Folkestone & Hythe District Council roll out new website and Content Management System using the Jadu Central Web Experience Platform.
Folkestone & Hythe District Council recently decided to roll out a new website and Content Management System using the Jadu Central Web Experience Platform, primarily in response to user feedback that the existing platform was difficult to use, lacked website functionality and needed updates. The task of migrating the website fell under the remit of the web team, which was small and consisted of only one part-time person.
Steve Weakley, Business Support Manager at Folkestone & Hythe District Council says, "The migration of our website to the new Jadu platform was a challenging task for our small web team. As soon as the council had gone out to tender on G-Cloud, we sprang into action. We’d been talking about migrating web experience platforms for over a year, but then came a hard deadline, which brought focus.”
To manage the migration project, the team leader put a hold on all other projects and pulled in three other key team members to help deliver the CMS migration project. Steve says, "It was difficult to figure out how we were going to do this migration project, so I put a hold on every other single project we had running and then we pulled another three key team members in to help deliver the new website."
"The bonus of this approach was that the team now had more resilience and a team of four people who could deliver changes to the website rapidly. Steve says, "Although our hand was forced, it turned out to be a good thing because we’ve now got a team of four people that can deliver changes required to the website and a powerful and modern web content management system under the bonnet."
The migration project also informed the Beta approach that the team took, where they migrated content from the old website to the new one. Steve says, "We have our main site live at the moment and the new site is under Beta, so we have been migrating content and testing with real users. The new Beta site will be live in February 2023, ahead of the expected timeframe as we’ve completed the entire migration early.”
The team had to deliver the migration project quickly as the existing CMS provider, was going to charge a high price for moving to the Cloud.
Steve explains, "Ideally, I would have liked to take about 12-18 months to review all the content and deliver a brand-new website, but instead we had to do a lift and shift of the existing content. We did however do a huge amount of sense checking and many out-of-date pages we culled. We also did a comprehensive accessibility check on every single page and we've gone through and tried to restructure it with some sort of format and uniformity when it comes to hyperlinks and buttons. For example, we now use a button when it's a form and a hyperlink when it's more information. We’ve focused our effort on content design and meeting user needs."
The next stage for the team is to review new content with the service areas and look at layout, format, and plain English. Historically, the council has allowed service areas to put on what they want to put on, but now the team is taking more control over the content and taking advantage of Jadu’s powerful workflow tools to ensure that the website is user-friendly and easily accessible to customers.
Steve says, "Historically, the council has let service areas put on anything they wanted to, whereas now we're taking a lot more control over the content and we’re taking advantage of the workflow and devolved content authoring tools in Jadu, to ensure that the website content is user-friendly and accessible for customers."
The council's website is now more accessible and user-friendly, and the team is continuously working to improve the website and ensure that it meets the needs of customers and service areas.