St Andrews Management Centre
It was an absolute pleasure to get to know and work with Jeff, Rick and the team at St Andrews Management Centre.
The project began with a call followed by a meeting and us taking the time to study the site and understand exactly what the client wanted from their new site in the short, medium and long term. This process cannot be done in a vacuum – we need to understand how the business works, the products, the platforms and the tools used, and that can only work if there are many back-and-forth conversations.
It involves studying other companies working in the business, dissecting their online presence and offerings. It requires getting to know the company aims over coming years, ensuring the end result does not see them locked into a rigid system that will be unable to expand and grow. It requires time and patience and commitment, not just an A4 page with some numbers on it.
Jeff always found the time to talk things through and had the patience to get us to the point of understanding what was in place, what was lacking – or could be improved – and where the business wanted to go.
We supplied a few quotes covering a rebuild, a rebuild with better platforms, and a from-scratch site with all-new functionality. With a well-crafted successful application for Digital Boost funding, the latter option won the day.
There was one thing that remained constant from the off – WordPress. The site was already on WordPress and we had no qualms in keeping things that way. However, the presentation layer was WooCommerce in catalogue mode, and we pitched early on that a LMS system was the way to go, LearnDash being the front-runner.
STAMC already had experience of delivering online training to clients across the globe – COVID 19 forced a shift from hybrid to fully-online and, whatever the future looks like, online-training will remain a key element. We used a combination of LearnDash LMS and custom fields (using ACF) to recreate the courses, storing everything inside LearnDash for presentation but also enabling courses to be run and managed within LearnDash, with all the targeted resources and possibilities that brings.
We rebuilt the site fully using GeneratePress to keep things clean and fast and responsive, and, as per our standard approach, we created a stripped-down and clean login dashboard for the STAMC team, completely removing the often-scary WordPress alerts, update warnings and ‘what-on-earth-is-this-dial’ menu entries.
We added real-time booking for courses, both online and on-premise, with fully automated reservation management and payment via Stripe integration. We added a ‘Let’s Connect’ feature where interested visitors can request a call back via Zoom, again integrated via an API, and with full automation of reservations, emails and meeting-creation.
We added live-chat from Crisp and added some simple visitor-behaviour trigger events in order to talk to site visitors in real-time. Of course there’s text chat, but visitors can also be followed around the site and be connected to via built-in audio if an instant voice call is appropriate.
We optimise all content for SEO and ensure correct integration with Facebook and Twitter Graph for cross-linking purposes. There’s full continuity for existing URLs – a carefully-mapped file of 301 redirects to ensure any bookmarks still worked, and any existing SEO-juice was not wasted.
Jeff, Rick and the team at STAMC have a clear vision for the coming years. We’ve had some interesting conversations about bringing even more to online training and management, and we hope to be around for phases two and three!