Hull Truck Theatre

A website re-design and build in Umbraco 8 taking centre stage

Summary

 

Hull Truck Theatre is a pioneering theatre with a unique Northern Voice, locally rooted, global in outlook, inspiring artists, audiences, and communities to reach their greatest potential.

 

We were asked to re-build their old Umbraco 7 website, in the Umbraco 8 CMS, to take advantage of the new features available and to make sure their website would be future proofed for years to come.

 

With new and improved event search functionality, optimised site structure and full integration with their Spektrix booking system, the website has delivered impressive results for ticket sales and donations.

The Challenge

 

The previous site was built in Umbraco 7, which will become unsupported in 2023. Hull Truck wanted to make sure that they got a new website well ahead of this date in order to maximise ticket sales and bookings in autumn 2021 and beyond.


The website navigation had become unwieldy over time, looking cluttered and difficult to navigate on mobile devices. Donations are also a key lifeline for the theatre but the existing donations journey was clunky and uninspiring.


For content editors there was significant duplication of effort. Event content had to be added into their booking platform and also into the Umbraco CMS, which was time consuming and inefficient.

UX Design

 

We made significant changes to the site architecture and navigation to make information such as show listings, visitor information and how to support the theatre much easier to find and be optimised for search engines.

 

The new main navigation is streamlined, and we introduced a secondary navigation for quick links and to access the account area.

 

The event listing page showcases the upcoming shows in an engaging way, and users are now able to search by multiple categories such as show type, venue, and search for access friendly performances.

 

The show detail pages are incredibly flexible, and users can listen to audio flyers, view videos and imagery which bring the performances to life on the website and inspire users to book tickets.   

 

 

Development

 

The Umbraco CMS was designed around our client’s content needs and contains content modules which can be used on any page, in any order to make content management as flexible as possible for their busy team.

 

We integrated the website with their booking software, Spektrix, using Version their 3 API which handles content for numerous areas of the website such as event listings, availability, prices, and facilitates online payments for tickets and donations. The key here was to eliminate duplication of effort across Spektrix and the Website; event details are added in Spektrix and read into the Website via the API. Event details are  supplemented on the detail pages by a comprehensive range of customizable modules provided by SteadyGo.

 

We also built in several automated features for our client, such as displaying low availability messages when tickets were about to sell out and automatically adding labels to shows which had been rescheduled, cancelled, or sold out. 

 

All API data is cached to increase performance, as a result the listing and detail pages are very quick to load.

 

SEO migration

 

To guarantee a smooth SEO migration to the newer Umbraco platform we followed a thorough set of procedures, so all SEO technical requirements and best practices were in place before launch.  

 

The Outcome

 

The outcome is a new, slick and accessible website for Hull Truck Theatre which ticks all the boxes for their key user groups.  Sales and donations are at a record high and our client finds the content management process fast and easy to use. 

 

View site 

41%

increase in organic traffic

59%

increase in revenues

22%

increase in ticket sale transactions

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