L. Hawkins & Sons ltd website

L. Hawkins & Sons ltd website

Nathan is very easy to work with and we are incredibly pleased with the Website he created for us. His communication was clear, helpful and he explained everything in terms we could understand. We would also like to note that he took the time to understand the delicate nature of our business and delivered a site that is both dignified and easy to navigate. We highly recommend his services

Colin Haynes - Company Director - L. Hawkins & Sons ltd.

Project Overview

L. Hawkins & Sons Ltd. is an independent, family-run funeral director based in Leatherhead, Surrey, with a legacy dating back to the 1880s.

When they approached me, their (now previous) website was slow, outdated, and had little to no search engine presence. They sought an efficient solution to improve their online presence.

Key Challenges

  • Rebuild from scratch: We were to make a fresh start, with no useful content or media to carry over from the previous website.
  • Search engine visibility: We will have to come up with respectful means of building up crawlable content.


Together, we identified Hawkins’ main user groups and designed user journeys to cater for each of them. I created a user interface to meet these needs and other goals, including:

  • A catalog of products
  • Advice articles
  • Integration with a third-party donation service
  • Mobile first responsive layout

Technical Implementation

  • Frontend: Developed a decoupled, mobile-first responsive user interface using Vue.js. The front end is a single-page application (SPA) with server-side rendering to ensure speed, that it is crawlable by search engines, and compatibility across devices.
  • Backend: Utilized WordPress for the backend due to the client’s familiarity with its admin area.
  • Microservices: Implemented a Sinatra microservice written in Ruby for dynamic rendering of PDF downloads.
  • Infrastructure: All components are behind an Nginx reverse proxy, deployed using Docker on a Docker Swarm.


  • Responsive Design: The mobile-first layout ensures optimal display on any device.
  • Search Engine Optimization: The new site is easy to find on search engines, significantly improving its visibility.
  • Brand Enhancement: Improved brand image while maintaining consistency with existing branding.

Thoughts and feelings

This project showcases my ability to enhance user experience, and leverage modern technologies to deliver scalable, efficient web solutions.