WJEC / Eduqas Corporate website

As Wales’ largest awarding body, and a leading provider in both England and Northern Ireland, WJEC provides qualifications to thousands of students every year. Managing three public-facing websites, one for each of their different brands (WJEC, CBAC and Eduqas); they provide support and guidance for teachers, parents and students.

They needed a new website that would streamline their content editing processes across the sites, as well as improved functionality for users and their varying requirements. The site build would need to be complex, both having the capability to store and update thousands of educational resource documents, and the stability to deal with the heavy site traffic that comes with busy exam and results periods.

We built them a new website in Umbraco 8, with heavily customized features to meet their unique requirements.

Challenges
  • create one central interface for content editors to update, but present three public facing websites; each with their own look, feel and domain name
  • bilingual functionality
  • stability to cope with sudden spikes in website traffic
  • migration of over 19,000 educational resource documents from the old website
  • ability to transfer past papers from their internal systems to the website on a large scale when required
  • allow users to search qualifications and to subscribe to updates for specific qualifications
  • redirect users from content pages on the old website to the equivalent page on the new environment
The solution
  • Umbraco 8’s multi-language support enables content editors to produce and publish content in Welsh and English simultaneously, and allows users to switch between the two
  • MS Azure Blob Storage plugged directly into the Umbraco backoffice; gives content editors easy access to add, remove and amend educational resources, whilst maintaining high site performance and ensuring scalability
  • Microsoft Azure’s web load balancer automatically scales the website in and out, to adjust to periods of high or low traffic
  • custom built API allows the WJEC team to automatically upload batches of past papers remotely
  • behind-the-scenes content tagging enables search functionality
  • Umbraco Forms makes it possible for users to customise the updates they receive
  • User Interface design allows editors to quickly add HTTP redirects to moved content
Outcomes and benefits
  • reduced admin; the streamlined system allows content editors to manage three sites at once and the API allows easy upload of past exam papers
  • ability to expand and maintain the site internally; pre-built re-usable page components, allow content editors to quickly produce new brand consistent content without technical guidance
  • efficient use of resources from load balancing: saves money in the long run but is capable of handling high website traffic when needed
  • user friendly; students, parents and teachers can easily navigate and search, as well as being able to customise their updates and switch between Welsh and English