Hammermill is an international paper manufacturing company that creates different kinds of paper for varied uses and purposes. For example, they make papers for school, home use, decorations, specific industries, holiday paper, printable origami paper, colouring paper, paper for teachers, you get the gist. The company started out in the 1920s, and has since obtained a globally-sweeping client base.
Hammermill Paper’s website was designed by OTTO, a New York-based creative agency. The company wanted a visually-impeccable website. So we took up the challenge of developing and deploying the website using WordPress.
These were the challenges we tackled:
Since each webpage had a custom design, we could not use readymade WordPress templates. We had to create a custom template for each page such that the HTML could be edited easily through the WordPress admin.
The company’s guidelines said that each page should be ‘Pixel Perfect’. This meant that no pixel could go out of place on any screen resolution, and had to seamlessly adapt to each screen size. Since this was a responsive website, the challenge intensified.
The biggest challenge was that all this had to be done within a deadline of just 2 months.
The ‘Pixel Perfect’ web pages offer a brilliant and seamless viewing experience to website visitors. It ensures that no matter which device users view the websites from, every pixel is perfectly in place, offering an impeccable appearance.
Since the project had a strict go-live deadline, the execution had to be planned meticulously.
Since the go-live date was known, it made sense to plan in reverse order i.e. from go-live to development start, which is an otherwise uncommon approach.
First, a monthly plan was chalked down. It was broken down into weekly plan, which was then further broken down into daily plan. This helped the team to remain focused and deliver on a daily basis.
Base Theme selection
Since each of the pages had a custom design, we could not use any WordPress theme. The first task was to select a base WordPress theme which would help in developing custom web pages.
A Proof of Concept (POC) was done with WordPress Enfold theme to confirm that it satisfied the following project requirements:
Ability to create a custom page template
A built-in responsive design
Regular feature updates
Regular WordPress compatibility updates to keep the theme up to date with the latest WordPress version
Quick support turnaround time
Page Builder Plugin selection
An easy to use page builder plugin was required for:
Designing the page template in an easy manner
Enabling the client (non-technical) to update page content
A user-friendly editor for adding/making changes
We evaluated 3-4 plugins by doing a Proof of Concept (POC) and finally selected the ‘Visual Composer’ plugin as it met all the requirements.
There was a consensus on developing reusable components to ensure quick delivery & better maintainability of the web pages.
CSS and page templates were created as reusable components.
It is bad ethic to “introduce” defects first and then fix these defects. Our team focussed on ensuring quality deliverable by:
Ensuring that requirements (at a page level) were signed off before development
Performing unit testing
Delivering regular periodic builds to the client
Following up with the client to provide feedback in 2 days from build delivery
Quality Assurance (QA)
Since the focus was on a pixel-perfect website, the team compared the design with the actual web pages religiously. This ensured that the defects were caught earlier.
Also, the website was tested across multiple devices such as a Windows desktop, laptop, Macbook, iPad, iPhone, Android phones, and Android tablets to confirm website responsiveness.
As the company brand is well known, it was decided that the focus would be on their products; especially product details, product reviews, and product ratings.
The entire team contributed to developing on-page SEO for these websites.
The website was made maintainable so that:
WordPress updates could be processed easily without breaking any functionality
Plugin updates could be processed easily
The client could make content changes to pages without requiring help from the developers
A detailed Admin Guide was created as a ready reference for the client.
The client was educated about the content update process with the typical Do’s and Don’ts.
The website is now live and generating lot of traffic. Most of the content update is done by the client, which has ensured his complete control over the website content as well as reduction in the monthly maintenance cost.