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The Client

With over 16,000 members across the world, the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is the home of professional standards for housing; equipping housing professionals with the skills, knowledge and expertise that they need to make a crucial difference every day.

CIH’s belief in the power of housing professionals to change lives is matched by our belief that great websites really can transform the potential of membership organisations.

The Brief

Powerful websites deliver strategic advantage and that’s exactly what CIH wanted. As a key communications tool, CIH needed a new website that was more commercial and acted as a proper shop window for potential and existing members.

In fact, members were at the heart of the brief as the new site had to integrate with a bespoke member log-in site and offer an events section and enhanced functionality for content editors.

The Solution

Getting this site right was all about the upfront planning. Discovery workshops really helped us to establish user needs and a survey to all 16,000 members gave us a brilliant insight into the functionality requirements.

With a clear understanding of CIH’s exact requirements, we recommended an Umbraco site. This is because it works perfectly as a platform for membership organisations that need enhanced flexibility, functionality and filtering.

Flexible text pages with custom filters including by region and some great functionality to promote events are all key features of the new site along with a CMS that can be customised for content editors. Access to member-only content is locked with members signing up to a third party site that then syncs membership with user groups on the main site. This works as a great sales tool!

The search facility has been significantly improved with a restructured site map and the addition of a mega menu option. Content is now stored centrally using the Umbraco platform so there is no need for multiple uploading on different systems and events all have their own dedicated landing pages making it much easier for content editors to add programmes, sponsors and exhibitors.

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