Over 2022 I have been project-managing (and doing the majority of the work on) a new website for Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP). APP is a small charity, struggling after Covid and with the cost of living crisis. They could not afford an expensive agency to work on their new design, structure and content. A friendly, patient and generous designer created a new homepage and second-level content template (thanks Chris) and I was able to do the remainder of the first iteration of updates for them. Hopefully further design work and updates will follow when their financial situation improves (donate here).
The old website was built very small in WordPress and has grown ad-hoc over the last 16 years or so. There has been no clear plan or ownership over the site and changes made to it.
As a result it had an incoherent structure and inconsistent writing style. Content was repeated and there were very few internal links. There was no clear decision process when it came to what would be published as a page or a post and the back end was a muddle.
The design itself looked very dated, it used a lot of inaccessible PDFs and there was almost no SEO work behind it. It hadn’t had a lot of love or attention and it showed.
Over the last year I have tried to redress the balance and put in the time needed to give the team a fresh start. I have;
- created a content plan and mapped out the new structure in consultation with the APP team,
- liaised with the designer and staff about basic design requirements,
- liaised with staff about new and existing content requirements,
- consolidated and rewritten existing content – avoiding repetition and improving readability,
- simplified information on research,
- written additional content where needed,
- added multiple internal links,
- added links to relevant personal stories on every content page,
- reworked the back-end structure of parent and child pages to match the new design,
- added metadata and optimised each article for SEO and readability using Yoast,
- added featured images to news and personal stories posts,
- written a ‘how-to’ document for editing and updating, and
- trained staff in the new structure and processes for adding content.
The design and structural elements are not perfect (yet) but it’s a substantial improvement at a fraction of the cost. I’ve been working pro-bono since November to get it over the line. Having worked with APP on peer support training and content creation since 2014 (and been regularly frustrated by their old site) I’m really chuffed we got there.