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The Jurassic Coast

The Jurassic Coast

A project 65 million years in the making... (but it only took us six months!)

Our Challenge

It’s not every day that you get asked to work on a world class web project – so we were particularly thrilled to win the contract for developing the new Jurassic Coast World Heritage website.

The Jurassic Coast team provided us with a clear idea of what they wanted their new website to do for them and how it should function – and with a specification document of nearly 30 pages (with several addenda) the challenge was on.

If you have ever visited the Dorset / Devon coast you will recognise the stunning scenery of Durdle Door, Old Harry Rocks and Lyme Bay so the design of the new website needed to live up to the expectations of a UNESCO World Heritage site as well as provide a reference point for visitors and geologists alike.

Our Solution

We took inspiration from a range of sources that epitomise such a prominent world heritage site and then set about building a website framework. Because some of the content needed to sit within its own clearly defined areas, our development team came up with the perfect solution of using a multi-site WordPress installation.

The benefits of using WordPress in this set up soon became apparent as elements like the Jurassic Coast Fossil Finder database could have its own look and feel and functionality; be shared with other partner organisations – whilst retaining the core features of WordPress CMS.

This was a major website build that took nearly six months to complete – lots of behind the scenes development with WordPress custom post-types and ensuring the website worked correctly across a range of desktop browsers and smartphones.

Jurassic Coast World Heritage Mobile Responsive Website

Key Functionality

The Fossil Finder database proved to be a key tool for this website build. Having previously been built in Joomla we were led to believe that we couldn’t export the content or replicate the functionality – however Adam and Nick put their combined skills together – and delivered a tool that now has even more search features, has greater functionality, and is also fully responsive – so works on mobile phones too!

The completed site includes:

  • a fossil finder database with 990 fossils and 360 degree imagery
  • business partners directory that integrates with Google Maps
  • news and blog
  • events calendar
  • image galleries
  • a teachers education resources section
  • an online shop to handle sales and donations
  • all managed through a simple CMS
The Jurassic Coast

Jurassic Coast World Heritage Mobile Responsive WebsiteOur Results

As you can imagine there was quite a lot of content to migrate across from the old site so our close contact with Katie and Caroline ensured this went smoothly. Toby spent many an hour restructuring the content and optimising individual pages for search engines.

Prior to launch we carried out some structured user testing with the Jurassic Coast team and received valuable feedback from the guest testers.

The original site ranked well in the search engine results so we put in place a number of things like 301 redirects and SEO controls to ensure none of that SEO legacy work was lost. The site is now well indexed by Google and delivering strong traffic.

We worked with the Jurassic Coast Trust to secure a Google Adwords Charity grant – PPC advertising for non-profit making organisations worth $10,000 per month of ad spend.

Throughout the development process we have run several strategic sessions with the Jurassic Coast Trust to develop a new digital strategy to encourage new income opportunities and develop their business partner network.

 

World class website

New website for a UNESCO World Heritage site

900+ Fossil Database

Fossil Finder database - used by visitors and geologists alike

New Business Model

Digital strategy supports income generation & business partner engagement

The Jurassic Coast
The Jurassic Coast
Everyone really loves 
the Fossil Finder. 
So much so that our geologist is already using the new one rather than the old one!
View the website