Warner Leisure Hotels

SDL Web 8 Implementation


SDL Web 8 Implementation

Warner Leisure Hotels specialises in UK short activity breaks just for grown-ups. Owned by Bourne Holidays Limited, the regional chain of hotels hosts accommodation ranging from manor houses to coastal resorts and villages across the UK.

The company was looking for a solution to modernise its existing site. The first stage was for Warner Leisure Hotels to undertake a full UX review of its current website, including user research and the interrogation of analytics data to discover how users were finding, browsing and using the site. It became apparent that they needed to invest in tablet-optimisation for the next phase of development.

Key Objectives

The key objective of this project was to develop a tablet-optimised site, with an improved and simplified user journey. Warner Leisure wanted to group information to make it easier to find, and have the ability to showcase deals and offers more easily.

The content management solution needed to make it easy and efficient to update content, and the content itself needed to appeal to a wide range of clientele, searching for information on any device.

Building Blocks initially worked in partnership with an external UX and Design agency to create user journeys and personas for the new website. The Building Blocks team delivered the design and implemented the full technical solution.

Technical Solution

Building Blocks updated the CMS from SDL’s Tridion 2013 SP1 to SDL Web 8. Set-up on premise, the solution includes continuous integration with TeamCity, an automated deployment process with Octopus and automated code quality check with SonarQube.

The implementation involved a scaled-out version of SDL Web 8, using Active MQ to invalidate cache. We utilised SDL’s Digital Experience Accelerator so that we could focus on the functionality and the separation of Content from Application, allowing for rapid development.

The existing Entertainment Database application is now available in a new responsive format, leveraging Solr 6 behind the scenes and requiring minimal redevelopment. The Break Finder and Entertainment Database are integrated with Warner Leisure Hotels’ custom API and Booking Engine back-end systems.

Component-based responsive design

Warner website on mobile device

The end result is a mobile responsive site, with a slick design and improved user journey. 

Building Blocks implemented a component-based design to leverage SDL Web 8’s functionality and to allow web editors greater control of layout. The components are designed to facilitate Warner Leisure Hotels’ frequent campaigns, and include in-line editing.

The responsive website includes automatic image resizing to optimise page performance on mobile.  

The site has been designed to improve SEO and incorporates a smart user journey to encourage people to stay on the site longer.

The use of Schema.org structured metadata provides better integration with Google search results. We will also be implementing TripAdvisor integration. Taxonomy was considered, as well as keywords. Google Tag Manager is integrated, to enable Marketing to manage tracking without the need for IT involvement.

Increased mobile conversion rates

The solution Building Blocks implemented is already driving strong results for Warner Leisure Hotels. The new website has seen an 8% increase in new site conversions, including a 15% in tablet and 35% increase in mobile conversion rates.

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