Department of Energy and Climate Change Case Study - S8080 CMS

Before their move onto the new GOV.UK platform in 2013, S8080 were commissioned in 2008 for the design and build of Ed Milliband’s newly formed Department of Energy and Climate Change website. We continue to support DECC as their digital agency, working on a family of sites.

The project included significant cross organisation stakeholder sessions at each stage of the process. Our UX team ran extensive lab based user testing sessions at the IA, wire frame and pre go live stages of the project to ensure the project continued to focus on user needs and user wants.

Originally designed as a ‘quickly deployed’ interim site, the website’s success and S8080’s high level of on-going support to the communications team meant that it was the permanent home of DECC for five years and due to this fact, there were considerable developments during its lifetime.

The website was a high load, and high profile central government platform that was continuously updated, and as such demanded a high level of service and support.


We understand that a Welsh SME running a very busy central government website is a privilege – and our teams continue work very hard for them. DECC is a very demanding client and we have a truly excellent working relationship with their communications team. We have always gone the extra mile for them and their requests get tracked and dealt with very quickly.

They have an on-going support contract in place and we regularly provide technical assistance and cover during high-load events (Election, Copenhagen Summit, heightened security threats, etc.)

We provide rapid and both proactive and reactive support to the client, DECC are provided with a primary project manager point of contact and direct access to our technical team lead, and front end developer team lead. All support enquiries are escalated at the highest priority.

DECC hosting provision

For confidentiality and security reasons we are limited in disclosing the detailed infrastructure, however we can disclose that working on behalf of DECC, s8080 commissioned, managed and supported the hosting provider on DECC’s behalf. The hosting company provides dedicated managed server hosting, geographic resilience, anti DDOS measures, network infrastructure and 24/7 support.

S8080 have worked at every stage in the process, from hosting solution architecture, commissioning, roll out, testing and security upgrades to provide a highly resilient dedicated managed web hosting architecture.

S8080 manage the hosting provider for DECC so that they have never needed to contact the hosting provider directly.

UX, IA and creative

During the initial design and build phase of the DECC website, S8080 were tasked (via COI) with the following:

  • Content audit, analysis and plan
  • Information architecture
  • Wireframes
  • Scenarios of use
  • User journeys
  • Creative brief
  • Full technical specification
  • Concepting and design
  • Creation of website page templates and build of the site structure
  • Interactive elements
  • Content addition and page styling
  • Implementation of a Microsoft .NET CMS
  • Bespoke technical development (see technical section below)
  • Commissioning hosting
  • On-going support and maintenance
  • QA and testing to BS EN ISO 9001 : 2008 quality standard
  • PRINCE2 project management

Dear s8080, What can I say? Yet again you have been marvellous beyond words...

It looks great and we couldn’t have done it without you. We owe you particular thanks for your “above and beyond the call of duty".

Many thanks once again. We couldn’t hope to be working with a better agency. Best wishes.

David Armstrong – Department of Energy and Climate Change, UK Government.


The DECC website was a highly technical and customised content managed development with many bespoke features. S8080’s technical team have designed and built the follow functionality into their CMS:

  • Consultations – with XML feeds to central government data capture
  • Publications library – in-excess of 6,000 documents, and online ordering capabilities
  • Content migration, document migration
  • Integration with third party IT systems
  • WordPress blog
  • Social media optimisation – YouTube, Fickr, Twitter feeds
  • Form builder application
  • Poll
  • Micro-site development
  • National archives synchronisation / web archiving
  • Support of online legacy database systems
  • Intranet template development
  • Bespoke database development
  • Publications library with faceted search and extensive tagging


Whilst we cannot release detailed information on the exact security measures put in place, S8080, working closely with the hosting provider, hardened the network infrastructure through a number of infrastructure upgrades.