Low Carbon Hub

The Low Carbon Hub is an initiative created to work with community groups to reduce carbon emissions across Oxfordshire. They are leading the way in the development of low carbon communities from small groups and individuals to sustainable community businesses.

The Brief

The Low Carbon Hub required a brand identity along with website and resources to inspire, engage and inform community groups to dramatically reduce carbon consumption in Oxfordshire.

The website needed a fresh and accessible design to instantly communicate the Hub’s message to their target audience. It also needed to encourage more people to become involved with their local community, or start their own group. This site needed to be replicable as other regions across the UK might want to use this idea.

The homepage and site navigation structure needed to give appropriate weight to the resources on offer and be intuitive. These resources range from embedded videos to blogs for each of the hub advisors and visitors should be able to find what they are looking for by a number of different means.

The content management system needed to be robust enough to handle all of the different types of resources the hub would be promoting as well as the multiple blogs, with the ability to add more in future. This system needed to be one that stood the test of time and allowed Low Carbon Hub to manage content easily and to further develop the site as their work evolved and resources grew.

The Solution

We delivered a fresh and modern site with engaging and advanced functionality throughout the different sections of the site. We made sure the site was easy to navigate and tested the navigation prior to building the site by using an online prototyping tool, making sure that important information is found easily.

The content management system (CMS) needed to be easy to use so that the site content could be updated quickly and easily in all of the different sections of the site by Low Carbon Hub administrators. We recommended WordPress, an open source CMS, to build the website in because the advisor blogs were an important feature of the site and something WordPress handles extremely well. Many of the features that Low Carbon Hub needed such as directories, contact forms and videos could be customised within WordPress.

The site was developed to make sure it’s compatible with all major browsers. We ensured that the advanced features can be managed just as easily as the more basic features by the Low Carbon Hub team.

Technical notes

Alberon created several custom modules and widgets, such as the tactical boxes, accordion style resource sections and an events calendar that links to an online shared Google Calendar.

We took advantage of the dynamic menus and custom post types available in WordPress 3.0 to separate the content into different sections. Information about the advisors was dynamically linked to each blog post using their username. The plugin Advanced Custom Fields was used to add additional information to each of the different post types.

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Testimonials

“We are delighted with the website Alberon and One Ltd have designed and developed for the Low Carbon Hub. It was a complex brief and Alberon rose to the challenge to create a site with clear navigation, good design, and all the functionality we were looking for. They were a great team to work with and we look forward to working with them again in the future.”
Georgina Matthews
Communications Manager, Low Carbon Hub