My Role.Founder, designer & developer.
- UX Design
- WordPress Multiside
About this project
This project was a response to the increasing worries faced by local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. So many businesses local to Portsmouth rely on a physical presence and the lockdown meant that many had to shut up shop for the foreseeable future. This is where I came up with the idea for Supportsmouth.
The idea was simple:
Allow local businesses to sell gift cards online, that could be redeemed when they were open again in the future. I’ve made this service free to local businesses, all they have to do is get in touch to go through a short sign up process.
It was a challenge for sure – the timeframe being the biggest hurdle as we wanted to act fast to help businesses get up and running as soon as possible. I teamed up with two friends: highly talented developer Nathan Gaskin, who took care of the payment systems, and amazing designer Karl March who did the wonderful branding. We spent the best part of a week developing this round the clock. It takes 1-2 hours to set up each individual site, and it’s all managed through WP Multisite with Woocommerce gift cards.
The first company to take us up on the offer was Pebble Health & Beauty who have been successfully selling gift cards since. We’ll be updating the site with other retailers in the coming weeks!
It soon evolved though
From selling giftcards, Supportsmouth developed into an online catalogue showing whether local businsses (pubs, cafes, takeaways, and shops) were still operating, whether they were delivering, offering click & collect services, or oppen for walk ins.
Since things are ‘back to normal’ post pandemic, the site is now a growing directory of Portsmouth’s pubs, cafes, restaurants and shops. It aims to be a one stop shop for wanting to go out, or find local products. Want to find a place that does vegan food and allows dogs? There’s a filter for that. Looking for a place for a Sunday Roast? This is where you’ll find it.
It’s very much a constantly evolving project – keeping the listings up to date as much as possible is the toughest part, but for me, it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for years, so I’m very happy it finally exists!