WEA Norwich Website Redesign Project

Project overview

WEA Norwich run adult educuation courses through out the year on a range of subjects using a number of different tutors and training venues.

WEA had an existing WordPress website which had been created many years ago by someone who was no longer available to provide support. The hosting was out of date, running legacy versions of PHP, MySQL and WordPress which were leading to performance, stability and security issues.

The project incorporates a custom WordPress Database allowing courses to be created, student enrolments to be recorded and class registers for tutors to be generated. Courses themselves fall into day schools over three terms or day schools which run on various dates.

The old WEA site was designed before the advent of mobile phones and tablets so did not provide a good user experience for people viewing the site on their mobile devices.

WEA commisioned a full redesign and website update to address these issues.

The Solution

Initially, I spent a lot of time reviewing the course, student and tutor databases to make sure I understood all the functionality in the old website. We then had several conversations and meetings to build on the technical knowledge to understand the new requirements, the WEA client base and WEA’s objectives for the project.

A new responsive web design was implemented in a test environment, allowing WEA to continue working on their legacy site up to the point the new site was launched.  At launch I provided a migration service to transfer all the data out of the old database over to the new web applications database.

The new Website was based on WordPress and the Divi Responsive Page Builder technology. The new custom database was created with some custom PHP code which added new content types for each of the entities, along with the necassary maintenance, validation, reporting and display options. This was made future proof by delivering the functionality as a new child theme and as a custom WordPress plugin.

At the point of going live, I upgraded the hosting, migrating email accounts and web hosting to a brand new up to data server.

Delivering added value

As an SEO (Search Engine Optomisation) professional I was able to build the new website from the ground up using SEO best practice.  I also delivered the site with the WordPress Yoast SEO plugin fully integrated.  My background in software engineering allowed me to carry out the necessary custom database work and changes to the hosting.