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We joined Newton on a full build and redesign of their website, working within the tight regulatory restrictions of a financial services institution.

Newton are a London based, global investment management subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. They provide investment products and services and have over £55 billion funds under management.

Newton got in touch with us in February 2014 to modernise and consolidate their outdated system into something simpler, more scalable and better optimised for their needs. They wanted a full site re-development and design and had clear plans around how they could make use of WordPress’ capabilities and features.

Adhering to strict regulatory requirements

As a financial services institution, Newton operates within a strict regulatory environment; so as well as providing a more seamless user experience for their clients, the website needed to hold up under intense regulatory scrutiny. This can happen at any time and permeates every area of the business, including the website. 

We built a plugin that creates static mirror snapshots at regular intervals, all of which are neatly archived to provide the necessary audit trail. The saved files have to be easily accessible and data can be requested from any point in the last 7 years.

Custom editorial review

Newton wanted a custom editorial review process that ensured content being published on the site was parsed through several layers of meticulous review before going live. Standard WordPress functionality enables post drafts to be saved prior to publishing, with revisions updated as soon as they’re performed. Newton needed an additional layer in their editorial workflow, so we developed a solution which enabled multiple versions of the same post to be held in draft; allowing editors to select, review and publish only the approved version of a latest post.

As well as an additional step in the editorial workflow, Newton’s editorial team required fine control over all content on the site. We built additional admin sections enabling editors to modify specific sections of the site, including disclaimer texts and the 404 error text. Each institution’s version of the site also has a different legal disclaimer that must be shown and acknowledged by the user on the first visit. We had some interesting and complex work around the site cookies to make sure the disclaimer is shown for each new institution visit, and not just for the first site visit.

Multiple versions on one install

Newton has four different versions of their site; these are displayed depending on the geographical area, and institution type, of each user. Their previous system meant that each institution was maintained as a separate site. This was cumbersome for the team at Newton, and created a larger workload for them; as well as making it more difficult to keep the various websites in sync and up-to-date. The new site uses a single WordPress install with a combination of shared content and tailored content; content is served depending on the version of the site selected.

Hosting for a financial organisation

Newton had previously hosted their network on an internal stack; which was labour intensive and required a lot of time to maintain. Moving to our cloud infrastructure powered by Amazon Web Services relieved the team of this pressure and meant they were able to stay focused on different areas of the project.

Despite not having worked with a financial institution previously, our hosting environments adhere to the relevant industry standard compliance requirements and competently met expectations. Our standard set up uses 2 – 3 different environments providing specific spaces for development, staging, and production; Newton required an additional fourth space for testing that would remain free from any modification by the development teams.

Optimising WordPress

One of our most recent pieces of work for Newton has been in helping the team improve their email marketing campaigns with Mailchimp. We installed the account, showed them how to use it for their unique purposes, and created documentation to onboard them on the platform. We also created reusable templates so the editorial team can recreate and send consistent campaigns. In addition, we’ve recently added Brightcove to the website, enabling the editorial team to easily embed videos in posts and pages.

The website went live in December 2014, and we’ve since continued to work with Newton. As well as providing hosting, with support and maintenance, we’ve continued to work closely with their development team providing code reviews and technical advice and support. We also merge and deploy all additional code, to ensure and maintain the security of the entire system. The in-house development team have also continued to reach out to us to provide specialised WordPress expertise.

“We’ve been really impressed with how competently Human Made tackled some of the more complex parts of the project. They intuitively understood our industry needs and proposed comprehensive and well researched solutions to problems we faced. Our current website is more sophisticated and has impacted positively on our workflows, enabling us to work more efficiently. We felt there was very little the team couldn’t do with WordPress, and we’ve really enjoyed maintaining our working relationship.”

— Richard John Price - eCommerce Manager

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