Welcome to the second installment of our “How much did this website cost?” series!
This week, we’re taking a look at The Getty Residences by Peter Marino. It’s a wonderful example of a minimal, confident and well-composed real estate website.
Many of our agency clients have significant real estate/property practices so we thought this one might be helpful for you – enjoy and, as always, feel free to pop any questions in the comments section.
One of the major impacts on the cost of this website is the lack of reusable components. What does this mean?
On a larger site, the cost of each template tends to fall as we quote for the project, as a coherent “design pattern” begins to emerge. For instance, the homepage might take two days to build but the final “Our Story” template might take just a few hours, as it re-uses components previously laid down in the design. Various elements are re-used to a greater or lesser extend – this might include:
We’re seeing more and more projects where designers are approaching the website through the lens of a “design pattern,” rather than strict, single-purpose templates. Indeed, with Gutenberg, WordPress’ internal modular page builder, this is the future of the WordPress platform – and it is clear to see why. Websites are living entities and the more we can empower website admins to take control of the content of their website (whilst working within the bounds of the brand experience), the better ROI end clients will see.
The Getty Residences website is very much the opposite of a design pattern. Indeed, my one complaint with the website is that it has been designed with an eye for a “poster”or “magazine” rather than as a website. Each template is so different to the other that there is minimal opportunity for cost-savings in website development.
Using video in the right way is a regular discussion we have with our agency clients, and this website is a great example of doing this well.
The video is the first thing you see when you land on the website and they made the right compromises to make it work well:
Though there are extensive animations/transitions on the website, these are off the simpler varieties, including:
These sorts of animations can be easily handled by great animation/transition libraries, meaning that they add minimal costs to a web development project.
Personally, I would seek to add an additional half day to any web development budget with this level of animation, just to ensure we have some budget and time padding to refine these animations to perfection. With minimal websites, the animations/transitions are what provide a deeper sense of immersion and brand experience for the user, so we want to ensure they are pitch perfect.
This is an extremely asset heavy website and it was clearly built with speed in mind.
All the assets (images, video, downloadable files) are provided via Amazon Cloudfront – https://aws.amazon.com/cloudfront/ – the AWS content delivery network. This ensures that these assets are delivered quickly, regardless of where in the world your users are browsing from.
This website is actually built with Gatsby (https://www.gatsbyjs.com/), a static site generator that creates blazingly-fast website.
We’ve seen amazing speed improvements with Gatsby; in internal testing, the WordPress version of a website got between 60-70 out of 100 for performance in Google Lighthouse. However by using WordPress in its API format, integrated with a Gatsby front-end, we saw performance of 95+ ????
We would find it hard to recommend the cost of a Gatsby solution to many of our clients, especially when we have more affordable ways to easily boost performance:
The ‘quote’ below is based off of this recommendation.
The Press page is an ideal example of a decision we would make to use either a Repeater Custom Field, or a Custom Post Type. It’s a great example to give you an idea of how we structure our WordPress back-ends.
Using our beloved Advanced Custom Fields plugin (https://www.advancedcustomfields.com/), this is one way of handling the management of the various press links.
A Repeater field is a way to “repeat” the same element on a page template, in this case, each press coverage “card.” Each repeatable element would likely have the same internal custom fields, such as:
WordPress is made of different post types by default, which are:
As WordPress developers, we are able to create custom post types. These post types are typically used to structure data in a more easily managed way for our site admins. Regular use cases are for:
The key use case is for repeatable content but normally at a higher level than the repeater field. Custom post types can have:
As there is no need for searching/filtering, nor a need for a Single Press template (e.g. thegettyresidences.com/press/galerie), this is an ideal use case for a Repeater Custom Field.