Large/public website design, build and launch
I’ve managed the design build and launch of 11 websites over as many years. Click though on these hyperlinks to see more about three of the larger website where I had end to end responsibilities for the complete project life cycles, from ideation, design, through build and test to launch : TheAA.com and saga.co.uk and Demand.five.tv.
The BBC iPlayer website involved one of the biggest transitions to a new business operating model that I have (jointly) managed. It was also one of the most complex websites I have tested and integrate (I joined the iPlayer team during the final stages of development in the lead-up to launch). I was initially hired by the BBC to manage the final test and launch of the iMP (integrated Media Play) which was the for-runner to the iPlayer. During my time at the BBC I also spent a year managing the TV+ programme which included the delivery of a whole raft of new online services and a new website for BBC2. Read more about my responsibilities at the BBC (and on the iPlayer) on this link.
I’ve been retained on contracts to project manage specific phases of the design, build and test of new websites for other well known brands including BAA and SONY. In both of these cases I moved onto other opportunities prior to the launch of the new sites.
All of the products and services I have launched for my customers have been subject to meticulous planning and testing, operational hand-over responsibilities and often dry-runs. Most projects have required the creation and transition to new target operating models. All of these websites have had unique complexity and risk profile covering technical project risks, marketing and brand, visitor / customer acquisition and retention and (for the commercial sites) sales performance. I have written a post on how I manage risks around website launches which can be reached on this link
SME / small websites: Design, build, launch and maintenance.
- This website
- Personal Blog
- Onslow Football Club site.
These, and other current live sites can be reached from the landing page to my digital world on this link.
Home funded, experimental websites – keeping for posterity.
Below is an overview of the Travel To St Ives project and references to some of the projects which I have developed in it in my spare time, with assistance from a web developer when ever I run into a technical challenge (thanks Gareth!).
Travel to St Ives and in particular Travel To Olympics both delivered a return on the investments. Returns came from (1) affiliate marketing via the Travel to London site and (2) driving revenue increases from a Holiday Letting business which was affiliated through the Travel To St Ives site.
Travel to St Ives:
[Update 2020] This site has now become a hobby which I maintain for posterity. When I can find some time I will update the design and replatform
This project is focused on promoting tourism in St Ives, a beautiful holiday destination in Cornwall. Twitter has been an ideal channel to provide tourists with news and information about attractions and activities in the local area. The idea was that twitter followers will click through on their phones to the mobile website for more information about attractions, restaurant recommendations and places to stay.
The following activities were undertaken to launch each service:
- Desk-top website design, build and test
- Mobile website design, build and launc
- Twitter account established and feed integrate to website
- Facebook App and/or Page, designed, built and linked to website
- Facebook and Twitter followings/communties established
- Campaigns, both online and offline (set objectives, plan, execute, measure effects)
Originally designed as an affiliate website. Worpress CMS was used as the core content platform for mainly static content. Social media channels were set up to drive traffic to the site. A twitter feed onto the site provided up-to-date information about events and entertainment. The associated twitter account (@StIvesTweets)was the primary social channel linking to the website. Facebook was also linked but was less active in terms of social media postings.
The website was re-branded from ‘St Ives Tweets’ to ‘Holidays in St Ives, Cornwall’ under a new URL ‘www.TravelToStIves.co.uk’) around 10 years ago. The currency and relevance of news and content published through the social networks is what drove visitors to the site, who were then encouraged to either click through to local businesses which were mainly restaurants and holiday letting businesses.
Social media management and integration for twitter:
- Social media engagement tools: Twitter, Hootsuite, TweetDeck, Bit.ly
- Website integration: Created custom widgets (integrated content and twitter buttons) using Twitter code segments
- Content sources: Set up alerts, RSS feeds, twitter keyword /#tag search, key blogs and forums
- Analytics Tools: Google Analytics, Bit.ly, Hootsuite,
Offline marketing activities were used initially to promote the twitter channel. Advertising campaigns encouraged visitors and locals to follow @StIvesTweets. Methods included a banner campaign on local tourist buses, a small card distribution campaign and inclusion on a prime location high-street advertising banner.
A complimentary Facebook page and custom built Facebook application (facebook.com/StIvesTweets) have also been launched with linked user journey / integration between all three (Twitter, FB and website). Most of the Social Media effort is concentrated on Twitter.
At the time of writing this entry, no paid search campaigns had been launched for this particular project. Have engaged in successful paid search, PPC, display advertising etc with some of our other sites and on behalf of our clients and we are currently considering options for this particular project. … Read more about paid search>
I have explored this idea, through a ‘lean design’ and developed a tangible set of assets to launch. The web and mobile site and social media channels are wholly owned by my limited companies. All ongoing maintenance, social media engagement (FB and Twitter) and commercial arrangements and affiliations with local business, continue to be administered and managed by me. This initiative is still in relative infancy and evolving and Social Media activities are currently more active on Twitter than Facebook.
I have developed similar social media strategies, combining both Twitter and Facebook to support lean designed websites, have been implemented for the following sites. These in initiatives are all operational and in various stages of evolution (again, these are self funded and I work on them in my spare time):
- Travel To Olympics: http://www.TravelToOlypmics.co.uk (now decommissioned)
- Send a Parcel to: http://sendaparcelto.co.uk
The following websites are the products of similar initiatives (again, these are self funded and I work them it in my spare time) and these projects have just focused Twitter as the only complementary social media platform:
- Travel To London UK: http://www.TravelToLondonUK.co.uk
- Travel To Football: http://www.TravelToFootball.co.uk