In Brief

Lotus Cars is a much-loved British sports car manufacturer based in Norfolk. Their website serves as a marketing platform for the company to allow customers to research, configure and order their new lightweight sports car.

My Role

At the time of the release of the Lotus Evora, I was part of a small team developing and maintaining the Lotus website. Originally build on CodeIgniter (PHP & XSLT), and with a Flash/Prototype.js enhanced front end, I have remained involved over the past decade overseeing it's evolution into the modern blend of progressive enhancement and responsive design you see today.

My involvement in the development, maintenance and evolution of the Lotus website spans well over a decade: beginning before the relaunch in 2008 (in time for their launch of the Evora), and coming right the way up to the present day and 2020 launch of the Evija, which included more online marketing and hype around the reveal than any previous model.

In 2008, and as part of a very small team (in which I was the junior – and only UI – developer), we launched an all-new website for Lotus. Although advanced for the time, this was a relatively modest affair built using CodeIgniter, but with some stand-out features including a Flash-based 3D vehicle configurator and tool which automatically put visitors in touch with their local dealership, with the details of their dream car pre-populated.

It is fair to say that the website has evolved and grown since then, to a point where nothing of that original site remains. The site now sits on top of WordPress, using a mixture of HTML5 and CSS animations, alongside vanilla JavaScript (although a little JQuery also appears to have snuck in).

The previous 3D configurator has been replaced with a version that does away with 3D models in favour of an enormous set of rendered images, covering every option and every variation available. These are switched between to display your specification as you scroll through the options available on each vehicle. The mechanism of building your dream configuration is still there, as is the ability to share it directly with your local dealership.

As the brand has seen an upsurge in popularity over the past decade, the website now receives in the region of 200,000 visitors every month, many from outside the UK. The website now hosts content in over thirty different languages to cater to these customers.