· Luke Faragher · ONSIM  · 3 min read

ONSIM Website 4.0 Launch

ONSIM launch v4.0 Website using Astro.build

ONSIM launch v4.0 Website using Astro.build

Goodbye Wordpress!

Our last 6 websites have been built on Wordpress (and hosted in WP-Engine which has been excellent) and it’s largely served us well over the past 10+ years however we were starting to find that updating our website was becoming a bit of chore and something we never got round to doing. It also wasn’t fast, bloated with lots of un-necessary plugins and performed relatively poorly in terms of SEO and on mobile.

So time to change and go back to basics!

Hello Astro

Astro is a static site generator (SSG) framework that compiles and generates static HTML. It’s lightening fast, easy to update and doesn’t require a database to store and serve content. Blog articles (like this one) are written in markdown which are dynamically turned into static HTML when the site is built/deployed. Because there is no database it’s also more secure and as an unexpected win we don’t seem to be getting spammed with fake comments and bogus enquiries as we were on Wordpress (hurray!).

Deploying to AWS Amplify

All of our infrastructure at ONSIM is (now finally) on AWS and Amplify is great option for Astro (or any JS/React) sites. As soon as a new commit is pushed to master branch in our private Github repo the site is rebuilt and deployed automatically without downtime - other branches can be used to easily stage and test revisions. It’s all very slick!

Final Thoughts

Over the years I’ve generally observed that websites for B2B services and SaaS apps fall into one of two categories:

  1. Public Roadmaps - where the features the service offers today and what they display on their website don’t necessarily align. It’s “what they want to be” not where they are right now.
  2. Contact forms - usually less appealing for users to want to interact with and even harder to find because of a distinct lack of content. Counter-intuitively the services these sites front are often better than the latter because they are usually so busy shipping new features they don’t have time to write about them on their website.

Our old site definitely falls into the second category. We often get asked by customers; ‘can you solve challenge X for us’ and we say yes, we’ve been able to do that for years. But it’s not on our website so how are they to know. Over the next couple of months we are going to fix this and give a better idea of ‘the art of the possible’ when using ONSIM.

Thanks for reading!

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