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A collection of thoughts, stories, updates and insights from the team

Vacancy: Backend Developer (Support)

We are looking for a friendly, diligent and knowledgeable developer to join our team. You will be working to support our portfolio of work (websites and products).

Vacancy: Delivery Team Lead

We are looking for an experienced, supportive and technically-literate person to join us as our new Delivery Team Lead.

A quick guide to video mastheads

A short and simple list of best practice rules you can follow to make sure your video mastheads are performing as well as they can

The short and long-term benefits of running a content audit

How well do you know your content? And how is it performing? If you were given a blank slate to start all over again, would you know what to build upon and what to leave behind? A content audit can help you answer these kinds of questions. And the findings can be really powerful.

Support & Solutions Manager

We are looking for a friendly, experienced, and conscientious Support & Solutions Manager to join our Client Services team working across our existing client base with a particular focus on our North American clients.

Venues of the Future: a conversation with Ruth McCullough and Catherine Waddington

For over a decade the AND team has been pushing the boundaries of digital work. In this conversation with Ruth and Catherine a few key themes emerged around innovation, finance, the challenges of competing with commercial channels and how difficult it can be to change audience behaviour.

Venues of the Future: a conversation with David Collins

In this conversation with David we covered a range of interesting topics, including digital progress, the realities of returning to the pre-pandemic status quo, and the huge opportunities offered by digital from both a production and audience reach point of view.

Venues of the Future: a conversation with Cimeon Ellerton–Kay

A few key themes emerged in this insightful conversation with Cimeon, focused around risk appetite and innovation management, the meaning of creativity in a digital context, the benefits of a modular approach to developing creative work, and the shrinking importance of geography to successful audience reach.

Introducing: Venues of the Future

The cultural sector’s relationship with digital has been radically reshaped over the past two years. So we’ve started thinking about what a new ‘hybrid’ model for organisations might look like by initiating a creative Research and Development project.

Vacancy: Backend Developer

We are looking for a friendly, diligent and knowledgeable developer to join our team. You will be working across our portfolio of work, building new websites and products, and maintaining live sites.

Vacancy: Product Owner

We are looking for a new Product Owner to join our team. This person will be responsible for setting the product vision and overseeing the roadmaps for our growing suite of the products that we developed natively here at Substrakt.

Microcopy for the arts: a quick guide

Delightful digital experiences are often characterised by ease of use and simple, seamless design. And while these characteristics are undoubtedly important, what really makes a great digital product stand out is its ability to move beyond the digital and transactional realm, towards an experience that feels distinctly human. And that’s where microcopy comes in.

Sunset of Universal Analytics

Since Google Analytics 4 (GA4) officially launched as the default Google Analytics solution in October 2020, it's really no surprise that Google has given us an end date to UA. In this blog post, I will cover what this means for your current Google Analytics accounts, what you need to do to prepare for the change, and what you can do to help your future self.

Vacancy: Solutions Analyst

We are looking for an enthusiastic, organised and insightful Solutions Analyst to join our team. This person will be responsible for working closely with our clients and their users to ensure that we are understanding, defining and delivering the most successful, appropriate solutions for their needs.

Make performance days easier for your customers and Front of House staff

When audiences arrive at a venue, there are fewer things more frustrating for both front of house staff and other customers than long and slow-moving queues. Viadukt's share tickets features takes this problem away.

Drive big on sales with Viadukt’s scalable technology

On sales are a crucial moment for any ticket sales-based organisation, so having a sales flow that can cope with increased traffic, avoid downtime, and keep customers and stakeholders happy is really important. Read about how Viadukt does just that.

Vacancy: Head of Operations

We are looking for an enthusiastic, thoughtful and highly organised person to join us as our new Head of Operations. Find out more about the role and how to apply.

Introducing Viadukt: our new online purchase pathway product

We’re very excited to introduce you to Viadukt, which we’ve created to address and resolve the most common ticket buying issues and in so doing, to help cultural organisations maximise their ticket revenue.

Vacancy: Frontend Developer

We are looking for a friendly, curious, enthusiastic Frontend Developer to join our team. Find out more about the role and how to apply.

Make your print-style content digitally accessible

Organisations use digital publishing platforms such as Issuu to make their print-style content more widely available. But such platforms often come with accessibility issues. This post explains more about why and what you can be doing to make your 'print-style' content digitally accessible.

What does 2022 look like for digital?

We’re definitely seeing some clear trends in the digital work that our clients are prioritising this year. So here we share our predictions for the top five areas that will be a focus over the next 12 months.

Professional Development: Back to basics with JavaScript

Everyone at Substrakt is offered an annual allowance of time and money to focus exclusively on their professional development. I recently spent some of my time going back to basics with JavaScript (JS) – mainly vanilla JS starting from ES6. I've written about what I did and why.

Tech in Culture EDI Alliance partner forum: Reflections and looking ahead to 2022

On Wednesday 17th November we held the fourth Tech in Culture EDI Alliance partner forum, marking the final session of 2021. We used this forum as an opportunity to reflect on some of the progress made, the challenges faced and where people plan to focus their EDI efforts in 2022. Here, we’ve captured some of the many things we discussed.

Show the salary: a simple commitment

Earlier this year Substrakt signed the Show The Salary pledge, an initiative that aims to tackle the issues of pay gaps and inequity in the charity sector. We've written about what this means and why it's important to us.

5 steps to help you tell a better brand story

The ‘about us’ section of your website is likely to have some of the highest page traffic. But it’s often the most neglected content on a website. This short article will guide you through some tips to help you meaningfully engage your audience with your brand story.

The content lifecycle: caring for your content

This is a blog about content production processes for your website. I’ll explain the fundamental steps and help you to think about tailoring them for your organisation. You’re probably doing (most of) this stuff already. But it’s likely to be a process that hasn’t been deliberately planned or formalised yet.

Tech in Culture EDI Alliance partner forum: Mental health and the diversification of suppliers & supply chains

On Thursday 30th September we held our third Tech in Culture EDI Alliance partner forum. Part one focused on mental health, which is a crucial topic of social, political, medical and organisational conversation. Part two focused on the diversification of our suppliers and supply chains. This is a write-up capturing lots of the things we discussed.

SEO Updates: Google's page title update (part two)

Welcome to part two of my discussion about Google’s latest page title update. If you’ve missed out on part one (which covers what the page update is and how it differs from previous updates) go back and read that first, then join me back here to learn how you can find out exactly which of your page titles have been affected.

SEO Updates: Google's page title update (part one)

Learning that Google are rewriting your carefully crafted page titles may come to you as a bit of a shock, but in fact, this is nothing new. Google have been rewriting your page titles and meta descriptions as they see fit for many years now. So, what’s different this time?

Putting your brand voice into action

Tone of voice (TOV) guidelines distil the essence of a brand, helping the writing folk to do their work well. But they are often problematic, so here I'll share some tips for dodging these challenges and help you put your brand voice into action.

A quick guide to social media for the arts

Arts and cultural organisations have been using social media in a variety of interesting ways to engage with their audiences. Here, we share some successful examples from organisations in the sector to give you some inspriation and ideas to help increase engagement with your content.

Tech in Culture EDI Alliance Partner Forum: Internal Communications

Our second Tech in Culture EDI Alliance partner forum focused on internal communications and engagement around Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). This write-up captures some of the many things we discussed.

5 tips to improve your web writing

This is a short guide to help you improve your writing online. These techniques can be used by anyone who writes content as part of their job – whether that’s blogs, event copy or educational resources.

Building caching keys in CloudFront

The benefit of caching is that retrieving cached data is much quicker than requesting data from a server, which creates a faster and more enjoyable experience for website visitors. CloudFront has become our primary means of caching in the past few years. When configured correctly, it’s very reliable and drastically improves loading speeds as well as efficiency when serving assets to your website.

Substrakt become an employer partner with Black Codher

We’re very excited to announce that Substrakt have signed up to be an employer partner with Black Codher, a coding bootcamp specifically for black women in the UK who are interested in developing a tech career.

Substrakt become an employer partner with Black Codher

We’re very excited to announce that Substrakt have signed up to be an employer partner with Black Codher, a coding bootcamp specifically for black women in the UK who are interested in developing a tech career.

Tech in Culture EDI Alliance Partner Forum: Recruitment

The first Tech In Culture EDI Alliance partner forum was held on Monday 17th May. Hosted by the Alliance’s Founder and our Managing Director, Ash, the Forum was focused on recruitment, and the different ways in which organisations can make their hiring processes more inclusive.

Accessibility: Designing for Everyone

Irrespective of how a website is accessed or navigated, what device is used, internet connection, software, language, location, or ability, a website should work for everyone. This article explores what we mean when we talk about accessibility and inclusion. We cover why accessibility and inclusive design is important, who it affects and how to ensure your website is accessible.

Sustainable Web Design

Proactively reducing the carbon footprint of our websites through sustinable web design is something that all organisations should be thinking and caring about. This article shares tips on how you can be doing this and why it's so important.

Inclusive recruitment at Substrakt

Over the past year we have made a number of changes to the way that we do recruitment at Substrakt. In this post I’m going to detail some of the changes we made, both so that anyone else who may be considering what they can do to change their recruitment processes can see what has, and hasn’t, worked for us – and the effort involved.

Getting started with GitLab pipelines

A look at how to get started with pipelines in GitLab.

Introducing SmartLinks for TNEW

The global pandemic placed increased pressure on organisations to maximise revenue by encouraging donations or bringing onboard new donors. We’ve been working on a way to streamline the user experience of adding additional items when buying tickets, through a solution we like to call SmartLinks.

Technical SEO tasks

This article delves into the real technical side of SEO. We cover everything from backlinks and redirects to content restructuring and structured data. This may sound “too technical for you”, but if you follow this guide you’ll be a technical SEO expert in no time.

SEO: Keeping Content Customer Centric

Ongoing SEO is arguably the most important type of SEO you can undertake. With Google’s search algorithms changing daily, the rise of voice search, and various data protection legislations impacting the way we upload content, we're required to keep updating the way we do SEO. So here are some ongoing tasks you can be doing to help keep you on the right track.

Five 5-minute SEO tasks

Everyone that owns a website probably knows how important Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is. Optimising your website to gain more free high-value traffic is a no-brainer, but SEO activities usually fall behind other important website updates. So here are five 5-minute SEO tasks you can complete that I hope will show that even the smallest of changes can have a huge positive impact.

Simplify your loops with array_column

This article demonstrates how you can use array_column in PHP to simplify your loops and in turn your code. Using array_column reduces the number of lines of code you have to write and the complexity of your code, which can only be a good thing.

The Bridge: pushing the boundaries

Individual productions at The Bridge may run for around 12 weeks, meaning potentially up to 100 performances of each. The team at The Bridge wanted to make it easy for people to narrow down this long list of performance dates/times to find specific performances that had availability matching the user's criteria.

The design process (is not a flow diagram)

Everyone likes diagrams, and everyone likes lists. Lists are easy. The process of designing websites, however, is not a neat production-line-style flow diagram - it doesn’t follow a linear set of steps (contrary to what some people might tell you). So here's more what the typical 'design process' often look like.