Scottish Food Guide is an influential and well known guide to all that’s best in Scottish Food. It is run by the indefatigable Wendy Barrie, who for 20+ years has championed the very best food producers, farmers and restaurateurs who specialise in the very best Scottish produce. Members of the guide are promoted at hundreds of events and have their meats, cheeses, vegetables etc., exposed to all the many consumers of these products from individuals to government to companies both at home and abroad.
Unfortunately, Wendy’s website did not reflect either how she wanted it to look or what she was doing on behalf of her members. Furthermore, any changes she wanted to make had to go to the web designers, and these could often take weeks. To add insult to injury she was also paying a very large sum of money every year to the web designers for the use of their own ‘proprietary’ CMS.
All of this frustration proved too much for Wendy and she knew it was time for a change. But would it be a case of out of the frying pan into the fire (excuse the pun).
We were introduced to Wendy and the Scottish Food Guide by a mutual acquaintance and it quickly became clear to us that we had on our hands a fairly typical scenario. This is where an organisation had paid a substantial amount of money for a website and were paying substantial amounts of money in support. In addition every change had still to be paid for, even though there was a support arrangement in place.
Our experience is to build websites that meet our customers’ requirements to do its job. In Wendy’s case this was to showcase her work on behalf of members, encourage new members and also provide a resource to consumers in the form of a guide. On top of that it was imperative that Wendy was able to continuously update and change her website in accordance with the seasons, new members, new recipes etc. A completely new design was needed because the old website had become very tired and old fashioned.
As we go through our process for building websites we took care to ensure that Wendy was involved in every single step, as we do with every customer Even although we don’t produce wireframe or designs, Wendy knew what she was getting and understood how it all worked and hung together from the guide itself to news items, blogs, recipes etc.
Wendy is now able to make significant changes to the website, adding new pages, posts, news items, recipes and new members. Everything is as automatic as it can be – newest recipes appear first, there is a member showcase, but also options to add new features as they are needed.
So why is this breaking the mould? Simply because Wendy is not technical but is now able to control and manage her own website(s) because there are more than one. She now has complete control – and doesn’t have to talk to us unless she needs a little advice or training, all contained within her small annual fee to us.
Just as an aside, even although Wendy now has the web site she wants, and all the control imaginable, she is paying one tenth of her previous annual outlay for web sites. It may even be less. That’s what breaking the mould is all about.