Octopus Group is a collection of entrepreneurially-minded businesses, and one of the UK’s fastest growing companies. Founded in 2000, it predominantly operates in the financial services and energy supply sectors, and each business within the group – which includes Octopus investments, Octopus Energy, and Octopus Ventures – has distinct objectives and markets.

The group appointed Big Bite in 2019 as its new technology partner to replatform its suite of websites to a scalable solution to meet its growing requirements.

Brand consistent network 

Before we embarked on any production work, we initially carried out a discovery phase which helped us gain a deep understanding of Octopus Group’s workflows, procedures, and publishing challenges faced by the company and its subsidiaries, as well as the importance of its core brand. As a result of our findings, we proposed the most viable solution – a multi-site network on the WordPress platform, and the implementation of the Octopus design system within the WordPress Gutenberg editor. 

In collaboration with the group’s design team, we developed a core Octopus theme that includes a suite of styled components – also known as blocks – that act as a tool kit to quickly and efficiently create websites, pages and content. Every reusable block adheres to the brand’s established guidelines and follows best practice for user interface design to not only save production time, but also ensure complete visual consistency on every page published. 

Once the theme was complete, we were able to build the first site on the network – octopusgroup.com – which we launched in January 2020, shortly followed by ten further websites including octopusinvestments.com

Full production control

The multi-site foundation means that each of the sites can be independently managed by a different team or business across the group, and thanks to the implementation of the design system within WordPress, every site remains fully compliant with the brand’s global guidelines. Using the admin panel we’ve developed, non-technical teams across the company can now also produce their own web pages in just a matter of days – significantly quicker than ever before – and they can make daily updates and changes where needed. 

The new Octopus WordPress theme has revolutionised the way our business functions on a daily basis, particularly our marketing and content teams. The Gutenberg editor allows us to react to new business needs very quickly, and productivity among our teams has increased massively.

Mona Steininger
Octopus Group

Building a product to make design scalable:
Implementing a design system into WordPress

Ongoing developments

As with many of our clients, we continue to work closely with Octopus Group to develop further functionality to incrementally enhance the usability of its sites. As part of our ongoing service we also ensure that its multi-site environment continues to comply with best code practices and its sites are continually optimised for speed, security, and usability. 

If you’d like to learn more about implementing a design system into WordPress, click here to download our white paper on the topic, created in collaboration with Octopus Group.