Design and Build of Umbraco Site for EU funded research project

In order to replace an ageing CMS, Carbon Six Digital were engaged to migrate the existing EMODnet seabed habitats website from its legacy Content Management System to Umbraco. As well as updating the styling and design, to match new style guidelines, as part of the migration process. 

Client’s challenge

The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) is the statutory adviser to the UK Government and devolved administrations on UK and international nature conservation. The European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) provides long quality marine data covering all European coastal waters, shelf seas and surrounding ocean basins. JNCC is the leader of the Seabed Habitats website.

After experiencing various performance issues with their legacy CMS system, including issues with updating content and making site changes, the decision was made to migrate the existing EMODnet Seabed Habitats site from Alterian CMS to a new CMS. Although the current site served a purpose, the design and UX was outdated. It didn’t reflect EMODnet in the best light and some content was difficult to find.

Carbon Six Digital's Solution

Over the period of 2 weeks we undertook a detailed design exercise, including Information Architecture, Wireframing and Prototyping of the proposed responsive site (three views: desktop, tablet and mobile).

We then developed the site as an iterative, Agile project, following GDS established Agile methodologies. Wherever possible we used established Open Source solutions including Umbraco 7 (Content Management System) and Zurb Foundation (Responsive Website Front-end Development framework).



We also used established off-the-shelf packages to reduce the cost and time to develop the system. These included:

  • Umbraco Forms for surveys and Editor controlled data capture forms;
  • Umbraco Contour to provide a separate Editing environment inside JNCC’s internal network to improve the security of the system;
  • CMS Import for Umbraco to enable content to be migrated from the existing site into the new system;
  • SEO Checker for Umbraco to enable easy setup of a large number of page redirects when the site was migrated from its legacy CMS to Umbraco, and to enable editors to easily configure the SEO aspects of the site.

The site also integrates with JNCC's Geospatial Mapping Solution.

We were responsible for accessibility testing to ensure compliance with WCAG v2.0 AA standard - the standard that was in force for UK public sector sites at the time of construction. We were also responsible for cross-browser testing, as well as other QA testing including system testing, horizontal end-to-end testing and implementation readiness testing.

Carbon Six Digital was responsible for setting up and configuring the hosting of the Test, Staging and Production Websites on hosting procured by JNCC.

Training was provided to JNCC’s team of Editors including members of their IT and Comms teams as well as scientists in the Seabed Habitat Monitoring team. Training was provided in several workshops delivered via video conferencing tools to enable the training to be recorded, and reviewed by those not able to attend. Workshops were timed to enable delegates to put learning into practice between sessions, and use this to quiz trainers on specific problems experienced.

In conjunction with JNCC's IT infrastructure team, we deployed the new site to JNCC's hosting infrastructure, using Umbraco Courier to enable Editors to edit content in a separate Editing environment before pushing content changes over to the externally hosted production system.

Impact on the client

The project was delivered on time, with the first iteration of the site going live within 6 weeks of the initial project kick off. JNCC have benefitted from the modern editing environment that Umbraco provides, being much simpler, clearer and easier to use.

Tell us about your Umbraco project

Over the years, we have worked with a range of clients from various sectors delivering solutions from simple Umbraco-based content-rich websites to more complex fully integrated fitness technology solutions. Get in contact today to find out how we can deliver on your Umbraco web development project, call us on 01276 817465.

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  • Jncc
  • Key Skills
    Visual Design, Accessibility, Umbraco CMS, Umbraco Forms,
  • Sector
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