Towards the end of 2019, our marketing team was keen to redevelop our existing venue website and to specifically convert it to a WordPress site. Before embarking on this project, industry websites were compared and analytics of the current site was closely investigated.
After whittling down a prospective list of web development companies, proposals were compiled, and we met with several of the shortlisted companies for face to face meetings at Church House Westminster.
We were pleasantly surprised with the expert advice and encompassing proposal submitted by Jonathan Hill, Founder of 1Minus1, and his team. Before creating and submitting the proposal, Jonathan scheduled a video call with Elana, Marketing Manager at Church House, as part of a fact-finding mission and to explore existing pinch points. As a result, once the day of the meeting arrived, Jonathan provided innovative and results-driven solutions to enhance the proposed new website. Jonathan also delivered the presentation in such a way that it was easy to understand, avoiding non-essential tech jargon, and breaking down the process of rebuilding the site in a clear manner. Needless to say, the meeting left us with a feeling of excitement and adventure.
The new WordPress site now provides an overall more interactive user experience. It’s cleaner, brighter, and more user-led, giving it a different feel, whilst keeping with the current brand guidelines. An important layout change was a new top menu, which now replaces the bulky left side menu. This design affords the site plenty more real estate with its wider look, bringing the content to live with vivid visual design.
Other notable upgrades include:
- A new interactive and much-improved search experience to navigate the venue’s 19 versatile rooms more accurately and instantly, based on layouts and guest numbers.
- In-page editing tools to easily incorporate social media posts, videos, image galleries, and other content and rich media
- Clearer and more prominent call to action buttons
- Updated search tags for our in-house editors
- Mobile friendly with improved site speed
A massive advantage of using WordPress is its flexibility and user-friendly design features. In building the new site we’ve found that in-house we are now able to easily change the look and appearance of the site without incurring elaborate design costs. Our marketing team has already made good use of this benefit by adding content-rich pages for existing pages such as sustainability and our history, and the addition of newly created pages such as well-being.
The new version of the site ‘went live’ on Monday 24 August 2020. We often refer to this as a lockdown project which now, looking back, was a useful time to collaboratively reconnect and rediscover on the many facets of our Grade II listed Westminster venue.
Robin Parker, General Manager of Church House Westminster, commented “We’ve approached the project as a sort of upgrade to combat the stale and incompatible features of the existing site. Looking at the end-result this has been achieved and rightfully given us an extremely useful marketing tool as we approach a new era of events post-Covid. The new site allows us to adapt quickly to market changes as we navigate the new normal”.