Representing a thousand-year old community online

Durham Cathedral were about to start remodelling their website. They wanted to make the content of their 150-plus pages more appealing to their target audiences. These included visitors, regular worshippers, teachers, researchers and potential volunteers.

The Cathedral also wanted to slim down the navigation options which had grown in past years.

Solution

I acted as temporary web editor remotely for two days a week for four months. This included:

  • Research – a secret shopper visit, an online survey, looking at Google Analytics and key competitors such as York Minster
  • Creating content – adapting content from existing pages and marking up missing areas, writing SEO metadata descriptions, streamlining navigation choices and incorporating staff feedback
  • Populating content – loading all the content into the new website and flagging up issues in bug-logging software
  • Checking content – checking every web page and every link worked on the test website
  • Snagging and mop-up issues – after a website goes live, there’s always something to fix and this proved to be the case again.
  • Training – writing How to manuals and delivering a training session on how to write user-friendly web content

Results

It was tricky balancing the needs of the visitor with a place of worship. However I think we’ve struck the right balance. As I love history, it was a privilege to write about such an iconic building.

Best in Show

I’m proud at how dividing up text with headers and questions transformed the tone of the content. It was so satisfying to bring unknown gems of information into the spotlight.

Take a look:

Durham Cathedral website