We have been involved with this website since its beginnings in early 2005.
As the amount of content grew, and the web developed, the site started to look outdated and the content cluttered.
The site content was largely split by format, eg, a specific series of briefings. This was, in part, due to different funding sources for different content.
Funding was obtained to overhaul the site, which allowed for:
- a move to the WordPress content management system (providing future time and cost savings in site updates);
- a complete redesign of the site;
- a complete restructuring of the site to create topic-based sections.
- a wider format, with responsive design so that the site displays well on mobile devices (tablets and smartphones);
- section-specific headings;
- drop-down menu system.
The budget also covered work on Word templates to improve the design of the site’s pdfs (news and briefings).
A review of available content management systems (cms) identified WordPress (which is now the web’s most-used cms for new sites) as the most suitable.
In addition, it was decided to use the Genesis Framework which provides additional functionality, enhanced development and improved SEO (search engine optimisation).
Over 2,000 pages needed to be ported to the new site. Much of this process was semi- automated through a mixture of batch text processing and the use of a WordPress page import plugin.
All pages were, where appropriate, mapped from their old to new urls and 301 redirects were used to maintain inward links to the site and to minimise any negative effects with search engine rankings.
The design brief was to make the site look authoritative but not establishment or academic.
The main content is presented simply with clean typography, while the sidebars were developed with a grunginess – torn and crumpled paper, stapes, paperclips, sticky tape.
A highly stylised design was developed for the twitter feed, carrying through the grunge styling of the sidebars.
This required some customisation of a Twitter Feed plugin, css style and custom graphics to create the overall effect.
Each page includes social networking icons to allow people to “like”, “tweet”, link to or bookmark the pages.
The maintenance of the site has been greatly reduced through switching to WordPress.
The use of a “Recent Additions” category for Posts, allows a simple, automated system to list the most recent, important content added to the site.
A “teaser” of the latest news is added automatically to the front page.
Customised functions were added to maintain formatting normally stripped by WordPress, to correctly display headlines, etc.
Custom WordPress plugin
The old site used a php script, developed by us, to provide an automated system for adding a daily news roundup to the site. This allowed the client to paste the news content direct from Word, turning ten minutes or more of work into a few seconds. The script would parse the text, identifying headlines, body text, news sources and web links; adding the necessary html markup to create the web page.
This script was further developed to integrate it within the WordPress CMS by creating a custom plugin which parses then publishes the page, automatically adding the necessary categories, etc.
Case Study Data
|Type of work:||Site revamp|
|Number of pages:||> 1,000|
|Content management:||WordPress with Genesis|
|Responsive design:||Yes, tablet and smartphone compatible|
|Date of work:||December 2012|
We are very pleased with the look of our new site, which was delivered on time and within budget.
The WordPress content management system makes updating the site really easy, especially the Daily News tool which Lynx Graphic Design developed for us.
The presentation of our PDF newsletters has also been greatly improved.
No 2 Nuclear Power