The Gloucester History Festival is a renowned history festival delivering many events throughout Gloucester during the first two weeks of September. Prior to 2017, the festival had a limited web presence. We were brought in to design and build a content-managed website to raise the profile of the festival.

The requirements

With two months before tickets went on sale, we were asked to design and build a website that would give full access to all events and offer a simple way to book a ticket.

The history festival demographic are not a tech-savvy users. The website had some key goals:

  • Search events
  • Get directions and maps to locations
  • Gather online feedback for events
  • Create a mobile app as a companion to the website
  • Easily add and update events without development

Website design & build

After an initial meeting with Donna Renney, the team started to capture requirements and the vision for the site.

We developed a prototype of the site in a couple of weeks. During this time, we had regular meetings to share progress and get feedback. Once the design of the site was agreed, we then developed the content model.

As an Umbraco Gold Partner, the site was built using the Umbraco content management system (CMS). Umbraco allowed festival staff to quickly update the site, manage event details and publish feedback from attendees.

Mobile application

The festival has over 100 locations. Making sure attendees got to their events on time was a key goal for the mobile application.

Using the same CMS content as the website, a mobile application was developed to run on iOS and Android. Attendees could now get the following directly from their phone:

  • Upcoming event notifications
  • Directions to events
  • Feedback forms on completed events

Event feedback was very important for the organisers. The mobile application automatically prompted attendees for feedback if they were at the event, using the event feed/time and location. 

This was made possible without the need to re-enter duplicate content for the mobile application. Content updates could be made to a single CMS and synchronised to mobile devices.

Content managed apps

Be it web or mobile application, we put customer maintained content at the centre of the application.

We empower you to evolve your content whenever the need arises, like sharing new and exciting news with your customers.

Content-managed mobile applications, allow the application to receive updates without the overhead of redeploying to the store, forcing your users to upgrade.  This keeps them current with the latest information with zero friction.

All our content-driven applications come with a well organised back office experience, customised to your content needs. This provides an environment, you will quickly become familiar with, to maintain your content.

Web development

For nearly eight years we've been building single page web applications (SPA), well before the modern frameworks existed.

During this time we have worked with many of the emerging frameworks (such as Knockout, React, Redux and Angular) giving us a wealth of experience in how best to build SPAs.  

Successful SPAs require well-designed secure web APIs. Our APIs are designed with REST principles and are always reviewed by our head distributed systems architect, Richard Blewett.

Our APIs are protected using modern security protocols and are reviewed by our security team.

Mobile development

Secure mobile application development, with an optional twist of content management.

We develop mobile applications for both iOS and Android, using technologies that allow us to build applications with the correct native look and feel for each platform, while allowing us to re-use a large amount of code. This keeps the cost of supporting both platforms very low.

Our dedicated security team are there to advise the mobile team on the latest security best practices, ensuring that your mobile data stays secure. 

Most mobile applications require a re-publish to the app store if things need to change. As a CMS specialist, we can build mobile applications with the content delivered from a CMS. This gives you control of the content without the continual need to re-publish to the app stores.