Suffolk Building Society
- We work in close partnership with our clients to create robust, intelligent marketing strategies based on customer needs and business goals.
Ipswich Building Society was looking to update their digital estate after a rebrand to ‘Suffolk Building Society’, a name that sought to better represent its member base and encompass the whole of its branch network across the county.
They approached with the task of building two websites: one customer-facing and another for mortgage brokers that would integrate seamlessly with the main site.
Their existing website was outdated, built on a CMS platform that restricted the team’s ability to make quick updates. Having the necessary accessibility and flexibility for the Society’s team to make adjustments and add new products was a crucial project requirement and, as a result, we mutually agreed upon the WordPress open source platform as the ideal tool for the job.
We went on to deliver a dual site solution that created a smooth, straightforward user experience for both target groups, scored brilliantly across Google Core Web Vitals and conveyed the Building Society’s, exciting new brand identity with complete clarity.
Planning For Success
The brief was clear: using their refreshed brand identity and associated assets, create a multi-site solution that meets the needs of their two main audiences: day-to-day customers and professional mortgage brokers.
Our task therefore was to design and build a customer-facing website that aligned perfectly with the new Suffolk Building Society brand as well as a broker-facing website that links seamlessly with the consumer site.
We plotted out the user journey and needs for each target group in order to identify opportunities to optimise the user experience on each site. This gave us the insights we needed to customise the navigation and site structure across both sites and move smoothly between the two platforms.
Building For Growth
With their specification and requirements gathered, it was clear that this was the perfect project for implementing WordPress Multisite, allowing the creation of linked sites. This means that all of the sites share a single CMS installation, making management and maintenance a more streamlined process all under one brand style.
Performance and mobile optimisation was also at the forefront of development, and an identified objective to improve on from the previous platform. This involved simple things from image optimisation and a robust framework to more complex elements including systems integrations and utilising a host of server settings.
Suffolk Building Society
Whilst the two distinct websites share components, styles and functionality we still had the flexibility to make two different websites each respective of their core audiences.
A lot of planning had to go into the creative features of the new Suffolk Building Society website. Icon animations play and loop at random intervals when in view on the user’s screen which add an interactive and visually appealing element to the site without distracting from the content or user experience.
An intuitive custom product finder tool was developed to ensure users can find the right mortgage or saving product they were looking for, with the ability to filter products by a set of criteria.
The new intermediary website needed to offer an improved user experience for their network of brokers. Although built on the shared architecture and brand styling, this website includes an additional suite of information and resources. Housed in a ‘broker toolkit’ which includes everything from custom calculator tools to a library of useful forms and guides, the team at Suffolk Building Society can further support their intermediaries.
Since launch both sites are performing brilliantly, giving Suffolk Building Society a highly customised solution, whilst providing them with ease of use and control over their content. SBS have impressive plans ahead to cement their business in the digital space and are looking to the future empowered by a platform ready to scale further.
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