Equestrian Australia – Multi-site Website Development
The Other Dimension won a competitive tender to overhaul the web presence of Equestrian Australia and its associated State and Discipline bodies. The existing sites were outdated in terms of both styling and functionality, and they lacked the level of integration EA desired.
After analysing the needs of the various user groups, as well as EA’s own requirements for management and control of the various sites, The Other Dimension put forward a recommended site architecture and selected Drupal as the CMS platform. Design concepts were created based on the need to improve the overall user experience – including not just visual updates, but an enhanced feature set. These were refined to produce the final version which is available to view at www.equestrian.org.au (with subsidiary sites linked).
The design includes responsive versions for optimised viewing on any device, including mobile and tablet.
A New Approach to Content ‘Migration’
EA also took the opportunity to review 15 years’ worth of site content and remove outdated (and often inaccurate) information, focus on improving the quality of remaining content, and develop new content around user insights gained as part of the above user analysis process.
The Other Dimension set up an online content curation system, whereby parties working remotely were all tasked with working together to import existing content, review and mark for either submission to the new site or archiving/deletion, edit content to be submitted, and develop new content as identified in the content scoping process. We utilised Google Drive (including the Google Docs platform) for this purpose, and trained users both in person and virtually, setting up access rights and user protocols based on organisational authority – in this case, the national organisation had access to all national, state, and state discipline material, the states had access to state and state disciplines, and the state disciplines to only their own content.
This process left each body responsible for managing its own content, yet ultimately reportable to the body above it. The workload was spread whilst control was maintained.
An online instruction manual was created to augment the face-to-face training session provided to representatives of each body within the larger organisation.
This manual utilised screenshots alongside clear, step-by-step instructions for each task. The manual was hosted on Google Drive as a live document, allowing it to be refined over time as EA sought more access to a greater number of site features.
Once content curation and training had taken place, EA and its subsidiary bodies were ready to add the content to their staging sites themselves – effectively embedding this working knowledge within the organisation – only calling on The Other Dimension for ad hoc support as required.
All configuration of the staging sites was completed and content given a final review before go-live, with deployment happening in time for the World Equestrian Games – enabling EA to capitalise on the extra attention on the sport and bring social media users over to the website for news and event updates. Likewise, the social media integration on the site enabled them to capture additional followers on each of their social channels.
The results for EA have been extremely positive, with a dramatic increase in site visitors, engagement, and influence – returning Equestrian Australia’s online presence to fitting prominence.
Unique Site Visitors Increased by 101%
Based on three month pre-launch vs three month post-launch averages
|Average Time on Site||+23.5|
|Average Page Views||+22.0|
Equestrian Australia Homepage Preview
The proliferation of mobile and tablet devices requires a design which works at any screen size. The Equestrian Australia website renders beautifully regardless of whether it’s on a desktop, iPhone or Android phone, or tablet.
Just one of the many additional features which makes communicating with EA members simpler – an integrated events calendar with countdown to drive interest.
Perfectly Integrated Multi-site Solution
With three levels of organisational hierarchy (national body, state bodies, and disciplines), Equestrian Australia needed a seamlessly connected solution. The Other Dimension utilised the capabilities of Drupal to integrate selected elements of each site, pulling and pushing newsfeeds and calendars between levels, and siloing other content as needed.
The result is a unique multi-site architecture which is visually connected and easy to navigate for the user, and streamlined to update for the administrators.