Salt flats with clouds

Building this site

What you're looking at is the second implementation of wonderward.com, the first although was technically near perfect, looked like something out of the 1990s.

The development of this version, built on Umbraco just like the first, has been a long road filled with technical, organizational, and creative opportunities.  The basic idea for the site has gone from extreme simplicity to the point of uselessness, to an attempted tech demo lacking in content, to the simple mix of thoughtful content and interesting presentation you see today.

As for the concept of this site, the software services offered by Wonder Ward are software development and supporting services, but the real focus is on cloud technologies.  As the focus is the cloud, it seemed fitting to use original pictures of cloudy landscapes from a trip to South America to reinforce the meaning.

Winding road with clouds

To the browser and to search engines, this site is about as correct as it can be.

While there are still some minor improvements that can be made, the benefit from those changes is small compared to the effort required to make them.  In order to determine the overall correctness of this site, and what should receive the most focus, dareboost.com was primarily used; each page being run through it's analysis to ensure they all rate at least 90.  For pages that scored under 90, sometimes the site might have been slow for that request, so it gets re-tested, but other times the results of the analysis will direct some work to be done.

Path with mountain and clouds

Having a sensible information architecture and domain model makes content editing and development easier for editors and developers.

While most of this site is just standard IA design, there are some pages (this included) which are built using configurable page components in the CMS.  Building a page from components allows a content editor to manage pages in small pieces instead of one large piece, and the added benefit of allowing developers to develop small pieces of markup which can be used for any page instead of large, single-use pages.

Finally, to ensure that our website is as fast as it is correct, some technology from Azure and Microsoft are utilized.  Application Insights from Microsoft is utilized to give insight into request performance.  Using AI, it's easy to see how long it takes to fulfill a page request, and what pages are taking the longest.  The integration of AI with both Azure and Visual Studio make things especially easy.  To get constant data in AI, simple ping web tests are configured in Azure, which ensures fresh data every 5 minutes.

Rock pile with sky and clouds
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