Case Study: Hewland Engineering

Giving a much-loved and iconic motor racing brand the public face it richly deserves.

The Problem

Hewland Engineering had recently launched a new website that had been put together over a very extended period by a supplier using a subcontractor headquartered outside the EU. The site was based on a hobbled version of the ancient WordPress default TwentyEleven base theme. The work had fallen a long way short of the agreed specification and the site had dropped from the search engine rankings and offered very limited access to make any necessary content changes. The final layout produced was non-responsive, adversely affecting mobile usage; navigation was difficult due to poor site architecture; and no enquiries were being generated. Consequently, the relationship with the supplier had deteriorated and progress had stalled. Fortunately the site was hosted on Hewland’s own server so all was not lost.

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"Our experience of working with you has been the polar opposite of the situation that existed with former suppliers. At every stage, communication has been excellent, you have delivered on your commitments and we are very satisfied with the results achieved."

Steve Robins, CEO
Hewland Engineering

The Solution

BSpark had been approached by Lance Hiley of The Marketing Centre to carry out a full assessment of the site and to come up with a proposed interim solution that would utilise the existing design but with the main flaws ironed out and the key site pages returned to the search engine rankings. This assessment identified (amongst other issues) the use of a plugin designed to prevent reporting of out-of-date components, presenting a potential security risk; an incomplete and insecure contact form script; a broken Google Maps implementation; and a technical issue that was blocking Googlebot and other search engine crawlers (the robots.txt file). To top it all off, an algorithmic ranking penalty was in place due to the significant amount of duplication across site pages.

BSpark quickly remedied these issues, upgrading and replacing the core and plugins and restoring the site to the rankings, fixing contact forms and reopening the flow of business enquiries through the site.

Following discussions with the Management Team, the decision was taken to combine a site rebuild with a refreshing of this iconic racing heritage brand and to extend the site to support a repositioned business embracing new lines such as motor racing gearboxes for electrically-powered engines through to wind turbine transmission development. A development team led by Lance Hiley was established to implement this vision, including BSpark, The Marketing Centre, senior Hewland management and an external designer for the brand identity.

The Outcome

The website was moved to BSpark’s server in order to resolve a number of identified hosting environment issues and to improve the security, reliability and speed of the installation. The new site was built on a bespoke version of a responsive Gantry theme with extended functionality, highly developed content and page structure and the integration of a tailored inbound methodology. Traffic doubled almost immediately and the site continues to enjoy outstanding levels of engagement and low bounce rates with a strong search ranking presence across critical keywords.

BSpark put in place a full Web Manager programme that continues to ensure the site runs at peak performance and that any issues are resolved quickly and without fuss. Hewland Management is kept informed through monthly reporting and support is given for any content updating requirements. The next step is expected to be a Site Booster project scheduled to be completed over the summer months. Control of the website and its content are now firmly back with the client and the finished installation proudly reflects the refreshed identity and heritage of this iconic and forward-thinking business.

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