Warrington Council had a suite of microsites running on various different Content Management System (CMS) and hosting solutions that were beginning to show their age. Being legally required to make them compliant with WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility guidelines, Warrington decided to consolidate them to ensure standards compliance and reduce maintenance overheads.
Having just built their main www.warrington.gov.uk site, Warrington engaged us to create their new range of satellite sites. The goals of this task were to:
- Ensure all sub-sites were WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility guidelines compliant.
- Ensure all sub-sites were secure.
- Ensure each sub-site could retain its own unique look and feel.
- Ensure the administration system used by content editors was the same across all sub-sites.
- Ensure the entire project, covering 5 sub-sites, could be delivered within a budget equating to 17 working days of time.
One such sub-site was the Warrington Business Exchange (WBEX), a "chamber of commerce" type organisation which facilitates networking and synergies amongst local businesses.
As with the Warrington & Co sub-site, the biggest challenge was budget, as there were only enough funds for approximately 3 working day's worth of development per site.
Thanks to the flexibility Council Platform, the preceding Warrington & Co sub-site had been designed so that it could act as a "cookie-cutter" website that all subsequent sub-sites could reuse and build on.
This meant that key functionality such as an events page, members directory, and Warrington Council's personal preferences for user roles and moderation workflow were already in place when work began.
Enhanced functionality for the WBEX site came in the form of integrating CiviCRM with our WYSIWYG content editor so that it could be used to add event details to existing CiviCRM data.
As with all Council Platform sites, the frontend is eminently customisable, and Warrington Council fielded their own in-house development team. Building on Council Platform's GOV.UK Design System based parent theme, they were able to construct a unique look and feel that differentiated WBEX from the neighbouring sub-sites.
Using Council Platform's Atomic Design System, Warrington Council were able to produce a WCAG 2.1 AA compliant, mobile compatible, visually distinctive and engaging frontend with the desired functionality and within the sub-site's limited budget.
Filterable members directory
Council Platform makes use of an enterprise-level faceted internal search to allow users to filter results by category. New categories can be created at any time and assigned to individual pieces of content.
Membership sign-up form
Web forms are a powerful tool for gathering and processing information. As covered in our How To video series, Council Platform lets you build an unlimited number of web forms in the same way you can create new content pages. Multiple pre-formatted fields such as contact details, checkboxes, drop-down selection menus are available for you to drag and drop on your form.