Red-Inc Digital Reports
A smarter way to communicate with clients
Wholegrain Digital have been fans of fellow B-Corp Red-Inc, a sustainable stationery company, long before they asked us to redesign their website last year.
Earlier this year, Red-Inc got in touch with us about a new project. They needed an effective and easy way to deliver reports to their clients – from annual reports to quarterly reports. Red-Inc want to provide a superior experience to their clients. They were keen to move on from using emails and spreadsheets. We decided that interactive, digital reports would be an extremely useful tool for them, and would help them to make their reporting process more efficient.
- Bespoke digital reports
- Mobile friendly tables
- Easy to build and share
- Report archive pages
- Password protection
average report creation time
average C02 per report view
Creating a bespoke solution
Wholegrain set to work designing a custom reporting solution. Having already built Red-Inc’s previous site in WordPress, we knew that building in reporting functionality within the CMS would be the easiest and best solution. One of the biggest benefits of building the reporting functionality into the website was that we could allow Red-Inc to reuse all of the custom content blocks (which they have already used to build their website) to build their reports. We would also need to create some additional bespoke functionality for the reports.
Reports within the CMS
We started by creating a new custom post type called Reports. This would ensure that Red-Inc can manage their reports all in one place in the CMS – and that reports wouldn’t get mixed up with other pages.
Hosting the reports within the website means that Red-Inc can create reports as easily as they can create pages, all within the WordPress dashboard.
More benefits of creating the reports within the CMS include:
- Full WordPress functionality such as the ability to draft and preview the reports. This also makes making corrections to reports easier – rather than having to edit a document and send it to your client again, you can just make the edit on the website and it is automatically applied.
- Branding: Hosting the report on the website is an easy way to provide a report that is on-brand and customisable, without using time-consuming Adobe templates.
- Responsive: Whether your client is viewing the report at their desk or on the go, having a report that works responsively on any device is a huge plus. Nobody likes pinching and zooming into a PDF!
- By installing the duplicate post plugin, Red-Inc can create templated versions of client reports that they then duplicate and update quarterly, saving them even more time.
Brilliant New Features
As well as having access to all of their custom blocks, we also added a few exciting features to give these digital reports a little something extra.
A new pie chart block allows Red-Inc to build an interactive, totally customisable pie chart to give their clients visual breakdowns of any kind of information. Clients can hover over the segments to find out more information, and a key is automatically generated to guide them.
We also added a prefix and suffix field to Red-Inc’s counter block. The counter block enables any numbers entered to count up dynamically as the client scrolls. By adding this extra functionality, Red-Inc can use the block to express different amounts, such as cost savings or percentages. All of these are easily editable in the back end of WordPress.
What’s more, client archive pages are auto-generated, enabling Red-Inc’s clients to see all of their reports in one location. This means that old reports are always quick and easy to find.
We installed the TablePress plugin, which allows Red-Inc to upload excel files into the website. Rather than sending excel files to the client, which can be difficult to read – TablePress formats the file as an easy to read table on the front end of the website. TablePress is very user friendly – all you need to do is upload the file and your table is ready to insert into any report you want. You can also easily make edits to any table you have uploaded, so correcting errors is a breeze.
One of the biggest benefits of TablePress is that it is mobile friendly. No matter how large the table is, users can scroll across the columns on a mobile or tablet.
We knew from the beginning that security was a really important factor when building this report functionality. Client reports contain sensitive information, so they should never be publicly accessible on the website or on Google. We ensured the information would be secure with two key steps:
- The reports post type was blocked from being indexed, meaning that search engines won’t pick up the pages and show them in search results.
- We added a password protection feature for reports as an option. Red-Inc can set a custom password for each client inside WordPress, which clients then need to enter in order to access the report.
All in all, we are so happy with how effective and simple this solution was for Red-Inc. We are thrilled that it has given Red-Inc the ability to improve how they connect with their clients, whilst simultaneously saving them time and money.
Read more about our first project with Red-Inc here.