The Open Spaces Society - Website Transformation for Enhanced Engagement and Efficiency

Situation

The Open Spaces Society, as the oldest national conservation body in the UK, has been dedicated to protecting public spaces and pathways. Recognizing the need to modernize their digital presence to increase donations and member engagement, they embarked on a significant web development project. The primary goal was to revamp the outdated website to become a central hub for vital information and to facilitate donations.

Challenge

The charity faced several issues with their old website, which was built on an outdated PHP-based CMS. It lacked the functionality needed to engage visitors effectively and manage content efficiently. The site’s design was not optimized for conversions, featuring merely basic text and bullet points.

Solution

Landing Page Redesign: Initiated the project by redesigning the donations and membership landing pages to improve the conversion rate optimization (CRO). The introduction of a compelling hero image, engaging text, and a clear call-to-action (CTA) led to immediate improvements.

Website Overhaul: Following the success of the initial redesign, a complete redevelopment of the website was undertaken using WordPress. This included:

    • Implementing a membership system to streamline user registration and access.
    • Developing a blog, interactive maps, and custom post types for volunteer details.
    • Creating an extensive information hub with hundreds of pages detailing legal information regarding pathways and open spaces throughout the UK.

Staff Intranet and Google Drive Integration: To improve internal communications and document management, a staff intranet was created, integrated with Google Drive for efficient, secure document sharing.

Historical Photograph Archive: A subdomain was set up to showcase a digital archive of historical photographs, which also served as a tool for building the mailing list and generating additional revenue.

Result

  • Membership Growth: Achieved a 114% increase in memberships post-implementation.
  • Reduced Operational Queries: Decrease in routine phone calls due to improved availability of information online.
  • Increased Donations: Notable rise in legacy donations following the website enhancements.
  • National Recognition: Strengthened the charity’s reputation as a leading advocate for public land rights.
  • Operational Efficiency: Enhanced internal communication among staff and volunteers through the new intranet system.
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I worked closely with Dan on the redevelopment of a large charity website. A great web developer who understood the importance of the technical SEO factors that help a website perform well across search. The new site is now smashing previous year records by +114%
Laura Brookes
Marketing Director - The Open Spaces Society

Conclusion

The Open Spaces Society’s website transformation project was a resounding success, significantly surpassing initial expectations. Not only did the new website improve donation rates and member engagement, but it also addressed unforeseen benefits such as national recognition and operational efficiency. The project serves as a compelling case study of how digital transformation can profoundly impact a charity's outreach and internal workings.

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