DS Extra 21 – new website & online services
22nd May 2012
We have just launched an ambitious new website and a suite of online services for DS Extra 21, a very active support & information group for parents, carers and people with Down’s syndrome covering Essex and North East London. The group had been struggling for 12 months to introduce online communications and social media, and it was running an old website which was difficult to update. We were introduced to DS Extra 21 by our long-standing client the Down’s Syndrome Association.
Before specifying the new website, we ran an online survey of all members to establish their requirements. From this we put together an online strategy covering the web, Facebook, photo sharing, video, online newsletters, and mailshots.
At the heart of these services is the new website. DS Extra 21 gave us complete freedom to plan, structure, design & build it in the way we felt best, and we seized the opportunity to create the absolute best site that we could. We chose WordPress as the underlying content management system but, for simplicity & reliability, we made a conscious decision to use external services wherever possible and integrate them into the site. For example:-
- Photo galleries pull images in from Flickr instead of using internal WordPress galleries.
- Video within the site is served by YouTube.
- PDF newsletters are hosted by Issuu and viewed online using Issuu’s WordPress plug-in.
Our partnership with DS Extra 21 also extends to the documentation of operational procedures, and training administrators to manage the website and other services.