Elements or Lower

Thu, 07 Sep 2006

Monks Chartered Surveyors

In some ways, things have just gone full circle. Nearly ten years ago, Article Seven’s very first invoice was for Martin Monk and Company, a small Shrewsbury-based estate agents then-owned by the father of my then-girlfriend. Tested at first only using Arcweb, the site featured a “showcase” of a dozen or so properties, which I had to tediously update by hand for several years thereafter. It was blue and gold, textured, Times New Roman. It made liberal use of <hr> and all paragraph tags were unclosed. It was last season’s shoes even when it was launched.

Since then, the site has been overhauled a few times. Firstly, the “showcase” was reimplemented using a tied DBM file. Then, I added a crude administration layer so that I no longer had to update the site myself. Finally, when the company changed hands and became Monks Estate Agents, the design was refreshed and the HTML rewritten.

Now, the company’s rebranded and growing, and this morning we made a completely rebuilt monks.co.uk live. Unexpectedly, the site represents the fourth publicly-available installation of my CMS, so that content could be easily developed and edited in-house, and so that I had a convenient framework already in place for the site redevelopment.

We’ve been quite careful to include a handful of features I’d have liked in the sites the missus and I used to help us buy our home here in Greenwich a few years ago:

As always, there are various changes I’d already like to make. Principally, the map on the search page is way too big and only really serves to get in the way of the form. But it’s very early days, and we’ll continue to develop the site once it’s had a chance to settle in. Overall, I’m quite pleased with how this one turned out.