"...there is no doubt about it. The websites that Web Foundry creates work. And in choosing to work with Web Foundry you will be important to them and in turn they will bring fresh ideas and thinking to your business."
Russell Imrie, Managing Director
The Queensferry Hotel group owns and operates two award winning 4 star Best Western hotels - Bruntsfield Hotel and Keavil House Hotel. The Bruntsfield offers comfortable, spacious accommodation close to Edinburgh Castle and the city centre. Keavil House Hotel is a beautiful country house on the outskirts of Dunfermline.
Web Foundry has worked with Queensferry Hotels since our business was formed. In 2011, Queensferry Hotels' Managing Director approached Web Foundry to redesign his two hotel websites. The existing sites were about five years old and required a visual refresh and new functionality. In a competitive marketplace the new sites needed to stand out, just not from each other. The Bruntsfield and Keavil House Hotels are very different but they are also part of Best Western, which has very strict brand guidelines. How could we sell the beauty of each hotel, improve the user experience and offer Queensferry Hotels a good return on their investment?
Web Foundry carried out a complete redesign using Joomla CMS, whilst meeting the strict branding guidelines from Best Western. The hotels shared a common template structure and functionality, populated with unique content. The two sites integrate with third party online booking system, Micros MyFidelio, so that users can connect with the hotels booking system through the website. A range of custom modules build up the content structure, including a 'social hub' module, promotional offer modules and slideshows. Stunning imagery makes the sites highly visual, giving customers a real taste for the hotels’ look and feel. Users can access specific pages that link to the dedicated restaurant and health club sites.
Web Foundry also developed adaptive versions of the two sites for use on mobile devices. An adaptive site is mobile specific (as opposed to a responsive site, which is the same design that reflows content depending on screen size). This was particularly useful for a hotel website: it enables the key functionalities a mobile user may wish to access - such as booking, location and other key information - whilst limiting additional descriptive content and images a desktop user can access. As a result, the site's core features are easily accessible from a mobile device and load time is significantly more speedy.
Other services provided by Web Foundry included keyword research and onsite optimisation, custom training for updating the CMS and a support plan. Email marketing with custom templates and list management using iContact enabled the integration of marketing campaigns with the new websites.
Web Foundry presented costs and concepts to the client and attended meetings in Edinburgh to discuss direction and scheduling. Once the budget was accepted we built the custom templates for Joomla 2.5, coding all of the custom CSS. We populated both sites with content supplied by the client. The sites were tested using an online usability service, and feedback from users was applied to enhance the user experience. Best Western's marketing department approved the sites' brand compliance.
Web Foundry handled the hosting and enabled external mail services. The site is now hosted on our own private cloud server at Amazon Web Services (AWS) and has a fully separated relational database (RDS) for improved security and performance. Data is backed up daily to the cloud.
The client saw a great return on their investment, as in both cases they experienced a considerable increase in online bookings. The improved site features and functionality help drive business, leisure and restaurant customers to the sites as well as increasing traffic to the respective external dedicated sites. Over the past two years we have provided a reliable support service and continue to work closely with the in-house marketing team to implement more complex requirements or provide assistance with content management advice. The use of a CMS makes regular content updates, including seasonal menus and promotional offers, straightforward and quick to implement.