

Key Features

WordPress

Content Management

Page Templates

Search

Contact Forms

WordPress Multisite

Project Tags

TL;DR

Pacer required a new, modern website with a US variant – to reflect their industry expertise and custom capabilities that are offered to customers around the world. We created a user-friendly website and content management system, that allows admins to add content to communicate with customers.

Project Overview

Pacer’s previous websites were outdated, with a design that led to poor UX – making it hard for customers to browse the content and products that the company offers.

An overhaul of both existing websites was required, allowing us to build user-friendly and responsive designs, incorporating a significant amount of content and product data, particularly for the US site.

Who are Pacer?

Pacer is a UK and US manufacturer of computing, power and communications products, and value added distributor of electronic components. Part of Solid State Supplies PLC, Pacer helps customers to find solutions to their optoelectronic and display design challenges.

Pacer prides itself on offering both off-the-shelf components and custom capabilities, allowing them to provide cost-effective solutions for all bespoke needs. While they do not currently sell online, their US website in particular acts as a comprehensive catalogue of the parts available.

Project Brief

As we were building two variants of the website, we worked closely with the Pacer team to ensure that we covered all areas of the brief, including;

  • Responsive and fast websites to present the company as an established, professional, trusted solutions provider and global partner
  • UK site oriented around Pacer’s value-added services (VAS) – no longer requiring the existing product sections
  • US site continuing to present the US distribution product portfolio and supplier line-up in addition to VAS capabilities
  • Clear and user-friendly contact forms to capture customers details – with in-depth event tracking from Google Analytics

Our Proposal

  • Utilise WordPress Multisite to enable a shared theme, shared assets and a single back-end for admins to access and maintain.
  • Complete in-depth information architecture to ensure no content is left behind during migration and restructuring, with advanced redirect management.
  • Utilise Custom Post Types in lieu of bloated e-commerce functionality to create a single source of truth for each product and supplier, enabling listing across multiple categories.
  • Create an interactive contact page, again using CPT and custom taxonomies to allow customers to search for their closest representative by state or region.
  • #HTML5
  • #CSS3
  • #WordPress
  • #JavaScript

Look & Feel

Whilst Pacer is part of Solid State Supplies, we needed to show the distinct Pacer identity. Although no formal brand guidelines were available, this has been achieved through exploration of their logo and brand colours.

During our discovery phase, we explored tints and shades of the primary ‘Pacer Blue’ as well as a secondary grey used in their tagline to form the basis of our palette. An additional ice blue was selected to add nuance.

While investigating the theme of optoelectronics and light, we settled on creating a visible spectrum gradient which could be used on key CTAs as well as to add visual interest and separation to elements on the page.

Our goal was also to highlight high-quality imagery of their facilities and manufacturing capabilities, as well as macro photography of components. We made use of split-screen text and media blocks throughout the site to give images prominence, and mainly stuck to the lighter end of our colour palette for contrast.

Delving further into the electronics theme, you may notice circuit board flourishes throughout the site, as well as the use of a diode icon in place of arrows on buttons.

UI Design

The websites required a modern look that represented the engineering company, which we executed by making the best of the website space. We decided to use minimally intrusive side panes, to allow users to view the content that they needed easily and quickly.

A traditional horizontal menu was used for navigation, with the US site featuring a secondary row of links as well as a dropdown menu to allow users to easily navigate through the product offering. On smaller resolutions we make use of the expected hamburger menu with nested links where applicable.

For information capture, such as newsletter subscriptions and enquiries, we often make use of forms opening in dialogs to save clutter unless the user takes action. By utilising background opacity, this also keeps focus on the forms until the user has completed the desired action.

“The team at Ballyhoo are quick to respond, knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with. It’s essential to have complete trust in your website agency – we do and I would definitely recommend working with Ballyhoo.”

Pacer

Pacer

The Technical Details

Web Development

We provided a website design for Pacer, for both mobile and desktop resolutions, demonstrating a UK and US variant that can be easily controlled and managed from one place.

There is a strong focus on user experience for both websites. The sites allow user-friendly, efficient capture of visitors’ contact details via a number of call-to-action buttons. This included a request contact form and newsletter registration. All of which sends the details automatically to nominated email addresses.

Structure

Both websites need to engage their target audience, which is done by keeping the content up-to-date and relevant. This meant that the website needs to allow website admins to create and publish fresh content through the CMS.

To help with this, we also created website page templates. This allows admins to easily create new pages with the correct layouts, ready to insert content.

Redirects

As Pacer previously had two websites, redirects were crucial. We put these in place to allow users to be automatically redirected to the new website when potentially following old URLs. These redirects pass on all SEO authority of the existing pages, meaning search engines such as Google recognise the new website structure and will index these.

Pacer USA

The pacer-usa.com site continues to present the US distribution product portfolio and supplier line-up. In addition to this, the website continues to show their VAS capabilities with no significant change to the structure.

Pacer UK

The new pacer.co.uk UK site is oriented around Pacer’s value-added services (VAS), with changes from their previous website – stripping back the existing product sections and instead focusing on promoting the VAS and positioning Pacer as an established, trusted partner for optoelectronics and display value-add projects. 

The UK website has a slightly different navigation to the US website, due to it not needing any products. The navigation is therefore simpler and smaller.

  • #WordPress
  • #Google Analytics

Google Analytics

We also set up Google Analytics, to allow us to monitor the success of websites, including in-depth event tracking.

Hosting

As with all of the websites that we create, the hosting is secure and reliable. This is extremely important for Pacer as they receive a significant amount of traffic to both the UK and US sites, meaning customers rely on their website to make enquiries and read content.

How Can We Help?

If you are in need of a new website, a revamp for your existing website, development to work responsively or anything related to websites and the Internet in general then feel free to get in touch. Any member of the Ballyhoo team will be happy to help and can be contacted by telephone on 0121 295 5352, email to hello@ballyhoo.co.uk or via the contact form below.

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