Pooka specialises in Open Source technology to provide its clients with the cost-effective web solutions.

We provide beautiful, highly-tailored websites for the cultural, creative and charitable sectors of Scotland and England.

Using WordPress as a Content Management System, we develop highly customised websites to meet the specific requirements of our clients.

We can provide:

  • Ecommerce solutions
  • Event calendars
  • Template design and integration
  • Directories
  • Social networking functionality
  • Social media integration

And much, much more…


Open Source at Heart

Pooka specialises in the development of websites using Open Source technologies.

The best Open Source technologies are those that are well-supported and kept up-to-date by a global community of developers.

Pooka focuses on the development of websites based on WordPress and associated platforms, including BuddyPress and bbPress. These are some of the most popular, accessible and widely-supported Content Management Systems and Blogging platforms currently available on the web, and are based on PHP/MySQL.

For more information on Open Source read our Guide to Open Source written for the Amb:IT:ion website.


WordPress and BuddyPress developers

Pooka specialises in creating bespoke websites using WordPress as a Content Management System (CMS).

WordPress started life as a blogging platform, and is now the most popular and possibly the most user-friendly Content Management platform in the world.

We extend the core WordPress functionality into a fully-fledged Content Management System, including eCommerce, Directories, Events Calendars, and pretty much anything else you can think of!

Pooka shortlisted for “Website of the Year” – again!

An event listings website for users with visual and hearing impairments designed and developed by Pooka has been shortlisted for the “Best Website of the Year” award in the UK Public Sector Communication Awards 2017.

PSCA 17 Shortlisted

The Access Scottish Theatre website (https://www.accessscottishtheatre.com/) was shortlisted in the competition, alongside seven other websites.

Pooka worked with the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Birds of Paradise Theatre company and their audiences to develop a website that would maximise access to the performing arts at flagship venues across Scotland for audiences with a range of access requirements.

Throughout the process of developing with website we worked closely with, and were advised by, potential users of the website, which helped us to create a relevant and intuitive platform and to ensure accessibility for a range of users with diverse requirements.

Access Scottish Theatre website

Visit the Access Scottish Theatre website

Allan Ramsay of the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh – a major user of the new website – responded:

“The new Access Scottish Theatre website represents a significant upgrade over the first iteration, from a venues point of view we couldn’t be happier as uploading productions and show information is now easier and clearer than ever before.

“Our audiences have also appreciated the way in which the site can be quickly tailored to different parameters in order to easily find what they’re looking for.

“The world of accessible performances can be a confusing one as not every venue can make the same commitments but the Access Scottish Theatre website’s integration with its social channels and email newsletters makes it a brilliant one-stop shop for anyone looking to find accessible performances at theatres and venues throughout Scotland.”

Artlink: Investigate > Create

Artlink Edinburgh and the Lothians is an arts and inclusion charity established in 1984. Artlink believes participation in the arts has an important role to play in realising personal and social change. Opening up the arts in Edinburgh for people with sight loss, people with hearing loss, people who are Deafblind and sign language users.

Pooka worked with Artlink Edinburgh and Lothians and its clients over the course of a year to develop, deliver, test and refine a website that provides listings and information on arts events in Edinburgh to users with a wide range of impairments.

Investigate Create website

In particular, we worked with visually impaired users and users with hearing impairments to develop a site that was accessible and valuable to all these user groups. Users provide ongoing feedback on both the content and accessibility of the site and this will be used to further customise the site to their needs.

The site aims to be a model for the cultural sector in providing compelling and engaging cultural content that puts inclusion at the heart of the creative and development process, rather than treating accessibility as an “add on”, have a look here: investigatecreate.co.uk

Take One Action! Website and Activist Network

Take One Action started life as a film festival that celebrates the people and films changing the world. However since then Take One Action has grown provide year round film clubs and other curated events.

Pooka worked with Take One Action to develop a Facebook-like website to engage a Scotland-wide community of film fans and activists around compelling content. Content requirements on the site included films (as listings, free-to-view films or pay-per-view films), opportunities and events (with ticketing functionality). The site also had to inspire users to take part by encouraging users and orgainsations to comment on and discuss existing content and submit new content directly to the Take One Action network.

Take One Action responsive web development

We developed a bespoke registration process that enables highly personalised content to be delivered for users based on their precise location, interests, user type and sector.

Events listings were designed to be able to link in content from the film listings, presenting organisations and film clubs and ticketing was delivered via a on site eCommerce solution also capable of handling merchandise, registration fees and donations.

Multiple forms were created to allow users to submit a range of content to the site including events, films, opportunities and organisations. In addition to this dynamic commenting was configured across the site to encourage and promote user interaction with, and discussion on, the site content.

This complex web of interconnected content was delivered to the user in a fully responsive fluid template, based on designs provided by Take One Action and built upon the Bootstrap framework that ensures compatibility across all modern desktop browsers and mobile devices.

The Take One Action website is now a one-stop-shop for great film, opportunities, events and creative action for a better world. Take a look at: takeoneaction.org.uk.

Hunting For Lost Crafts Website – High Life Highland

Highlife Highland - Hunting for Lost Crafts Web App

High Life Highland is a charity developing and promoting opportunities in culture, learning, sport, leisure, health and wellbeing in the Highlands of Scotland. In August 2014 they launched the Hunting for Lost Crafts Exhibition at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery.

Pooka worked with High Life Highland to design and build a website and mobile web app that would function as a tool for promoting the Hunting for Lost Crafts exhibition and serve as a companion piece to the exhibition for visitors. Visitors to the exhibition had the opportunity to navigate the exhibition and view multimedia content on the craft objects via the web app served on iPads at the venue.

We developed two bespoke databases for crafts and artists, and built in the ability to link craft objects both to each other and to an artist. This allows users to navigate exhibition pieces by theme, craft type and related pieces and/or artist.

The site is fully responsive but was optimised with the iPad display in mind to ensure maximum compatibility of designs on this device.

The Hunting for Lost Crafts exhibition ran from 30th August – 25th October 2014 and you can visit the site at lostcraft.highlifehighland.com.

Simon Bateson, Director, Take One Action Film Festivals

WordPress’s famous five minute install – in three minutes

Open Source CMS Breakfast

Open Source Breakfast is monthly meet up group for Edinburgh web developers, sponsored by Pooka and Web Foundry developers.

This January’s meet up featured a head-to-head between the big three Open Source Content Management Systems – Drupal, Joomla! and WordPress.

All these CMS boast quick installations, so we decided to put them to the test in an installation challenge.

We found that all the systems clocked in at around the three minute mark, and you can see how WordPress fared below.

Obviously, there is more to getting a self-hosted WordPress website up and running, and it is important to ensure that your website is secure, speedy and optimised.  In future posts, we’ll discuss some tools that will help you keep your WordPress fast and trouble-free.

Find out more about Open Source CMS Breakfast

Young Director, ToonSpeak Young Persons Theatre

John Saich, Music producer and arts consultant

Hannah Rudman, Director of Envirodigital

Hannah Rudman, Founder of Rudman Consulting Ltd