Project Description

Conisborough College is a coeducational community secondary school, located in Catford in the London Borough of Lewisham, London, England. The school offers GCSEs and BTECs as programmes of study for pupils. It is situated on a purpose built campus which opened in 2009 where students benefit from state of the art technologies, equipment and resources. The students bring with them a diversity of experiences and backgrounds both socially and culturally and the school community is built on the strengths of this local diversity. The expert and dedicated team of staff and governors all work towards the same goal: to help every student at the school be everything they are able to be.

The school’s previous website, also developed by Pylon Design, had performed admirably for more than 8 years but was built on the Joomla Content Management System and was beginning to show its’ limitations. Pylon Design had since focussed on WordPress as their preferred development platform due to its’ extensibility and larger development community.

The Challenge

A major stage in the site redevelopment was the migration – from Joomla to WordPress – of around 60% of the existing site content. This content would exist at slightly different URLs so we needed to ensure search engines were informed of these changes. A tighter taxonomy convention would need to be introduced to ensure site visitors could drill down to content relevant to a specific year group. An improved calendar and events system was required to ensure parents could access the most relevant upcoming dates quickly. There needed to be a more defined separation of curricular content from extra-curricular content and obvious areas providing content for different audiences.  The school’s new branding needed to be incorporated to best effect, together with a new photo shoot.

The Solution

New, full-width content templates and furniture were applied to the migrated and new content, together with fresh images from a photographic shoot Pylon Design were commissioned to undertake. Following the content migration, subsequent URL mapping work was required to ensure search engines linked to the correct URLs of the old content on the new website.

A total rethink on the site structure and content hierarchy led to the primary navigation being reworked, providing separate content for parents and students. An additional Quick-links menu was introduced above the primary navigation for regularly accessed content. A floating content-sharing menu for social platforms was introduced.

News content is simultaneously and automatically posted to Facebook, Twitter and an RSS feed. Year group pages automatically pull in relevant year group categorised content from elsewhere on the site, making them an important landing page for existing parents. Parents are able to filter the calendar to specific content or year groups and then subscribe to a calendar feed that will push new events to their devices.

In addition to the striking full width imagery, page content is started, divided up and concluded with elegant waves of colour that reinforce the schools’ new branding. Indeed, the school’s new website was one of the first projects to benefit from and display the schools new corporate identity and branding, a project that Pylon Design were also commissioned to undertake.

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