Site Visit: The Imperial War Museums

The museum created a new website as part of a rebranding process

New Imperial War Museums website
New Imperial War Museums website

Organisation: The Imperial War Museums
Agency: Bureau for Visual Affairs
Spend: £250,000

The Imperial War Museum tells the story of people who have fought in conflicts involving Britain and the Commonwealth since 1914.


The museum opened a consultation about its website in 2009, shortly after establishing a new media department to assume responsibility for the site from the IT department. There was a general feeling that the site was dated and lacked the kind of 'wow' factor that greets visitors at the charity's five museums. The new site, which uses the Drupal 7 content management system, opened in November after 10 months of development.

Design and content

The new site is part of a rebranding carried out to strengthen and standardise branding for the charity's five sites. The site has an extra half a million items available, including archive images, film and sound. The treasures include footage of the German retreat across the Somme in 1917 and a 1939 public information film telling people what to do in the event of war with Germany.

Special features

Most people use the site to plan trips, but the new site appeals far more to people with a deeper engagement with the charity's work. Visitors can search for subjects by keywords and then filter the results according to a range of options, including date, media and place. The shop, which includes items such as RAF flying jackets and 1940s-style keyrings, offers more choice and can be more easily searched. Content for the site is available in 30 languages.

The Imperial War Museums says:

"Our new website provides worldwide access to our expertise and more items from our collection than ever before."

Navigation: 3
Accessibility: 4
Innovation: 3
Content: 5
Total: 15 out of 20

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