A few months ago we were contacted by a potential client based up North in the Lake District. The Plough at Lupton are a small, historic pub located in Lupton, cumbria who offer high quality food with a room to stay.
We arranged a meeting with them, expecting to travel up to see them and discuss their project and their individual needs. But as talks went on they offered for 2 of us to go up, eat in their restaurant, have a drink and stay over.. all for nothing. This is something which is almost never offered from any potential clients, at that stage we had not discussed their prohect, nor had we even been chose to do it from a small list of potential design studios, but they still insisted on us going up and experiencing their pub.
After that we put all of our names in a hat and luckily enough my name was picked with Andy.. Buzzing!
A few weeks later we made the short drive up, all excited wondering what to expect we were both like teenagers, we were greeted by some very polite staff and were made to feel like their special guests.. we had a few drinks before sitting to eat.
Right after we walked in the door we knew this pub had something special, it had personality, style and a different kind of atmosphere.. it's hard to describe but me and Andy both agree that the pub was expectional.
It's funny becuase I kept on coming back to the fact that if we wasn't guven the opportunity to go and spend the night here, I wouldn't have known the pub even existed.. which makes me think, there are probable hundreds of Pubs like The Plough who offer exceptional facilities but for one reason or another don't get themselves heard, this pinpoints the importance of a good website which are ranked high in Google so people know about them.
At present they have hundreds of really good reviews on Trip Advisor in regards to both food and the hotel.. so we do have some good elements to work with on their new designs, they simply just don't shout about these things enough. The new design will try to show who they are, what they do and their unique selling points to intise new people to come and experience all that they have to offer.
After the initial meeting we were given a good idea of what their needs were in a new design. As this is my project I went and looked at their competitors nearby, before searching a much broader spectrum for what some of the more succesful hotel / pub websites are doing.. This gave me plenty of ideas and elements to work with. I got a few references for colours, fonts, design elements and started from there.
These will be pulled through and automated on certain pages of the site to show new and existing clients the ratings they are getting
Their current website does not have much information for the individual rooms, We plan on getting specific information for each room i.e the size, type of bed, special amenities.. things like that so the user can compare each room so they can pinpoint which one would be best suited to them.
One of the most important things for The Plough is to show their location, although they aren't situated in the Lake District, they are in a unique position in which everybvillage is no more than 20 minutes drive away, this is a very good selling point for couples looking for a wekend retreat, they can stay at The Plough and choose which village or area to visit, this means there are lots more possibilities for where or what they could do with their time in the Lake District.
We have decided that there needs to be more emphasis on shouting about their events, The Plough hold certain events on a weekly basis, for example it was Burger Night when we went a few months ago, but on our more recent visit it was Bring your own wine night.
Their current site doesn't have a blog, which we feel is very important to share offers, news, going's on and other things.
Although their current website has pretty good photograohy, there simply isn't enough of it, we will commision a Photographer to go in and spend a day or two taking shots of the pub, it's food and the area around.
As we sit with an initial design which the client love, we have taken note of all the statistics from their current website so we have a good reference to judge the success of the new website design, along with SEO we feel that there are significant improvements to be made..