Some of the Prater Raines team have known Mark Pack for many years (probably rather more than any of us are prepared to admit). We were delighted when he approached to become part of Mark’s campaign team to become the next President of the Liberal Democrats.

Mark announced his campaign on Thursday prior to the launch of conference, and his campaign website went live at the same time. Built on WordPress, there is much more to come, but the sign-up (feeding to MailChimp), donate (backed by Stripe) and contact pages are in place, and we’ll be adding more pages and content in coming days.

 

Only sometimes do you check the BBC News and find one of your websites being mentioned, but this is one of those days.

We were approached to build a standalone website to support the Whirlpool Dryer recall some months ago, and working to a limited but developing brief delivered the site as required.

It has since supported tends of thousands of their customers since to resolve the issue with their dryer.

Today saw another burst of media activity around that recall, seeing a large increase in the number of people visiting the site. The site responded well throughout: the dryer checker (linked from within the site and hosted by Whirlpool themselves) was slower due to the sheer number of visitors.

Prater Raines are delighted to be working with the Liberal Democrats on the development of a new Local and Regional Party Portal to launch in January 2020.

The Portal will be a user friendly web interface to allow Local and Regional Party Officers to:

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Cover / poster of "King and Country", "Longer than it takes to say Goodbye" and "CLD"

We were pleased to bring live a new website for Oxford Music Theatre recently at https://oxfordmusictheatre.co.uk

Based on WordPress and offering a number of free downloads and previews, the site offers a range of scores for choral editions of songs from shows by Jane Bramwell and Michael Brand.

Debit and Credit Cards

Strong Customer Authentication is coming. This is going to change the way a large number of credit and debit card transaction happen – especially online – during this year.

We’ll be working with all of our clients that take payments on ensuring their systems are compliant – which should be led by the payment processor in each case, and will, hopefully, require minimal changes on the part of the client, but we’ll watch and learn…

In the case of our clients using GoCardless (the DD based payment / donation processor) it is unlikely they will see any changes (as they are not card based payments). However, they’ve written a blog post explaining more about how they expect SCA changes to effect their – and other – payments in future.

For almost 20 years, Lib Dem Image have been the official supplier of Liberal Democrat merchandise, campaign materials, clothing, gifts & books.

In 2005, we developed Lib Dem Image’s first online shop – previously they had sold only via phone and mail order and from stalls at Party conferences.

Although the shop was developed for a “tight” budget even then, it grew to become their main sales platform quite rapidly. However, although it has been clear for many years that the site needed some investment, LDI and the Party had not been in the position to invest in a significant refresh. So, until now, the 2005 site, with a few tweaks and a very limited investment in development had continued to trade and work securely and effectively, but looking, with the best will in the world… dated.

Wind forward to 2018, and Lib Dem Image and the Party agree a new long term agreement to extend LDI’s contract as official supplier. This gave all sides the confidence to look at and invest in updating their web site. Having worked with them for 13 years and with great experience of their service and needs, we were delighted they spoke to us about that redevelopment!

And launching at the start of 2019, we’re proud to introduce the new Lib Dem Image website. Based on WooCommerce and WordPress, the site is now fully mobile and tablet friendly, hosted on our own UK based secure WordPress hosting. Payments are being taken through Stripe, which offered good value to LDI and a full API and seamless integration into WooCommerce which we enjoyed!

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In September 2017, the then management of the Liberal Democrat Christmas Draw told us they were hanging up their tombola wheel, and that they were going to stop the draw after over 20 years.

That made us sad: the Lib Dem Christmas Draw was a nationally organised ticket based raffle run by a team of volunteers since 1995. In that time, it raised well over half a million pounds for local parties and central Lib Dem funds – and over 800 prizes were won by Party member and supporters, their families and friends.

However, in recent years there had been a fall in the number of Local Parties participating. Much of this was due to the amount of work involved for Local Parties (let alone the draw organisers) in ordering, distributing, collecting and sending back the tickets, stubs and money. Add to that the general fall in use of cheques (so fewer and fewer people actually found buying the tickets themselves convenient) and the draw looked to be on the way out.

But it remained a great idea, and a really strong fundraiser for the Party. So after discussion, we were delighted to be commissioned to develop and launch the new online Liberal Democrat Christmas Draw.

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After a great Christmas and New Year break, it’s always nice to be back in the office – Happy New Year!

Although we’ve been monitoring and checking email and voicemails throughout the Christmas period, we’re now back up to full speed.

You can call us on 0345 363 7163 from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday, or email info@praterraines.co.uk to get in touch. Alternatively, if you live near our Sandgate HQ then you can drop in there to have a chat – always happy to see you.

Also: is this the time to finally get your company website sorted? We’ve got an offer to help you meet that New Year resolution – we’ll set you up new basic WordPress website for just £250 plus VAT * this January – HALF our usual price!

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We were delighted to be asked by our friends at Tendo Consulting to help with work on the End Our Pain campaign by moving their existing campaign website onto WordPress, generally update and put in place “Email Your MP” functionality we’ve developed to help people lobby their MP directly.

You may have seen a lot of coverage (in the Mail on Sunday, across the BBC and elsewhere) about Alfie Dingley and his need medical need for cannabis to control his epilepsy. That coverage – and Social Media support from a huge range of others including Patrick Stewart – saw THOUSANDS email their MP and thousands more sign the End Our Pain petition.

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Over the August Bank Holiday weekend Sandgate (where Prater Raines is based) holds an annual Sea and Food Festival. There’s free music, a public fireworks display from the beach on the Saturday night and a range of entertainment and food stalls on the Sunday.

Prater Raines are delighted to invite our customers down to visit Sandgate to join us for a few drinks, some food and fireworks on Saturday 25th August.

Nothing fancy: if the weather plays nicely, we’ll be on and around the beach: if not, in and around Sandgate & local pubs!

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