Brief

Fairfax Media required a team to build and execute the new digital experience for the Good Food Month website.

The usability and user experience of the website needed improvement along with the way that events were being showcased and how partners and sponsors were displayed and managed throughout the website.

Key factors of the website that needed improvement included:

  • Improved website usability
  • Mobile first approach
  • Greater multimedia capacity
  • Content hosted on the website rather than on third party sources
  • Improved organic SEO capabilities

Execution

The PB Web Development team built a granular and customisable solution that allowed the content team at Good Food Month as much flexibility and control with the WordPress content management system as possible.

The team wanted to avoid using page builders in the site as we knew the extra load and dependencies of the page builders would create excess resource load and future management which is a big deterrent the Fairfax Media teams.

The result was a custom implementation which executed the usability changes desired to create an easy to use events website.

Usability Improvements

Good Food Month and Algolia Search

The internal search of the website was enhanced with the addition of a third party search API called Algolia. It allowed for dynamic and fast searching of content across the website and filtering by geo locational IP detection, keywords and facets to help filter the results. Majority of event based websites make it hard to filter events by dates and keywords. The implementation of the Algolia search allowed for a user to quickly and easily filter and search through events with ease.

The third party service and API, Roller, was integrated directly into the website rather than serving assets and content from API calls. The team built an API importer that pulled the data on a regular basis into WordPress itself. Images and content were both handled and managed in the CMS. This allowed for the collection of data in the Roller platform but control of the presentation in WordPress where it was better optimised and delivered.

Mobile First Approach

Mobile first experience

The development team took a mobile first approach building the website for mobile and extending it for tablet and desktop layouts. This allows for the gradual addition of content and layouts as opposed to cutting things back when going to mobile. Care was taken when implementing many of the features and user interactions for mobile to ensure a consistent experience across all devices and possible ways that consumers will be accessing the website.

Greater Multimedia Capacity

The existing website lacked the ability to embed rich media, such as videos, to help showcase the events. The new design of the website took advantage of a full screen slider which could be replaced for a full screen video.

The PB Web Development team developed options for the Good Food Month team to be able to choose between high resolution image sliders or embedded video either from a hosted video platform such as YouTube or served locally from the web server itself. This provided the team as much flexibility as possible to be able to work with their clients, events and campaigns.

Furthermore, the team implemented strict layout controls of the images and usage of media on page in the content areas of the events and website. This helped control the way content was displayed to provide consistency across different devices giving the user a more seamless user experience.

Locally Hosted Content

We changed the way website worked in regards to the delivery of assets such as images. Pulling in content that was collected on third party sources and delivering them from the website's server helped reduce resource usage, response times and increase delivery speed of the assets. This also meant that certain other advantages in WordPress such as data source sets could be taken advantage of to deliver the best quality responsive images across different devices.

Improved Organic SEO Capabilities

We improved organic search engine optimisation of the website by ensuring basic implementation was structured correctly with clean semantic code. This how we implement SEO on all of our websites and the way Google treats the websites is a clear indication of the advantages of good standards and semantic code.

We also took advantage of rich snippets, displaying content in a particular way that allows for search engines to understand the context of the information it is crawling to better display the information to users. Indexing clear information about locations, ticketing, dates and times allows the search engines to better inform users of what events are most relevant to their searches.

Additional optimisation in regards to speed was applied to the website taking the original load time of over 30 seconds for some of the main heavy image rich pages down to less than 7 seconds for the equivalent new pages.

All of these additional extras helped boost search traffic to the website.

Results

Overall the website benefited from the updated usable design, flexibility in the CMS and implementation and additional search engine optimisation that resulted Good Food Month in becoming a more dominant food events website across Australia.

The new website is faster, easier to use, easier to search, has more traffic, can handle more traffic and is overall easier to manage going forth.

The PB Web Development team continually provide support, maintenance and hosting support for the Fairfax team and the Good Food Month website.

"The PB Web Development team executed the website perfectly. On time and on budget. We're now using them as our primary external service provider for all our digital assets."

Paayal Dharmani, Digital Marketing Manager, Fairfax Media