TCV’s Practical Conservation Handbooks

We designed a website for a series of printed conservation handbooks that is accessible via subscription.

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Caroline Pearce

Marketing Director, The Conservation Volunteers

Andy’s digital expertise combined with creative talent has created a brilliant, optimised website for TCV.

I particularly value the way that Andy engages with people across our charity to ensure that all developments support their needs. Andy’s commitment and enthusiasm make him a valued partner who we consider as a key member of our team.

TCV’s Handbooks are the definitive ‘how to’ guides to managing the countryside and green spaces. Loads of fantastic background, advice and instruction, written by experts, illustrated and clearly laid out in a step-by-step format.

This was a ‘labour of love’, translating over 1,000 paper pages worth of content into a manageable website available to subscribers.

What we did

Armed with PDF copies of each of the ten printed handbooks, we set about migrating the content to the new website. Whilst some automation was possible, especially with the 2,000 illustrations that accompany the handbooks, this was a manual process that allowed some typos to be corrected as content was imported.

From there we tried to mirror the ‘look’ of the printed versions by using the same fonts, along with TCV’s brand colours. Some thought was needed as to how to deal with the chapters and sections of the books and we opted for keeping things as similar to the original books as possible to begin with.

We needed to set up the subscription system, leaving some content freely available so that search engines had something to get their teeth into. There are a number of different subscription ‘levels’, and quite a bit of custom coding was required to get everything working right.

Of course, a subscription site is nothing without subscribers, so some good, honest content optimisation was needed to prepare the site for sharing, as well as some initial advertising to get the message out to the world that the new site existed!

After the first few months, there are plenty of new subscribers including, at an organisational level, The National Trust and a good number of colleges and universities.

We have also made the first of many videos to promote the website and to provide instruction to subscribers.

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