An updated website on Umbraco CMS reflecting the beautiful location and surroundings.Download as PDF
Hillside, a charming 18th Century guest house in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight, had recently undergone extensive renovation and modernisation during the first half of 2009. Next step was to update the website to reflect the new look and promote the beautiful location and surroundings. Codehouse was awarded the contract to design, build and host the website as well as optimise for search (SEO).
An easy-to-use website for non-techies...
One of the key factors for Hillside was to have a website that would be easy to maintain and keep content fresh and up-to-date in order to maintain interest and encourage returns (both visitors and search bots). For this to really happen the site had to be built on a CMS and, given the non-technical background of the content authors, the CMS had to be simple and easy to use. Additionally given the location of Hillside and the lack of in-house technical capabilities the decision was taken to host the site off-site. The design of the site was to underline the relaxing nature of a visit to Hillside and promote the facilities on offer including an ever-changing menu featuring local, in-season produce.
... powered by Umbraco CMS
Hillside and Codehouse decided on the open source, .NET-based Umbraco CMS because of its easy-to-use content management interface and its extensibility – not to mention the obvious price advantage in an open source solution. The CMS is hosted by Codehouse in a dedicated hosting centre and supported by the Codehouse technical and infrastructure support team.
The featured website elements were either built by Codehouse from scratch or adapted from the rich list of open source modules available for Umbraco CMS. The website was set up to be Google-friendly by implementing SEO friendly tips like an XML sitemap, descriptive URLs and correct use of meta tags (h1, h2, etc.).
When the site was ready to go live, the domains were pointed at the new hosted servers and Hillside came online with a web presence that does the building proud. Of course, the existing links and references were handled gracefully with redirects so that search engine rankings and back links were preserved.
An online presence as friendly as the place itself
The new website has led to more online traffic and as a result direct bookings have increased significantly. And the implementation of a newsletter and an online guestbook has helped strengthen the close, part-of-the-family relationship between visitors and the Hillside team. Not to mention that the site now truly showcases the venue.
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