Sometimes we get a chance to work on a website that is a bit different and Go Lake District is just that type of website. We had a short amount of time to try to get the website back up and running, so it is definitely a work in progress, but we feel it was such a valuable resource, we had to help make it great. Go Lake District, as the name implies is a website dedicated to the Lake District national park in Cumbria. It is first and foremost a collection of walks in the Lake District, with maps, routes, and pictures to help guide you. Besides its fantastic collection of walks, it offers guides to Lake District tourist attractions and points of interest in the area. From the wonderful historic houses and steam railways to boat hire and farm parks – there really is a great choice of things to do for the whole family. And for those pesky wet days when it won’t stop raining, they still have you covered with a selection of things to do in the Lake district when it’s raining.
What we did
When we started, we had a small amount of time to get the site up and running. We started by adding the pages and images to the website. The images had previously been largely unoptimized, so we saved them with varying amounts of compression to get the page load times down. It’s good for the server and visitors to the website, not to have to wait for ages for the images to load. We will probably go a page about image optimisation on our website at some point because there’s really no excuse these days. We also decided to tackle the slightly out-dated URL structure, partly for user-experience, cleanness and also because we had no choice – whichever CMS that had been used, was outdated and it would be hard to replicate. So we started setting up the sections of the website for example ‘/walks/’ and then adding the walks to that section. This mean that the original pages no longer resided in the same place, so we had to do a few 301 redirects to link up the old pages to the new ones so we didn’t lose any link-juice and to keep Google happy. Once the old pages were back up and everything was connected, redirected and working, we added any new pages that were required. This was also the point that we removed mention of the online shop that had long been dissolved and instead set up links to buy various items from Amazon. This can be a good way of doing things, especially if you don’t have the budget to buy large amounts of stock and can’t compete on price, you might as well earn via an affiliate scheme or ad revenue. One of the issues with hosting websites are the costs involved in hosting and maintenance, so any way to offset those costs is appreciated.
Have we succeeded?
Once we had repaired all the links and optimised the images the site ranked reasonably well for the keywords that it previously ranked for and gradually improved. This was with the site being down for a few months, so it is definitely possible to get your site back to where it was even if a reasonable time has passed. Don’t feel let down or upset that irreversible damage has been done, because usually, it’s fixable.
We hope to continually help improve the website and add to in as the opportunity arises – such as the addition of new walks, and guides. The addition of pages for each of the attractions including reviews and write-ups. The website has a lot of potential, I hope it continues and grows its success.