Wilberforce Sixth-Form College: Custom WordPress website

A dynamic WordPress website for a vibrant sixth-form college setting

An enhanced online presence, with easily editable pages and sections to reflect the modern Wilberforce brand.

Wilberforce Sixth-Form College: Custom WordPress website
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Presenting Wilberforce Sixth-Form College

The challenge

Wilberforce Sixth-Form College (Wilberforce) required a modern, responsive website to replace their existing outdated solution. As well as the need for a site that looked good, the college also needed a solution that was easy to manage. The existing site made it difficult to maintain and add new content, a core requirement of the college’s marketing team. In addition, the college’s site did not reflect its modern, vibrant team and setting. The look and feel of the solution fell behind that of other leading sixth-form colleges.

Wilberforce partnered with us (Feel Created) to design and build a site that met all these requirements and incorporated new advanced management features. The new features would give the Wilberforce team control over how courses were published and promoted.

The Solution

We undertook a complete redesign, creating a fresh and engaging look and feel for Wilberforce users. Following design signoff, we built the environment in the WordPress framework with Gutenberg editing capabilities. We chose Gutenberg specifically for its ability to give greater control over content entry, allowing the Wilberforce team to create varied, dynamic content from pre-branded ‘elements’.

We also created a series of commonly used layouts in Gutenberg patterns enabling the team to create duplicate content at scale. Ultimately, the site looked and performed great, massively cutting down on administration time for the Wilberforce team.

Custom WordPress Design

A modern, dynamic college website for users

One of the essential requirements of the initial brief was that the new website was easy to update and maintain. So, we used WordPress to build the website framework with the Gutenberg block editing feature.

Most content marketing professionals today are familiar with the WordPress content management system (CMS) and, as such, we find it the best system for administrators to familiarise themselves with. It’s with noting that our WordPress sites are custom-built. Rather than relying on themes, we build them. Building our solutions from scratch means they’re tailor-made to the exact needs of our clients. It also means you’ll never get a solution that’s ‘reskinned’ and reused. Your site will be yours and yours alone.

Custom WordPress Design

Gutenberg block editor

Supporting site administrator creativity

Within this site, we utilised the Gutenberg block editing feature. The block editor allowed us to create pre-branded templates for future pages. Wilberforce was given a series of designs, giving team members a  feel for potential layout combinations. The team was then trained on how the blocks (or elements) can be combined to create dynamic page designs.

On handover, the Wilberforce team has the ability to create infinite pages – they have a high degree of control over adding and managing content. Such a degree of control makes it possible for Wilberforce to create, add and manage content without needing our team. However, we offer additional marketing and copywriting services for those teams that would prefer content to be created for them.

Gutenberg block editor

Gutenberg patterns

Saving time for content managers

In this project, Gutenberg editor gave a high degree of flexibility for producing and adding content. Gutenberg also helped to streamline the administration process. Using Gutenberg patterns, we created commonly used layouts to speed up the process of creating duplicate pages into which the content could be edited.

Within WordPress, the client can create further patterns; they’re not reliant on our team to develop the patterns for them. We also created a supporting CMS for the cross-connection of content across the site, which reduced the need for duplicate content in the first instance.

Gutenberg patterns

Content entry service

Content uploaded ready for launch

Wilberforce opted for our content entry service to save time before launch. On this occasion, the team wrote their own content (although we do offer that service too – check out the content we wrote for ACT here) and sent the approved content to us for uploading. Content entry is a cost-effective service that helped Wilberforce meet their project deadline. For many clients, a web build is not the only project their marketing team is working on (far from it!). So, having the extra support to get the project over the line often makes the difference to launching on time.

The result

We worked together to launch a dynamic, engaging site that reflects the vibrant Wilberforce team and setting. By collaborating closely through the discovery, design and development phases, we achieved the objectives of the original brief, combining desired functionality with the look and feel. The new, advanced management system we created made it much easier for content managers to publish and promote content – moving forward, the Wilberforce team will work autonomously, creating engaging designs within the Wilberforce brand.

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