Many eggs need many baskets

Websites have been around for many years now, and it’s fair to say that most organisations realise their importance – and have one.  However, what has changed over the past few years is the pivotal role that websites now play within organisations.

When they first launched, websites were very much awareness driving tools – a channel for a potential customer to find out more information about a business.

However, as technology has evolved, and with it a greater trust in digitalisation – we expect to be able to do more from websites and consequently organisations push more customer enabled actions through their sites.  Many eggs, needing many baskets! This has led to the rise in the what is often called a multi-featured website.

We’ve had the pleasure of developing numerous multi-featured sites recently and they’ve come in lots of different guises, with many different objectives.

For weekday rental specialists, a multi-featured site enables landlords to register and advertise their property and potential tenants to search for available rooms in their desired geographic areas. Two different groups of customers with two different needs. The website has functionality specifically designed for each of these audiences. For tenants, that means location-centred search, in-site messaging and the option to save searches. For landlords, that means being easy to post with in browser image manipulation, a simple payment mechanism and advert management tools. To make it even easier to use, the user interface is built with ReactJS, which gives it an app-like feel.

For Quinta de la Rosa, a working vineyard and winery on the banks of the river Douro in Portugal, the starting point was a multi-lingual website available in both English and Portuguese. As well as providing information about the products, hotel and restaurant, the website is integrated to booking systems for tours and tastings, restaurant tables and accommodation. The latest addition to the site is an online product sales section with differentiated price by region, jurisdiction specific data collection and integration to a payment system.

For several customers, enhancing their web presence has involved created dedicated subsites or sub-sections of their website.

For Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, this takes the form of an events subsite that showcases the facilities available for meetings, conferences and special occasions. This dedicated site sits alongside the main site and enables the college to maximise its communication around its hospitality offering. MRC BDNU, at the University of Oxford, has set up a data sharing website, allowing for the datasets from their research to be shared with researchers elsewhere.

St. Hilda’s College, Oxford, has launched a 125th anniversary campaign to enable a major redevelopment programme, with its own specially designed section on the website to support this. The Oxford Preservation Trust has a special section dedicated to Oxford Open Doors, taking ‘Made in Oxford’ as its theme this year. And Mansfield College, Oxford, has added a virtual tour that allows you to explore the college from wherever you are.

As you can see, there are many opportunities to add valuable features to an existing web presence. We are busy working away on even more multi-featured sites in the next few months and are excited about the ongoing challenge and variety that our industry brings us!

If you need your website to do more for your organisation, contact us.

June 2019