Site of the Year 2010 - UK Category Winners

Learn about Sitecore's Site of the Year category winners - websites that we recognize as best in industry web solutions leveraging Sitecore technology.

BIS screenshot

Best Government and Public Services Site: Department for Business Innovation and Skills

Implementation Partner: Eduserv

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is responsible for the United Kingdom’s business growth and lies at the heart of the country’s government.  It aims to create an enterprise culture where everyone with talent is inspired to turn ideas into successful enterprises and get rid of unnecessary barriers that can stifle growth.

Working with Sitecore partner, Eduserv, BIS wanted to develop a brand new website with a core Web CMS at its heart. The top reasons that BIS chose Sitecore include:

  • Usability: Having a devolved publishing model with content being managed by non-technical colleagues meant that BIS needed a system that was easy to use. This has become even more important with the advent of the shared service model. Sitecore’s familiar “Microsoft” look and feel and its logical editing process mean it’s easy for publishers to use the CMS.
  • Scalability: Sitecore easily enables BIS to quickly build and publish new partner websites.
  • Flexibility: Sitecore’s development flexibility means that it’s easy to add new functionality to websites. BIS can deliver high-quality sites that meet all required usability and accessibility standards.
  • Functionality: Sitecore has a range of features and functionality that allow Eduserv to build engaging and dynamic pages while making site and content management straightforward for BIS staff.

The new site is attractive, dynamic and easy to manage – a massive step forward from what BIS had previously.  In addition:

  • The new website will cost BIS £2.5 million less over the next four years.
  • The shared hosting platform improves integration with BIS partners and is expected to save up to £2.8 million over the next four years.
  • Partners can develop websites that sit within the BIS framework quickly and effectively – website functionality can be available to them within less than three weeks from initial agreement.
  • The enhanced online presence of BIS and its partners further engages, informs and assists the public.

Birmingham Airport screenshot

Best Entertainment, Leisure and Travel Site: Birmingham Airport

Implementation Partner: 3Sixty Internet Ltd

Birmingham Airport is the UK’s second largest airport outside London serving around 9 million passengers a year leaving for and arriving from 422 destinations around the world.  The airport had grown to increasingly recognise the importance of its website as a shop window to present its credentials as a true global hub for travellers.

The goal was to place the site at the centre of the next phase of the airport’s digital marketing strategy, combining social media, Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) and mobile applications, to create a multi-channel platform for reaching travellers wherever they are in the world. 

Historically Birmingham Airport’s website had been based on a custom-built CMS which had become outdated and cumbersome over time, resulting in an uncoordinated look and feel. Maintaining it tied up resources and was heavily dependent on technical expertise. The visitor experience was neither engaging nor interactive. 

The airport decided that a complete overhaul of the site was necessary. Among the chief goals Birmingham Airport wanted to:

  • Increase commercial results from car-parking advance bookings, flights and holiday reservations
  • Re-position the airport from a brand perspective.
  • Act as an adaptable framework to support further commercial development.
  • Provide an easily updatable platform for both technical and non-technical team members with different levels of editor access

Sitecore’s powerful and scalable advanced Web CMS was selected as a robust, scalable solution as it could cope with the sudden surges in site visitors that forms part of hosting an airport website, which deals with regular traffic one day followed by massive demand for information resulting from extreme weather - such as ash clouds - the next.  Other important features are:

  • Ability to be deployed to a load-balanced environment
  • Ease of integration with external services feeds and information from multiple 3rd parties, whilst remaining integrated in look and feel
  • Multiple languages facility
  • The fact that it is not just a sophisticated, easy to use CMS but also a development platform

As a result the Birmingham Airport marketing team now have real power and control over their online marketing presence, allowing them to manage the creation and publishing of timely and relevant content in house, meeting their diverse customer needs.  The site also gives them:

  • Fast and effective delivery of emergency or important information to the general public when needed
  • A viewable and engaging experience for users across all kinds of desktop and mobile devices
  • Great appearance and easy navigation
  • Simple and fast to update
  • Flexibility to do pretty much anything required, it is not limiting in any way

Since the revamped site was launched, Birmingham Airport Google Analytics data has seen a rise in visitor traffic to the site. Other results include:

  • Significantly more visitors to their email database
  • Signed up significantly more members to their loyalty scheme - up 250% overall, up 500% in the first few days after the new site launched

Britvic screenshot

Best Retail, Wholesale and Consumer Goods Site: Britvic

Implementation Partner: Igentics Ltd

Britvic plc. is one of the Europe’s leading soft drink companies with an extensive and well-known portfolio of brands. It is a British company with most operations centralised in the UK but with an increasingly expanding international operation. Britvic needed a site that would be the first point of contact with their stakeholders - from consumers, customers and prospective employees to shareholders and investors. Although most people know the Britvic brand names, they are not necessarily familiar with the business behind them. One of the principal goals was that the look, feel and usability of the site should be adapted to suit each type of audience – at once reflecting the youthful and dynamic market Britvic operates in but also able to show that it is a responsible business with ambitious plans for growth.

Previously, Britvic faced some challenges with their site including:

  • Site management: Britvic’s old bespoke CMS was struggling to keep up with evolving needs of the business
  • Changes had to be made by an external agency which was time-consuming and expensive
  • Design did not provide a very exciting user experience, needed refreshing to encourage prolonged, repeated visits to the site.
  • Brand awareness was not as prominent as it should have been
  • URL structure and site architecture also were not conducive to search engine optimisation
  • There was a lack of traffic analysis and a lack of consistency of product marketing and presentation

Sitecore was chosen to solve these problems, thanks to personal recommendations from Britvic’s in-house team and their digital consultancy Igentics Ltd. Sitecore worked with Britvic to meet their goals: to drive awareness of the brand portfolio, to represent the scale and personality of the business, and to better engage with stakeholders to provide an improved user experience.

Britvic is very satisfied with the result. Its marketing team is especially pleased with the ease and speed with which they can edit and update content themselves despite not ever having worked with a CMS before.

G4S Screenshot

Best Professional, Business and Personal Services Site: G4S

Implementation Partner: Reading Room

G4S provides integrated solutions to security challenges working with governments, businesses and a variety of other organisations. G4S has more than 600,000 employees and is the second largest private employer in the world. G4S wanted its website to:

  • Represent a truly global brand, showcasing the breadth of its operations in 110 countries around the world
  • Increase visitor numbers for its main and country websites
  • Allow individual countries to add localised content

G4S chose Sitecore because of:

  • Low-cost implementation
  • Ability to handle multi-lingual sites
  • Ease of use for local content managers around the globe
  • Online marketing elements
  • Flexibility

The new website is in 27 languages, the main corporate site is managed by the G4S head office team and the country sites are managed locally. Each site has a different set of administrators whose access to the sites and languages are restricted according to their authorisation level. This ensures that centralised control of the brand is maintained, while content can be localised to specific audiences.

The results speak for themselves:

  • A remarkable 266% increase in repeat visits and 130,000 average monthly visitors
  • More visitors to the main site in one month than all the country sites put together the previous year
  • Visitors come from more than 180 countries, demonstrating a fully global reach for G4S
  • Since implementation, G4S is saving on average £100,000 per year on hosting, licensing and support

The new global online offering, including strategy, design, build and Sitecore implementation was delivered by digital consultancy Reading Room, a valued Sitecore partner.

I.B. Tauris screenshot

Best Education, Media and Advertising Site: I.B. Tauris

Implementation Partner: Unified Solutions

Founded in London in 1983, I.B.Tauris is an independent publishing house specialising in general non-fiction and academic works in the humanities and social sciences. I.B. Tauris publishes 300 new books internationally every year and keeps approximately 3,000 books available in print.  A large and growing proportion of its publishing output is also now available in electronic format through libraries and collections worldwide.  The publisher relies upon its website to promote its titles to librarians and researchers who tend to buy their reference material in bulk. The site’s other main objective is to synchronise book data with Nielsen, who feed this information into distribution outlets such as Waterstones and Amazon.

Over time the look and feel of the site had become dated and uninspiring.  Users found it difficult to navigate while the process of maintaining and updating content was time-consuming and cumbersome. A further challenge came in the form of a separate bespoke in-house database that fed into Nielsen and drove the website, but this would often be out-of-sync and cause content anomalies.

I.B Tauris decided that the site should be completely overhauled and refreshed stipulating that the new version should:

  • Raise the purchase of titles and the number of customers, particularly international customers, using the site by a significant percentage
  • Ensure 100% consistency of information published for each title across the publishing industry and the website
  • Generate a modest increase in traffic

Sitecore was selected for its ease of use advanced set of features and functionality offered and the fact that it was database driven.  I. B. Tauris decided Sitecore Web CMS should replace their in-house, bespoke database helping to eliminate much of the administration and maintenance cost in the process.

As a result of working with Sitecore:

  • The I.B. Tauris website has been integrated with Nielsen book data in a consistent and repeatable way
  • The purchasing of books has also been integrated with McMillan Book Distribution to create a seamless process of selecting and purchasing titles
  • Sitecore’s personalisation and dynamic features have helped to create an "Amazon" type of experience but at a fraction of the outlay

Products on the site can be promoted automatically or manually, depending on the business need.

IBLF screenshot

Best Not for Profit Site: International Business Leaders Forum

Implementation Partner: etv media group

Founded in 1990, IBLF is an independent, not-for-profit organisation working with leading global companies and CEOs to drive the corporate responsibility agenda. Delivering responsible business solutions to do with sustainable development, they play an active role in convening forums, producing topical research and facilitating cross-sector collaboration between companies, governments and NGOs. Over 90 multinational companies partner with IBLF across a wide range of themes such as employability, inclusive business, human rights, the environmental and corruption.

The website for IBLF as it existed before Sitecore was implemented was underutilised and non-scalable. It also presented the challenges of restricted functionality from the back-end, an unwieldy content management system and limited ways via which to present content.

There was a pressing need for an overhauled version of the website that would showcase IBLF’s diverse global work in a clear and dynamic way. The central idea was for the site to serve as part communications platform, part brochure and part experiential space. Aimed at bringing the IBLF brand and activities to life online, it was to be a dynamic platform that would also contribute to increasing site traffic and raise IBLF’s public profile. IBLF also wanted the facility to embed video and incorporate flash-based modules. Overall, the site needed to communicate IBLF’s international work in an impactful and memorable way. 

IBLF contracted Sitecore partner eTV Media Group to develop the site, and evaluated several competitors before selecting the advanced Sitecore Web CMS solution. The primary reasons for choosing Sitecore were:

  • Provision of a back-end system that can be easily scaled up over time to meet the expanding and evolving needs of the organisation.
  • Technically sound .NET-based CMS framework and high-quality asset management, content editing and work-flow systems
  • Ability for developers to customise site design and overlay multiple page layouts onto a framework, to provide static/dynamic content
  • Features such as in-line editing and the facility to run a number of sites under different domains using the same CMS platform

The new website was launched  ahead of deadline, within budget and to specification in April 2010. Sitecore has enabled IBLF to manage all aspects of the site from the back-end to create and update a unique, branded portal. The site tells the 'IBLF story' in a way that is visually appealing and engaging, using an optimal digital mix of images, copy and video.

The new website has contributed significantly to IBLF’s engagement with companies, governments and international organisations, and allows current corporate partners to see the on-going progress of its activities and achievements. Members of the media are also able to access key information quickly and efficiently. Crucially, IBLF has received highly positive feedback on the revamped website from its Board of Trustees, affiliates and various stakeholders.

Finally, from a web metrics angle, Google Analytics statistics for display that comparing the period before and after launch:

  • New users to per month have increased by 32%+
  • Average time spent on the site by a user has shot up by 40%+
  • Online video hits on Vimeo for IBLF’s Expert Insight series of interviews with CEOs have risen significantly by 60%+
  • Twitter following has increased five-fold over a period of merely three months and approximately 28 new users now join IBLF on Twitter each day
  • Media mentions have escalated from 8 articles to over 25 write-ups per month

NHS Direct screenshot

Best Healthcare and Medical Site: NHS Direct

Implementation Partner: Eduserv

NHS Direct is England’s national health line that gives health advice, information and reassurance to members of the public online and over the phone.  To keep up with the growing needs of public healthcare, NHS Direct wanted to improve the digital services available to the public by enhancing the tailored health information it provides to patients online.

NHS Direct wanted to:

  • Enable more patients to address their symptoms online, reducing the need for patients to visit their GP, Accident & Emergency units and other front line health services.
  • Improve the look and feel of its health and symptom checkers as well as ensuring they are easy to use.
  • Ensure that managing and updating content would be quick and easy for its staff and controlled by workflow.
  • Understand complex patient journeys so that the online services can be fine-tuned over time.
  • Syndicate its health and symptom checker services to other channels, such as partner websites and mobile platforms.

The former NHS Direct digital services were not providing the ease of use and management needed and therefore they decided that they needed services that:

  • Provided easy to manage workflow options.
  • Enabled version control and allowed individual pages to be published separately.
  • Had a good content editor that didn’t require technical knowledge.
  • Made it easy to manage images, documents and multi-media files..

NHS Direct chose to re-build their online services and Sitecore CMS was chosen for this purpose because it had a number of benefits over alternatives including the following:

  • Scalability: Sitecore enables the multi-channel team at NHS Direct to easily build and publish new content, and integrate partner sites, as media can be shared across multiple parties.
  • Flexibility: Sitecore’s flexibility for website development means that it’s easier to add new features. As proof of this, the solution links well with the clinical decision support tool that has helped NHS Direct to integrate features such as the health and symptom checkers. Sitecore CMS was also able to deliver high quality services that met all of the required usability and accessibility standards.
  • Functionality: Sitecore has a range of features and functionality that allows NHS Direct to build attractive, clear and interesting pages while making content management straightforward. Sitecore CMS has also allowed NHS Direct to keep up-to-date with the latest technical standards- which is so vital for further developments in the future.
  • Customer support: The help provided by the support team has been second to none and support is always available whenever it was needed, so they know and trust Sitecore as a partner with any web development project.
  • Usability: The workflow is helped largely by the shared service model. The user interface - which uses a familiar ‘Microsoft’ style design - helps make the CMS extremely easy to use, helping to create a smooth workflow when developing the services. This means that it’s easy for publishers to edit and create content for approval.

The new services have shown their value in a variety of ways, for example: 

Value to patients -1.5m A&E attendances and 1.9m GP consultations were avoided last year through patients’ use of NHS Direct’s web and telephone services, helping these vital  face to face services remain available for people who really need them   Using the Sitecore CMS over any other solution for developing the services and providing a solution for editing and creating new content has saved a significant amount of time for NHS Direct..

Totaljobs screenshot

Best Professional, Business and Personal Services Site: Totaljobs

Implementation Partner: Codehouse

Totaljobs Group, a part of Reed Elsevier, a FTSE 100 company, is the largest and fastest growing online recruitment business in the UK. The group comprises seven job sites, which between them carry over 125,000 jobs, and attract over 4.3 million jobseekers every month who generate 2.8 million applications. The prosperity of the business relies heavily on its online web software platform being able to efficiently process large volumes of user transactions. 

Originally all of the group’s sites were running with the same custom-built CMS platform. But the business had outgrown the original solution which had become inefficient and cumbersome to manage.  Another challenge was that rollout of new products and content was proving expensive. At the same time the overall end-user experience was being spoilt by the inconsistent look and feel of the brand.

Totaljobs Group, working with SiteCore partner, Codehouse, wanted the new platform to be able to respond to changes in the business in a more cost-effective way. Another major requirement of the solution was that it should be possible to change the website content without having to resort to employing specialist developers.

Sitecore was selected for a number of reasons including:

  • Flexibility of the API and extensibility of the system user interface
  • Richness of SiteCore's content editing interfaces
  • Ability to create branding consistency throughout all Totaljobs Group’s sites
  • Cache repository for the sites’ most requested pages
  • Extended workflows feature that enforces editorial policies for approving new content
  • Presence of a debug mode that allows development team to spot any content that is not migrated into the CMS
  • Advanced System Reporter feature that allows content enriched with usage statistics to be delivered quickly and efficiently for analysis

Totaljobs Group was able to start benefiting from a return on their investment within two months of the project starting. The business is able to save around £250k a year just on website content maintenance costs since the introduction of Sitecore.



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Ogden City | Read Case Study >

We have all the complexity we need behind the scenes, yet Sitecore makes this transparent to our users. The site will continue to grow – in a managed and controlled manner.

- Denise Taylor, Ogden City