ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) is the rural and community development charity for Cumbria. ACT supports over 200 community projects each year involving issues such as village halls, community led planning and emergency planning.
ACT had a previous website built and supported by a local council's IT team. Unfortunately, the site was hacked, and a lot of the content was deleted. As I had worked previously with ACT on a website for a separate project, I was invited to quote for the project of building a replacement site.
The project was challenging in a number of ways. The hacking of the previous site meant there was some urgency in getting a new site up and running. However, ACT wanted to take the opportunity to make significant improvements to the visual design and the structure of the site. The site is quite large, with over 40 main pages, plus about 40 subsidiary pages such as individual news stories. In addition, the site has over 600 documents providing information and advice on community issues.
Rules were built into the page templates to control the display of the documents - for example, displaying all case studies on the "Case studies" page and displaying a subset of relevant case studies on individual activity pages. Several online forms were added to the website, to help reduce the previous use of paper forms, which were time-consuming to process. Another form was built to collect up to date information on local community buildings and village halls - the ACT site should eventually display details of around 300 community buildings in Cumbria. In recent years, ACT has received many positive testimonials and comments about their activities - and, for the first time, these were added to the ACT website.