Hello Kitty!

Sailing Barge Kitty are a sailing barge charter service berthed in Maldon that hosts public events as well as offering a private or corporate charter service.  They came to us to update their existing website as well as add a booking and enquiry system to help with administration.

Their old website, which was outdated, was non-responsive and looked a bit aged so we had a good scope for re-imagining it in a functional and attractive way.

The first task was to come up with a new branding/logo that was modern, accessible and importantly, suitable for web-use.Final-Horizontal-small

We wanted to do something that paid homage to the old logo which had a vintage almost stamp-like feel to it whilst bringing it up to date allowing for better use across a variety of mediums.  The boat in the logo was created using a silhouette of Kitty and the colours are taken from the barge herself.  As well as the horizontal optimized logo we created a alternative version that could be used on clothing, bottles and other suitable merchandise. square-logo

Building the site was straight forward enough as Kitty’s Kim provided all the copy/text we needed as well as an overall suggested structure (having followed our handy guide that you can find here).  Kim worked with us and took our advice and recommendations where necessary and likewise we took direction when Kim’s input was needed.

The real challenge arose when it came to the booking system: I’m not sure if you are aware but there are a lot of booking systems out there that either plug straight in to WordPress or use a web-hook to an external service.  These vary in both complexity AND cost and finding the right solution proved more perplexing than we initially anticipated.  To start with we used a paid plug in that was attractive, easy to set-up, accepted payments and more importantly, easy for our client to add events and manage.  Then we hit the first hurdle…it didn’t allow for variable ticket prices per-event so we couldn’t have adult or child costs together!!  It was a game-breaker so it was back to the drawing board to find something that ticked all the boxes that we had set out for ourselves.

We tried most of the cost effective solutions out there, and trust me, some of them are way too expensive for someone who only runs a few events per month.  The problem we kept hitting was that where one feature came up, one of the other features suffered so it became hard to find something that was as well rounded as our needs dictated.  We tried using CSS, custom post category, coded hooks but every solution gave rise to some other complication.

Eventually we found a solution that combined a few suitable separate solutions that resulted in something friendly, easy to use (for both the client and the website patron), and attractive.  Have a look here – http://www.sailingbargekitty.co.uk to see it in action.

Sailing Barge Kitty has now launched (pun intended).  Our client is happy and we have a new feather in our cap as we now have an excellent solution for any clients needing a booking system.  Chuffed!