The evolution of the Lincolnshire Showground website

Project News
Lincolnshire Showground website design by Root Studio

We have worked with the team at the Lincolnshire Showground for a number of years now with recent success stories including the launch of new events such as Countryside Lincs, the award winning redesign of the Lincolnshire Show website (their flagship event) and the development of existing events such as Lincolnshire Food & Gift and Comedy Curry amongst others.

It’s this constant development, re-invention and advancement that makes our relationship with the Showground so great. Last year we started work on the redevelopment of the Showground’s website which is primarily used to promote its various events and exhibition space.

The site is between 90% and 100% faster on mobile and desktop browsers

Root Studio

Following the success of the Lincolnshire Show website re-design showing record-breaking sales in its first year and having won the award for ‘Innovation in Web Design’ at the Lincs Digital Awards, it was clear that the content management system (CMS) in place for this site was more user-friendly and offered more flexibility for the future in comparison to their existing system put in place by a previous team. With this in mind we began the task of stripping away the existing system and installing our preferred CMS, Perch in September 2015.

To those outside of the industry this might sound fairly straightforward - surely it’s a case of simply turning off the old system and flicking the switch on the new one… actually there’s a lot more to it than that. The new system required a complete rebuild of the website starting from scratch - from the HTML & CSS up. This meant that the code behind the website could be updated to the latest standards, minor bugs could be ironed out and a few new bespoke page templates could be added along the way to solve any shortcomings from the previous build. 

Once the site had been rebuilt and thoroughly tested the Showground marketing team were free to edit the new website and the Lincolnshire Show site using the exact same system. This made the upkeep of both sites much easier, reduced the amount of staff training required going forwards and meant any support requests went through to a single trusted supplier.  

We’re confident that Root Studio will continue to support and advise us in the development of the website in their friendly and helpful way as we continue to work together.

Lincolnshire Showground

As with all of our website builds, the Lincolnshire Showground website received a detailed analysis 6 months after its soft relaunch (the design of the site at this stage was more or less exactly the same as its predecessor, so chances are none of you even noticed it had been rebuilt). Within the review there were various key statistics that jumped out and it became apparent that some design alterations were required to improve the usability of the website and also enhance its performance. This included upgrading parts of the code to make speed improvements (the site is between 90% and 100% faster on mobile and desktop browsers), improving the usability of the site on mobile devices from Google’s perspective (the site now scores 100/100 in the ‘mobile-friendly’ test), adding site-wide search to allow users to find the content they’re looking for more easily and a more radical redesign of the homepage which clearly wasn’t performing as well as it should be. Having adopted the website design from a previous agency, this was the first opportunity we’d had to progress the website visually. 

Lincolnshire showground website design

"We’ve recently commissioned Root Studio to work with us on giving the Lincolnshire Showground website a refresh. The refresh has focused on giving the homepage a cleaner look including a new navigation structure, with other minor cosmetic tweaks. We have such a wide variety of people visiting the website, whether it’s to see upcoming events, look into membership, buy tickets or plan an event of their very own, that this along with the introduction of a search function, should make it easier for visitors to get to the information they need quickly. By simplifying the homepage and navigation, more focus is given to what we can offer as a venue and upcoming events, which we know are key reasons people visit the website, and our social media channels are also much easier to access too."  Rachael Hurst, Lincolnshire Agricultural Society

Together we identified the areas of the homepage that needed work and also the attributes that were lacking previously. We developed a range of concepts for consideration and with some further tweaks, a fantastic redesign of the homepage and site-wide header was finalised. The new design has since launched and is now working hard to promote forthcoming events as well as the private function and commercial exhibition space on offer at this unique venue just outside of the city.

"There are a number of follow-on projects from the refresh, including introducing a Google map with local accommodation listings on for visitors to choose where to stay, and a new mini-site for our family event Countryside Lincs. We’re confident that Root Studio will continue to support and advise us in the development of the website in their friendly and helpful way as we continue to work together."

Working with the Showground team has been a real treat since day one and we look forward to working with them for years to come!