St Austell Brewery

When pulse8 were asked to pitch against 10 other agencies, St Austell Brewery already knew that their website was no longer performing in the way that it needed to. With over 167 different inns and pubs, they needed creative solutions to overcome what had become a convoluted, restrictive and overloaded CMS system.

Our ‘always custom’ approach to CMS suited them down to the ground. The previous website was disjointed and ‘old-school’ in its design. With particularly complex requirements behind the scenes, the off-the-shelf content management system - when needing to perform more complicated actions - had become cumbersome and started to fail.

The set of visuals that we pitched with were absolutely unique; we had decided upon a long scrolling approach – not fearing the fold, as we believed that ever-increasing traffic from both mobile and tablet would lend itself to the design.

Some of St Austell Brewery’s pubs have commissioned websites and some were in-house. The lack of continuity meant that the project had its specific challenges. To facilitate a smoother working process we proposed a central content management system that could hand out and manage the entire main website content but also the individual pub microsites too. Now the pubs can create their own websites, which can be accessed directly from the main site and also stand as a unique site to their local customers and suppliers.

The complication and challenge in a project as large as this is to make the front facing visuals of the website, clear and uncluttered with a simple user journey, but with the back-end technicalities able to sustain the traffic and centrally manage the fully customised CMS.

St Austell Brewery have many different departments, all with different goals for the site, so the classic home page domination needed to be addressed so that everyone felt that they were getting their fair share of exposure; pubs, inns and hotels, beers and brewing, careers and training.


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