This is an ongoing project that I have worked on since 2011. It is a community website providing news and information for the village of Allington in Lincolnshire. It emerged when the village was preparing to consult on its parish plan. The group working on the plan wanted an online presence to help communicate their activity and findings. It was also evident that more and more people were using the web to source local news. A website therefore seemed to be the natural way to provide a local digital service.
A One Stop Shop
I say the one stop shop because Allington is not such a big place and the website has to deliver an online presence for all of the community organisations in the village. It therefore needs to be able to represent the formal content provided by the Parish Council alongside the less formal contributions from our community groups.
The homepage provides the latest news and is laid out magazine style. For any website content is a fundamental commodity. By and large there is a regular flow of stories on the Allington site and because of that the design can be played down. A minimalist approach allows the content to feature as it should. However functionality plays its part and the homepage layout provides an extra column so that important or interesting news can stick to the front page. Additionally a notification bar is available to draw attention to specific items such as upcoming events.
A key feature is the calendar providing local groups the opportunity to plan around each other and promote their events. The village hall has its own calendar to allow users to check availability.The community organisations in the village each have their own page and there are dedicated pages for the Parish Council, Village Hall and Playing Field.
The site is, of course, responsive so it works well on all devices.
A Template For Other Communities?
Looking around the web it is evident that many communities, and very often parish councils, are poorly served by web design companies. There are examples of companies that are selling community websites based on old fashioned unresponsive templates. Fortunately there are good companies too that deliver a more modern product. I’d like to think that I fall into the latter category and I am very interested in creating and developing a web design package for community groups. If you are interested please get in touch.
If you want to have a look at the site go to allingtononline.co.uk