myunhcr.org lendwithcare.org School Notices UK-Sands
YMCA Roomsponsor Smartmatic Dave The Worm University of Leeds Alumni Questionnaire

YMCA's Room Sponsor program needed a face lift so we turned it into a responsive microsite for online acquisition and then hooked it up to Bluefrog's in-house donor feedback platform, USPACE.

We also ran a marketing plan encompassing affiliate, social, traditional CPC and offline sources.

Data transfer of new online Direct Debit sign-ups is handled automatically and securely. close

This email-led campaign was aimed at generating financial support for the next generation of undergraduates at Leeds.

Andy Tervit came up with a simple yet beautiful treatment which I really wanted to do justice to with the build, and I hope I have. Data is verified against the alumni database and then submitted to the site and delivered securely for offline processing. close

UNHCR needed an online donor feedback piece with a bit of wow factor. We delivered a beautifully immersive panorama of the Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan which is a joy to explore.

Donors are given access to one of the '7 steps to survival' by regular email updates inviting them back to experience fresh content. I built the front and backend in Foundation and Laravel 5 respectively. The image was shot for us, then I stitched and created the panorama using PTGui and KRPano. close

Since it's launch in 2010 lendwithcare.org has become the most popular microfinance site in the UK. A joint venture between Bluefrog and CARE International, the site's main aim is to enable people like you and me to make loans to small businesses in the third world.

This is a vast, feature rich site with as much going on in the lender admin area as there is on the public side. We also built a bespoke CMS to allow UK central office and satellite offices around the world to collaborate on the microloan process.

lendwithcare.org won the Third Sector Excellence Award for Best Website in 2011 and the Charity Times Best Use of the Web for 2012. close

A bit of a departure from bluefrog's normal clientele, I had pretty much sole responsibility for the rebuild of this large B2B site.

It really was in a sorry state when we were asked to redesign and rebuild so I couldn't wait to dive in. The only issue was the client's insitance on using a CMS I'd never encountered. What ensued was a titanic battle of willpower and common sense over the impenetrable and illogical. But we got there in the end. Oh and it had to be in four languages too... close

Sands came to us after having been thoroughly underwhelmed by the planning and 1st D&C presented by their incumbent agency.

We were tasked with picking up the pieces and they were sizable, with sharp edges and a tight deadline. We pulled it off in Drupal with Zurb's Foundation, sass and Compass. close

Do not be fooled by the modest exterior of the recently re-built and re-launched School Notices, for beneath lies a bang up to date implementation in Laravel 5.

Aside from writing most of the backend and a lot of the frontend, I managed a small team of freelancers who helped us hit a tight deadline on this one. close

Dave The Worm was dreamt up for Parkinson's UK by Bluefrog's creative team. Dave educates you about the importance of the worm in Parkinson's research, and then (hopefully) receives your donation to continue the good work.

Justin built most of the frontend and I did my fair share too, plus hooked up the backend with all our usual reporting and data delivery functionality. Mobile friendly as well. close


Credit where credit's due. I've had the pleasure of working with some great designers over the years, so I think it only right and proper to give a whaduppen to Dave Cosham, a hell yeah to Steve Simmonds, a heads up to James Arnott, a get the kettle on to Liam Faulkner and a thanks mate to Andy Tervit. Oh – and even though he's a project manager, Jon Lucas sure deserves a mention too.


Like most developers I'm constantly honing and tweaking my dev tools. Currently I'm down to what I feel is a pretty optimum setup for development, local testing and easy deployment. It's always interesting to see how other people go about things so this is my take.

I've used a Mac for my whole career and it remains my favourite platform. For years I ran my LAMP stack locally but since I've converted to Vagrant and VirtualBox I've never looked back. I use PuPHPet to configure everything and it's fantastic not having to rebuild your stack after every OSX update. I still prefer to run MySQL locally and connect up my vhosts to it rather than storing all the data in the VM - this way if the box needs to be destroyed the data reamins intact and doesn't need to be imported all over again.

At Bluefrog we use Beanstalk for our Git hosting. It's a really intuative and feature-packed platform, with excellent deployment facilities too.

  • Beanstalk version control hosting. You need to start things off properly and version control is where that should be. We also use this for deployments, rather than FTP.
  • Tower Makes Git so easy. Great integration with Beanstalk too.
  • Navicat MySQL tool that allows management of both local and hosted databases. Brilliant.
  • Sublime Text ...because it just is.
  • Laravel PHP framework. Pretty much everything in the last year has been built in Laravel. Like many I switched from the venerable CodeIgniter. It was great while it lasted but that party's over and I wouldn't want to go back.
  • Foundation responsive CSS framework. This has become my go-to frontend start point for responsive sites. Fantastic grid.
  • jQuery Needs no introduction.
  • SASS In the debate between LESS and SASS, I've chosen the latter option.
  • Grunt I used CodeKit for a couple of years and then when version 2 came out I was a little underwhelmed. It all started to feel like a bit of a faff. So I tried Grunt – and like Laravel, I ain't going back.
  • Bower I wondered what all the fuss was about so I gave Bower a shot. Super handy package management and turns out to be one of those you wished you'd found earlier.


If you'd like to know more about me, you'll find it in here.


Oliver-New.pdf (55k)