Located along a scenic coastline, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is the oldest amusement park in California and a national treasure with a history spanning over 100 years. With thousands of visitors every year, visitors look to the Boardwalk website for important visitor information.
With so much riding on their web presence, the previous website was ready to re-platform to an easier-to-use content management system. Re-platforming on WordPress with new hosting would save them time and money while providing a better way to manage their website.
Once the design and sitemap were approved, we started the build. The client’s style guide was transferred into Elementor’s global style settings, creating consistent global color swatches and typographical elements for the site. Next, we built Elementor templates which gave structure to the header, footer, and body.
The previous site’s header was constrained so the new design opened it up to become more flexible for future considerations, such as adding another link to the navigation without breaking the header. Building a mega menu dropdown presented an ideal way to navigate the giant site with the least amount of clicks. The addition of search functionality with instant results gave a big boost to usability while providing the Boardwalk with insight into top search phrases. With heavy mobile usage in mind, we made sure the header remains visible at all times with quick links to purchase tickets, view park hours, and search.
The footer was busy and the new design addressed that issue with a cleaner, more organized structure. Integrating simple monochromatic waves as a background motif, the first section of the footer showcased social media channels, a newsletter signup, and the park’s address. The second section was split into columns of links organized by topic, serving as another useful means of navigating the site.
The new homepage top section housed a slider to showcase relevant linked topics such as season passes and upcoming events. Below, focus sections gave visitors quick access to crucial areas of the site such as restaurants, accommodations and careers. Rounding out the homepage was a call to action for newsletter signups followed by Instagram posts and a hashtag to inspire visitors to post their own beach boardwalk memories.
Most internal pages consisted of straightforward visitor information, however some were customized for very specific goals. The Hours page integrated an interactive calendar so visitors could tell at a glance if rides were open on any given day or get details on upcoming events. The Tickets page incorporated a popup script so ticket buying remained secure and onsite. The Events page relied on dynamic widgets to pull in event information from the calendar, which made it much easier for staff to manage events in the backend and have it appear in several places on the frontend.
One of the more interesting and challenging sections of the website to build was the Rides section. We used the search plugin for double duty by setting up a page with search filters for ride types and height requirements. This allowed visitors to easily find rides that are accessible and appropriate for family members such as kids.
Knowing the staff needed to manage the site efficiently, we created reusable as well as global widgets and section templates to reduce redundancy and errors such as overlooked and outdated information.
But none of this would have mattered if the staff didn’t get the training and resources to get up to speed quickly on managing the new site. We held several training sessions for staff members who had access to the site’s backend. We also set up a staging site where they could practice until they felt comfortable enough to work on the live site. As a resource, we created a help section they could reference in case they forgot any aspect of the training with short, custom-made how-to videos.
Needless to say, the client was very happy with the results. Not only was the experience an easy experience on their team, we gave them a powerful, user-friendly website that was easier to manage.
If you’re looking to re-platform your website, drop us a line to see how we can help you.