It has been two years since the last update to the Paddock Plants website, so we felt it was time we did something to bring it more in line with current design trends. (Rob always likes to kid himself he is on the cutting edge of all things IT and Joanna doesn’t like to disillusion him.) The first job was to upgrade our Prestashop installation which turned out to be a little trickier than expected despite calling on the services of a web design student: but, then, when did anything to do with computers ever go as expected? The next step was to install a new template, the basic criteria being that it should be clean and simple in design, look good on mobile devices (very important these days!), be attractive but not over fussy or complicated, and make the business of ordering easy and straightforward. The end result (desktop version) you can see below.
We think it does a great job in making the product, ie our plants, the hero through the highly visual style. We are particularly pleased that it it is a fluid design, so avoiding that all too familiar columnar effect, with lots of wasted space on either side of the screen. The lack of a top menu also makes the site a little different from most other online shops, with that being replaced by a static sidebar on the desktop version and a hamburger menu on mobile devices. Rob, bless him, has been having lots of fun fiddling round with bits of code and adapting font sizes and other minor details to pander to his OCD tendencies.
There has been a Paddock Plants website of some sort for well over a decade now, the first site being Rob’s own clumsy effort using Dreamweaver, and a Prestashop-based site has existed since 2010, we think. A screenshot of that original 2010 version can be seen here, and it is quite interesting to see how taste in websites has changed in a mere half a dozen years. Sites with lots of text, detail and columns have given way to bolder, cleaner affairs, with a much greater emphasis on the use of visual imagery. The recent rise of mobile phones and tablets has reinforced that trend, of course, so we are unlikely to see a revival of the old style in the future.
Anyway, it up, it’s running, we like it, and we hope you do too. Or that, at the very least, it will grow on you.
Rob & Joanna – December 2016