We recently engaged in a sizable project involving the conversion of one website into two separate websites for Rockingham Electrical Supply Company. Rockingham has ten retail electrical supply locations in the northeastern United States. At two of those, they also have retail lighting fixtures locations aimed at consumers, and known as the Lighting Center at Rockingham Electric. The project was done in conjunction with Marcom4, a terrific communications agency in Greenland, NH.
Prior to GoatCloud’s assistance, Rockingham had one website. They were, in essence, using the blog function of the single website to promote the Lighting Center while using the rest of the website to promote electrical supplies. That setup had the tendency to make it a bit confusing for visitors. The challenge was to create a web presence that embraced and distinguished both lines of business, but while retaining the clear sense that the two are still related.
The old website used a proprietary and dated CMS. The first step was to update to WordPress. Next, Rockingham chose a theme to give the sites their look and feel. Rockingham wanted to maintain a look similar to what it had before, so we deployed the same theme from ElegantThemes on both sites. The primary difference is the color scheme, though the scheme for each site is akin to what it was previously. Unlike before, the sites are responsive, meaning they respond well to visitors’ screens of all sizes or, in other words, are “mobile ready” — a critical component of modern web design. Now that the sites use WordPress, Rockingham can change the look very easily should it ever want to.
An important consideration of this conversion was establishing what are called “301 redirects”. Because the old site had existed for some time, it was a known presence on the web. We did not want to lose the “love” of old links, so we had to create automatic, permanent redirects for those who would try to visit the old site. With these redirects, the visitor to the old link is seamlessly and automatically taken to the new web address.
We also integrated online shopping catalogs for each entity, as well as installed the means of capturing email addresses for their online newsletter (with which they send out news of deals and sales). And of course, we had to include the ever-popular Spaulding Traffic Cam sponsored by Rockingham.
Because search is critical for businesses with brick and mortar locations, we installed on-page search engine optimization (SEO) attributes throughout the site, making it easier for customers to find Rockingham.
There are clear links between the two sites, making it evident that there is only one “family owned business since 1951” in charge of both operations. And Jim Pender, president of the company and a member of that family, could not be a nicer guy to work with.
If you are in need of electrical supplies or lighting for your home, we encourage you to check out our friends at Rockingham Electric. Tell ’em the goat sent you!