Today sees the long-awaited launch of the new Number10 website, based on WordPress and built by New Media Maze with occasional interventions by yours truly. The reaction so far has been positive, although as the team have admitted to Twitter contacts, there are numerous rough edges still to be smoothed out. (Some more serious than others: as I write this, the site’s gone down.)
Although I’ve been contributing to this project for several months, today’s public activation is the first time I’ve actually seen it ‘for real’ – and I’m struck by just how stripped-back it really is. The homepage really does feel like a blog; and it’s a pleasant surprise to see quite how much prominence has been given to the Twitter, Flickr and YouTube activity. The image / video unit at the top of the homepage really is huge, and represents a brave move: keeping it fresh will be quite a challenge, but good on them for trying nonetheless.
The exciting aspect for me is the sheer potential opened up by the move to WordPress. There has been a lot of hard (and frankly unglamorous) work done by the guys from New Media Maze to migrate everything to the new platform. But now that’s done, we can all start thinking about extra functionality and presentation ideas, and add them into the site with relative ease.
The ‘beta’ label in the header isn’t just an industry in-joke, or an attempt to excuse any temporary difficulties: it’s a statement of future intent.
PS: If anyone’s interested in the background to today’s launch, you can look back through the Puffbox.com archives. And please note the URL of that link, for another cool WordPress trick.