Cogent Skills had a long established website they had been using for over 10 years, which had served its purpose. The original design was bespoke built and Cogent Skills increasingly had very little control over it. The content management system (CMS) had become difficult to use and not intuitive with what they wanted it to do, but Cogent Skills did not want to make any further investment into the legacy CMS.
“There were a range of legacy issues” said Judith Holcroft, Head of Marketing & PR, Cogent Skills, “Because the site was old, not functioning as we would want it, and did not have a proper site structure. The organisation had changed over the years and the website did not reflect those changes”.
Content on top of content had been added onto the homepage as it was easier to find rather than review where the data should go, creating duplication of content.
Cogent also had several micro-sites within their organisation, which caused confusion as it was unclear for both internal and external users which website site to use, to find the information that was needed. Additional to this, the website was non-responsive, therefore making it difficult to use on mobile and tablet devices.
As Cogent were going through re-branding changes it was the ideal time to move away from the many micro sites and to have just one responsive website site with the new branding, a functional CMS that was agile and had scope for growth and future development.
Cogent Skills had a detailed scope of exactly what they wanted from the new website and had invested a lot of time getting the content together to ensure their three sub-brands were integrated into one. Judith explained, “We are an educational, not for profit organisation so it was important the website build was cost effective, uncomplicated and simple.”
Though Cogent found Polymorph through personal contact the project still went out to tender. “Steve (Steve Harris, MD of Polymorph) challenged some of our pre-set decisions with different ideas, suggesting how things would work better one way as opposed to another, which was a refreshing change,” said Judith, “I like that in a supplier.”
Polymorph successfully won the bid to build the new Umbraco website for Cogent Skills and subsequently worked closely with their website’s designers to share the ethos of the look, feel and build of the new website site and make certain the deliverables were in line with the scope.
With a huge emphasis on the rebrand from Cogent SSC to Cogent Skills, it was imperative the new website go live at the same time. “We had a strict deadline with no flexibility to go live with the website the same day as our email addresses changed over to our new brand,” continued Judith. “Project management, resourcing and speed was critical and Polymorph were able to deliver.”
Polymorph helped Cogent to ensure all content was in place before implementing the website in parallel with the rebranding of their organisation project. It was a smooth change over with no downtime and minimal impact to users. “As the new site was simpler to use it made the implementation of the content much easier” added Ryan Jones, Marketing Administrator, Cogent Skills.
Cogent have worked very closely with Polymorph throughout the entirety of this project and have been particularly impressed with Polymorph’s implementation team - their level of knowledge, dedication to the project and ability to challenge thoughts. “Sometimes IT companies can over complicate or be too technical, but Polymorph explained things clearly and concisely, so it was a breath of fresh air,” said Matthew Lowe, Marketing Operations Manager, Cogent Skills.
Cogent are delighted with their new Umbraco website which has resulted in some extremely positive benefits, a few of which are listed below:
- A responsive website compatible for mobile and tablet devices, therefore increasing traffic to the website, which has now doubled in size from job seekers to young students looking for apprenticeships.
- Ability to access information required with ease through improved navigation and related links.
- Fully hosted website by Polymorph reducing cost and time dealing with maintenance and support issues.
- Increased level of control and management of their own CMS.
- Polymorph’s outstanding aftercare support providing further complimentary training session in SEO and Google Adwords.
Choosing Polymorph to partner with for this project has also had its benefits. With Polymorph being located in close proximity to Cogent Skills it has made it easier to have that continuous face-to-face communication which has really helped to make the project be successful and completed within the time constraints. “I like the way Steve has resourced and organised his workforce to be dedicated, focused and committed to this project” said Judith.
“I would certainly recommend using Polymorph for a website build. We had set a very tight deadline and the team pulled out all the stops to launch the website to coincide with the launch of our new brand. We didn’t just want a website for today, we wanted to ensure it was future-proof and by guiding us on new techniques and approaches Polymorph built us a responsive website that we can easily evolve to reflect our customers changing needs.” Matthew Lowe, Marketing Operations Manager, Cogent Skills.
The Cogent Group comprising of Cogent Skills, Technical Apprenticeship Service, and the National Skills Academy for the Process Industries (‘Cogent’), works in alliance with employers to develop, design and deploy skills and education solutions for the science industries.