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Case Study: North Waltham Village Trust

by | Feb 20, 2023 | Case Study, Charities & NFPs, Web Development

North Waltham Village Trust

About

Industry: Charity

https://northwaltham.net

North Waltham Village Trust provides village facilities for recreational activities, space for society and club meetings, and occasional hire for private functions. North Waltham Village Trust works in collaboration with the Parish Council, and other village societies for the benefit of the community.

Engage IT helped North Waltham Village Trust migrate its IT infrastructure to the cloud and developed a new website for the community. At all times Craig was approachable, supportive and informed making sure the process ran smoothly and that all parties were informed of progress at all time. Would thoroughly recommend.

Geoff Chapman

Trustee, North Waltham Village Trust

Overview

North Waltham Village Trust approached Engage IT for help and advice in the latter part of 2022. Their current hosting provider, who hosted and managed their website and email, were ceasing to trade at the end of 2022 and they needed to find an alternative solution to meet their requirements.

The Challenge

The existing web site was built several years ago using the Joomla content management system (CMS), was quite outdated in style and was difficult to navigate and find required information. The Trust had already decided this was a good opportunity to refresh the website. The website also had a lot of historic news posts that would need to be migrated to the new website.

North Waltham Old Website

The website represents the village itself, the Village Trust, and the Parish Council. The current website navigation was confusing as it changed depending on what area of the website you were viewing, and it was then difficult to navigate back to other sections of the site.

The existing email was using basic generic IMAP accounts from the hosting provider.

Critical Success Factors

  • Consistent Navigation.
  • Responsive design to work across desktop and mobile devices.
  • Showcase the beautiful village and its community facilities.
  • Central resource of information for the community including clubs & societies and local services.
  • Calendar of upcoming community events.
  • A distinct area for the Village Trust to provide information on itself and the facilities it provides and manages.
  • A distinct area for the Parish Council to provide information and documents.
  • Document library system to easily manage and update documents across the site.
  • Easy to manage and update content by the relevant organisations.
  • Business grade email for all trustees.
  • Secure file sharing & storage for the Trustee Board.

Solution

WordPress

WordPress is one of the most popular CMS (Content Management Systems), used for website development. The  new website was redesigned in WordPress utilising some great photos of the village taken by a local photographer.  The home page has an overview of the village, North Waltham Village Trust, and the Parish Council. It also has quick links to the latest news, upcoming events, and useful resources such as local services and recreational facilities.

https://northwaltham.net

North Waltham Website

Navigation

The top menu navigation of the website remains consistent across the site and provides links to the main sub-areas such as the Village, the Trust, and Parish Council. Once a visitor is viewing one of those sub-areas a separate menu is available on the right-hand side with quick links to relevant pages.

North Waltham Village Trust

Local Services Directory

A local services directory was created using custom post types, which enabled directory entries with custom categories, contact information, contact forms, and google location maps.

North Waltham Local Services Directory
North Waltham Local Services Detail

Document Library

The Trust and Parish Council had a requirement to provide various documents across different pages of the website; meeting minutes, policies, financial records etc. This is achieved with a Document Library plugin that is easy to manage and once a document is uploaded it is tagged with a category so that it is automatically displayed on the required web page.

North Waltham Document Library

Data Migration

Geoff Chapman one of the trustees wrote a software tool to export the several hundred news posts from the existing site into a text format (XML) that could then be imported using a plugin into WordPress. Existing images were downloaded and the XML import was further modified to ensure that no historical news posts were lost.

Microsoft 365

As the Trust is a charity, it made sense for them to utilise Microsoft 365 for their email system and further utilise other features such as SharePoint for secure file sharing and collaboration between the Trustee Board.

All trustees were given new email accounts in Microsoft 365 and the existing generic accounts were imported from the old system.

See my previous post Why Charities should be using Microsoft 365 for further details on the benefits of Microsoft 365.

Benefits

North Waltham now has a modern, easy to navigate website that provides a useful community resource with up-to-date information on activities and events in North Waltham and the local area. It is easy for users to manage and update news items, calendar events, documents, and local services. As WordPress is a very extensible system the website can easily be developed further to provide any future requirements.

The North Waltham Village Trust as a charity can now make full use of the business grade email, secure file storage & sharing and other collaboration tools within Microsoft 365, at no cost.

If you require a website to effectively promote your business or organisation, please contact us for a free initial consultation to discuss your requirements.

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