About the site
A brand new and innovative way of finding and booking your perfect holiday cottage . Featuring an intuitive and highly flexible search mechanism with 1000s of cottages to choose from, lots of useful extras and growing rapidly!
The site was built using cutting edge open source PHP software. Primarily founded on the award winning Symfony2 framework and implementing a large number of bundles and plugins to support a high demand complicated web site. The site utilises a huge amount of bespoke functionality, combining a large number of external APIs to enhance importing, exporting, availability, booking processes and social media integration.
Due to the high profile of this site, hosting was carefully constructed to allow us to run development, testing, staging and live versions of the site across 3 different servers. Automation of deployment and rollback procedures allows new features to be tested and released quickly and easily with minimal fuss.
At Holiday Cottage Compare Ltd, we have worked with Instantiate for the past twelve months, during which time they built our website from the designs up, with complex search functionality and numerous API integrations.
We have found Instantiate to be accessible, incredibly hard-working and able to meet all deadlines asked of them throughout the project.
They have a positive, ‘can-do’ attitude and solution-focused approach and are able to converse at a non-technical level.
Not only have they been skilled web developers, they have also managed our hosting and server needs.
We therefore consider Instantiate to be an invaluable and trusted part of our team and would highly recommend their services to anyone looking for a development partner.Sophie Alexander - Managing Director
About the site
The British Formula 3 International Series is the leading single-seater championship in the UK and the world’s top Formula 3 series. Young drivers come from all over the world to race in British F3 and compete against the finest young racing drivers of our generation. Win in British F3 and you are marked as a driver to watch. Around the world, no other race series has produced as many Grand Prix winners and World Champions.
Formula 3 required a very bespoke database-driven system to allow management of content types that could not be accommodated by typical ‘out of the box’ solutions. This necessitated a relational database model to allow accurate auditing and historical data records to be preserved as they were at the time of racing. We worked closely with the F3 team to create an Admin area for the site that allows them to manage this data easily and intuitively. This includes features such as CSV uploads of results and timing data and flexible data grids for sorting and viewing large datasets.
Instantiate were recruited to build and design the new British Formula 3 website for us at the end of 2010. We had short deadlines and high expectations, as it was part of the new brand we rolled out for the 60th year of the prestige Championship.
They not only followed the brief given, but exceeded our expectations in terms of delivering exactly what we were after and on time. Top value work for a great price, the end product was well received and also had the very important aspect of ease of back-end use.Lisa Crampton - General Manager
About the site
A Girl for All Time® is a series of award-winning British collectible dolls, novels and keepsake books that bring the past to life with cool fashions, exciting stories and original activities to share with friends and family. Winner 'Best Doll' 2011 & 2012, Oppenheim ToyPortfolio 'Platinum' winner, and '100 of the Best Educational Toys', this uniquely British brand encourages intelligent, creative play for girls aged 6 and older.
Integrating a number of standard e-commerce features alongside a carefully crafted blogging and content based website, A Girl for All Time® takes full advantage of our bespoke offerings to create a very fast and responsive site with unique slants throughout reflecting their unique product range.
Built using the award winning Symfony framework and making use of a large number of excellent plugins and open source packages, this e-commerce site also seamlessly integrates with a popular payment gateway to handle card transactions. Further API integrations with a fulfilment (delivery) company allows for management of stock levels and close control of the delivery status of orders received from across the world.
Instantiate have done a fantastic job on our retail website, on which we rely heavily for web traffic and of course income. Their team has always been willing to listen to our ideas - and add their own - and has successfully implemented them all into a website that is a bit 'out of the box' for our sector of the toy industry.
As a result, our site looks fresh and innovative. I get comments almost every week from end consumers and industry insiders about the original look and content of our site.
Thanks, Instantiate!Frances Cain - Founder and CEO
About the site
Park Holidays UK have 24 Caravan Holiday Parks across the southern UK coastline from Devon in the West to Suffolk in the East and are the largest provider of Caravan Holiday Parks in the South of England. They offer great value family UK Caravan Holidays & Short Breaks, affordable Static Caravans for sale options, plus Touring Caravan & Camping Sites.
This very popular and highly visited site turns over an incredible amount of users and bookings on a daily basis, therefore it was a necessity to provide high performance and excellent user experience. We worked closely with Park Holidays UK to develop a custom Admin area which provides them with a very flexible templating system for creating articles, news items and site pages. Providing easy management of the details, images, offerings and facilities for each of the Parks, a massive Caravan Makes and Models resource database, Static Caravans for Sale listings, an Owners Area and much more.
The Park Holidays UK web site was built using a completely bespoke PHP5 framework with an advanced caching and content delivery system. Tight API integration with their booking providers allows users to search for holidays using an internal cache of holiday availability for performance and flexibility of search parameters. Full booking and payment gateway integration is also set up to provide a seamless user experience.
Instantiate have been working with Park Holidays UK and our web design agency for some time now and are part of the core development team that has delivered us a first class transactional website with unique functionality. Our web business has grown significantly since their involvement and we are delighted with their work ethic and of course the results that they have helped to deliver!
Their understanding of our product and commercial needs has been one of their great strengths and their tenacious approach to achieving objectives, often with very tight time constraints has helped them to stand out as one of our most valued business partners.
They take a no-nonsense approach to all challenges and are not afraid to work day and night until a solution is found. We are delighted that they are part of our extended team and would have no hesitation to recommend their services to anyone looking for an exceptional partner.Geoff Barnes - Marketing Director
About the site
Development in Action (DiA) is a UK registered charity which exists to promote global citizenship by improving understanding and encouraging engagement in development issues amongst young people in the UK. Founded in 1992 and registered as a charity in 1994, DiA provides opportunities for young people to engage with global issues through its UK and India volunteering programmes.
Working with DiA required a special focus on the most cost effective method of providing a flexible system which would meet all of their requirements. As a result of this the site was built using the open source Joomla content management system (CMS). To provide extra functionality such as file downloads, user groups and protected user areas a number of plugins and extensions were also integrated and configured
When we needed a new website for Development in Action we were put in touch with Instantiate who came highly recommended. Despite being more used to larger projects they were happy to put something together that perfectly matched our needs and budget.
Working with Instantiate was an absolute pleasure, they always took time to explain everything to us in simple terms and were very accommodating to fit in any changes as we went. I would highly recommend them for any web project - big or small!Kate Jeffrey - Manager
What is “White Label” work?
As a small and highly skilled team of software and web developers we are often approached by digital agencies and companies to consult, advise and help out with various projects and technical issues. We offer a “White Label” service to many of these companies which allows them to offer their clients our services as their own. We are more than happy to meet with clients of other companies on this basis and to aid in the technical planning, specification and development of projects of all sizes.
We have found these arrangements to be mutually beneficial. For us the projects are often very varied and interesting, usually for large and prominent end-clients, sent on to us from agencies with international presence. We get the opportunity to work with excellent designers and the agencies benefit by being able to offer a wider range of services to their clients while still keeping development costs under control.
We have developed a close ties with some excellent digital agencies, and a number of these have been kind enough to write a few words of endorsement for us that you can read in the Partners section below.
As well as our own work we have also worked with a number of agencies, including the following...
Offering custom Facebook tab design, Facebook applications, Facebook contest and promotions, socially-enabled websites and microsites, social media skinning, viral marketing campaign planning, execution, creative and reporting and website design and development.
The New Black work with major brands, record labels, artists and as suppliers to leading agencies from initial brief to conception. Although their focus is on social, that’s not all they do. They build websites, mobile pages and apps, HTML newsletters, banners, and anything else digital.
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We've had the pleasure of working with Instantiate on a number of websites and web-based applications over the past couple of years, and they have always delivered outstanding service - proving to be very knowledgeable backend developers.
We would definitely recommend working with them for anything that requires a solid grasp of backend web technologies, because of their attention to detail, flexibility and responsiveness.Ben Taub - Director
The New Black is a creative studio that specializes in social media branding, and the development of bespoke social media solutions.
Red Bullet work in the tricky middle space between user requirements and business aims. Based in Kent, their impressive portfolio of clients include many large multinationals and public sector organisations.
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We have used Instantiate to help with aspects of development on larger projects in the past. They have proved to be reliable and the quality of work is always high.Simon Wilson - Managing Director
Red Bullet is a research-led web development agency that “helps people to get on with their lives”.
From technical and digital consulting to delivering the nuts and bolts of a web application, Medium Rare Digital have an obsession and pride for delivering high quality products.
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I've worked with Instantiate on a number of projects with the largest being A Girl for All Time. Throughout all of them, they proved themselves to be diligent, professional and very capable delivering highly complex web applications.
I wouldn't hesitate to work with them again and can't recommend them highly enough to others.Charley Radcliffe - Director
Medium Rare Digital are a web agency with a passion for designing and developing bespoke websites supporting a whole host of businesses.
Wordpress and SEO specialists, Raison Online build websites with search in mind from the start and empower businesses to take control and develop content rich websites which rank well.
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Instantiate have been a joy to work with. Their team have been helpful and hard-working from project specification to implementation. We were particularly impressed by their ability to integrate with existing systems and taking intuitive leaps by themselves. Any questions were quickly answered via Skype or phone and post-launch support has been great.
We look forward to working with the team again in the future.Elliot Taylor - Director
Brighton based web design agency Raison Online are dedicated to cutting away at complexity and providing websites that just work.
in particular with respect to API (Application Programming Interface) interactions, payment gateways, booking systems and 3rd party integrations. We have a wealth of knowledge and plenty of experience of potential problems and an in depth understanding of how these systems work.
and ensure that the best approaches are taken to meet all of the requirements specified. This includes developing projects on the latest open web technologies
leveraging the latest HTML5 features where possible and running on a fully optimised and configured web server, with a high speed gateway cache to accelerate delivery of the content.
We have built countless Facebook apps, pages, tabs, competitions and promotions. In addition we have carried out numerous deep integrations with many others such as Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Reddit, Tumblr, Disqus, UserVoice, VK and many more.
and also of setting up and configuring SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates so you can provide the best assurances of absolute security to your customers. We can also create fully customised payment gateways.
Ensuring an effective caching system is in place reduces the load on your web server. Compressing the assets and images will reduce the bandwidth. Both will result in better user experience and often reduced server costs.
we have the experience required to help guide you through all the stages of the full project lifecycle.
Modern sites have to be adaptable enough to cope with heavy traffic, slow connections, long delays in returning data from external sources and many more issues. This is why benchmarking at an early stage is essential so sites do not rely too heavily on external factors to keep their users happy.
Before starting development on any project we will carefully go through the project specification with the client in fine detail providing comments and highlighting where potential issues could lie and where different approaches may work better.
using online collaborative tools to keep communications centralised and easy to use. We have managed projects in the past using Unfuddle, Basecamp, Assembla, GitHub, BitBucket, Pagodabox, Asana, and also bespoke management tools. These tools allow clients to create support tickets, submit bug reports, upload supporting documentation and much more.
We have a lot of experience with both unmanaged servers, managed servers, CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) and cloud hosting solutions. As sites grow we will be able to advise on the most cost effective ways of scaling up the services.
We are more than comfortable administering all flavours of Linux, and have years of experience running and managing servers for our clients. Any work can be undertaken, from simply implementing a backup policy to commissioning a high availability cluster.
and are skilled at applying optimisations to both new builds and existing sites. Often just a few tweaks to the configuration of your web server or database can make a huge difference to the end user experience.
The range of support options can vary from checking in once a month to update any software packages which have fallen out of date to block-booking time for developing extra features. We also provide out-of-hours support for those mission-critical events that absolutely have to run smoothly.
It is always important to develop a good relationship based on strong channels of communication. We regularly meet with clients all over the country. This flexibility extends to meetings which are often required with 3rd parties on behalf of the client.
Any client with an online presence should consider taking their site in for a service from time to time to ensure that latest versions of the available software are installed and configured. This is often essential to keep on top of any recently discovered security holes and any bugs which are regularly found and fixed by the developers of these packages.
Our tried and tested release procedures minimise issues when deploying new projects and when working existing code bases. We can help your teams implement robust deployment procedures or manage the process from start to finish ourselves.
For clients with existing deployment procedures in place we have no problems working within the existing structure. We have successfully deployed many projects within corporate infrastructure and work closely with in-house development and support teams on these occasions.
We use a number of different deployment systems (such as Capistrano) to automate deployment where possible. With larger projects deployment processes can become complex and time consuming. Completed manually, mistakes would be unavoidable. We can set up automated deployment systems to mitigate risks and ensure every deployment operation is identical to the last.
We use version control to manage all source code, from the smallest project to the largest. This ensures a full history of every change made and allows for simple roll back to known good code in the case of any problems. There are a number of systems for version control. Our preference is GIT as this offers many smart features for collaborative project development. However we have also managed projects in SVN and Mercurial. We can also manage migration of a project over to GIT to take advantage of the more advanced functionality.
We use up to four stages in our development, testing and release procedures, depending on the scale of the project. Separate environments are used for development, testing, staging and production. This allows us to continue development while completed features are being tested. It also provides the ability to test deployment of new functionality before deploying it to a live server. This process prevents a huge number of issues from making it to the production environment.
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