We developed the new web site using the Concrete5 Content Management System (CMS), allowing the Bamfords team to easily update content. The CMS has been extended with a bespoke system to manage auctions, enquiries and commission bids online, integrating with the company’s internal auction and bidding system to minimise the work required to keep the online auction catalogues up-to-date and process commission bids. The new web site uses responsive web design, optimising the layout and user experience for mobile and tablet device users. We commissioned professional photography to complete the high production value appearance.
Potential bidders can now easily find lots using an improved search facility, with high-definition photographs, often from multiple viewpoints. This has been designed with the company’s growing number of international clients in mind, who rely on detailed photography and accurate descriptions, since they cannot view the lots in person. If potential bidders need further details or photographs, the new web site provides a simple to use enquiries facility, which means Bamfords can provide a faster response to their clients. This is complemented by a new online commission bids facility, allowing clients to place bids until the evening before the start of the auction.
We conducted a data migration of Bamfords’ auction back catalogue, importing all quarterly Fine Art auctions stretching back to 2005, with over 50,000 lots allowing visitors to monitor fluctuations in the value of particular items over time.
For people wanting to sell their possessions at auction, the web site offers an online valuations service, where the user can upload photographs of their item with a brief description, and Bamfords will reply with an estimate and details of the next suitable auction for selling.
The web site has been deployed on Cloud infrastructure to overcome a number of technical challenges, including ensuring high performance during peak times at the lead-up to and during auctions. The auction back catalogue has over 30 gigabytes of high-definition photographs, which will quickly grow as future auctions are added. Cloud infrastructure allows these photographs to be hosted affordably, whilst improving performance using a global Content Delivery Network (CDN), which stores copies of the photographs on servers around the world, meaning download times are optimal regardless of where you are accessing the web site from geographically.