Founded by the Smyth family over 20 years ago (can you see what they did there?!), Papersmyths take paper engineering to new levels with their famous books, pop-up brochures, invitations, Christmas cards, 3D artworks and more, working for everyone from children’s publishing houses to museum gift shops, to International brands looking to make a splash with their promotional material.

Their WordPress website is clean and crisp but they want it to work harder for them and assist more with their new business endeavours.

The first tasks for us were to solve an issue with their stats, and fix a long standing bug-bear with their contact form (which I actually did during a preliminary call with them, before we were actually working on the site!). We also moved them to new hosting with a seamless migration, being sure to check and monitor the site’s performance before and after the move for comparison.

Next on the list was a plugin audit, which we have just completed, removing almost half of their installed plugins after finding them unnecessary or easily avoidable. WordPress plugins can be very useful, and there are thousands of them to choose from to help with technical tasks large and small – but they can also all bring a tiny bit of bloat to the code and give you more to upgrade and test every time you run updates. Each plugin also brings the potential to conflict with another in the future, causing you to have performance or UX issues on the site and just generally making the code base more complicated to work with than it needs be. By working through the existing plugins with the Papersmyths team, in a couple of hours we were able to recommend which plugins could definitely be scrapped, discuss any which may still have a use, and do a few small code updates to the theme to negate the need of a final couple. (You don’t always need to install a whole plugin if an experienced WordPress developer can just add a couple of lines of code to produce the same outcome.)

Now the general housekeeping type jobs are out of the way, alongside the regular upgrades we have scheduled, we can work on helping Papersmyths bring more dynamic content to the site.