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.