Updating Park Farm Holidays Withern
We are pleased today to relaunch the fourth website from the Bowhunter Websites portfolio. As with our last update the customer felt the website wasn’t generating enough business and my involvement presented a good opportunity for a ‘fresh pair of eyes’. This time the content was pretty good freeing up most of the budget to work on the cosmetics and technical aspects as I converted this site from a flat site to one based on the WordPress CMS.
MGC Websites Ltd shares the Bowhunter design philosophy that less is more. On the modern internet, often accessed by slow mobile connections, it is not only best practice but also gives you an advantage in the search engines. So when using up a web page’s limited file size ‘budget’ I employ relevant photos that are earning their keep to create visual interest rather than design ‘bells and whistles’. With these images so key to the look of the site I like to take all new photos if possible.
For this job in particular it was important to show the accommodation on offer as the cottages are quite old fashioned inside which will delight some and horrify others. The key is to clearly and honestly present your offer so that the people get the experience they are looking for and you get glowing reviews (more below).
As stated the site had enough content most of which was still relevant. I was however able to go through it with Alan and suggest some changes that better described/promoted the properties.
As an example the cottages were described as ‘luxury’. In 2018 that means granite work tops, a dedicated Prosecco fridge and hot tub in the garden, as Alan quickly agreed when the text was originally written it meant central heating! So we came up with some positive language that more accurately reflected the buildings with phrases like “Full of charm and original features these quaint cottages…”
In 2018 reviews need to be a key part of any accommodation providers website. The old site had three taken from the visitor book but we also found the third party booking system collected reviews on their behalf and provided code to embed them into the website. We took full advantage of this and I also installed MGC Websites Ltd testimonials plugin and populated it with all the 5 star reviews received plus the three from the guest book.
It’s worth noting that the reviews are quite mixed and some of the changes mentioned above are designed to try and address that by being more clear about the offer.
A technical detail is that the old site didn’t have a secure certificate. For some time this has been an important addition and it’s becoming vital now that browsers are moving from showing you when a site is secure (usually with a green padlock) to highlighting when one isn’t. MGC Websites Ltd provide a secure certificate as part of our hosting package, updating an existing site to use it is simple but potentially time consuming so the re-write provided an opportune moment to tick this box at no extra expense.
Both parties are pleased with the new site which has a fresh new design that compliments the ‘log cabin in the woods’ offer and the photos have turned out well. The move to WordPress makes the site easier to update and the customer has already requested access to the admin area and our bespoke notifications and testimonials plugins.