Now that the new website is finally live we thought that this was an opportune time to introduce why we embarked on the rather ambitious project to create the best club rugby website in the country.
While the previous website was serviceable and received over 25 000 visits last year the way the website serviced our members as well as our sponsors was not ideal. As a result of the appointment of Ross Williams to the main club committee at last year’s AGM, the planning of the 2015 season’s communications and public image began in earnest.
Ross spent a vast amount of time researching current website trends in both rugby and the corporate world to identify how our visitors and members could interact with the club in an easier manner online. Questions that were asked were essentially focussed on why people went on our site, what did they want to know, how we could make it quicker and easier to navigate as well as how we as a club could attract new sponsors and change the way we were seen by the rugby community. No easy task!
As a result the website was stripped of numerous pages that made the old site quite difficult to navigate while the most popular pages were streamlined to ensure a quicker and better experience. Importantly, the website also had to also be fully responsive to allow it to be accessible on mobile and tablet devices without having to continuously zoom in and out. The new site is now far easier to navigate both on a computer and on mobile devices which is a far cry from the old website!
The new features on the site include the member’s page where members can pay their subs online through our payment gateway. We promise you the process is fully secure as our site now features a security certificate while Payfast is fully secure and safe to use. You will notice that we now have three different membership options under the 1876 Club banner. We will launch the 1876 Club very soon and more information will be made available about it is and how it will operate. We are extremely excited about it! The online shop is also new, however it will only be launching in March whilst we plan our clothing range which will be available for any member to purchase.
At the same time as the site was being built we were also in the process of re-branding the club online. We needed a certain look and feel which would bring the club colours and our philosophy to the fore. This was desperately needed to create brand awareness among the rugby public and give us the desired wow factor for first time visitors. Thankfully John Pace of At Pace Designs came forward to help with this project and we think the final results are quite striking. John’s experience and keen eye was a massive asset to this project and we cannot thank him as well as his team, especially Jess Laubscher, for their help!
While the process has been a long one, we believe the new site is now one of the best in the country and one that our supporters can be proud of!