Communications News: Site Visit -

This is officially the Year of the Volunteer, so it is great to see VSO, a pioneer in the sector and one that has changed the lives of many young professionals, relaunch its website and present a new identity.

This is particularly important because 80 per cent of its contacts come in via the web.

The revamped website, which uses content management software from Tridion, has doubled its average number of page hits to 160,000 a week since its October debut.

Main pages

The charity admits that the old site was a mess - too much had been added on an ad hoc basis and navigation was difficult. The new look is a tremendous improvement, with an attractive layout and good use of visuals. Do note the useful access menu on the right, which lets visitors adjust the site to their own needs and prompts interaction such as "email a friend" and "feedback on page". There is also a call to action on the homepage: "Want to do something about the state of the world?"

Special features

One of the challenges for VSO's small in-house team has been to structure the site so nothing is more than three clicks from the homepage. With several hundred pages of information, doing so has been no mean feat.

VSO says

"The website is the first point of enquiry for many applicants, so it needs to be as informative, up-to-date and easy to use as possible. We work closely with key stakeholders, who constantly provide tips and training on writing for the web, and help colleagues make the most of what is a huge communication opportunity for us."

Site Visit is by technology writer Gary Flood.

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