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Site of the month: Silver Fern Farms

“Site of the month” for April is Silver Fern Farms, developed by SilverStripe Professional Partner, Web Torque. This beautiful website is packed with functionality, gaining a 30% increase in site visits in just 3 months after the launch.

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“Site of the month” for April is Silver Fern Farms, developed by Web Torque – an Auckland based web design agency and SilverStripe Professional Partner. This beautiful website is packed with functionality, gaining a 30% increase in site visits in just 3 months after the launch.

Background

Silver Fern Farms is a food company and a leading marketer, processor and exporter of natural, grass-fed New Zealand lamb, beef and venison.

Silver Fern Farms’ brand has kept evolving, adding to the depth of its positioning by layering stories, since launching the original Silver Fern Farms website in 2013. It needed a refresh to achieve three key project goals: a mobile friendly, fully responsive website; a website that aligned with its evolved positioning and a website which gave the team flexibility and control. This meant an upgraded SilverStripe CMS with lots of new features to future proof the system as much as possible.

Development solution

Screenshot of Silver Fern Farms website - Desktop version

Web Torque went with a modular approach to SilverStripe CMS, developing 25 different in-page modules to use around the Silver Fern Farms site. This allows the content editors to change the layout of pages and the in-page modules on the fly. Silver Fern Farms team can create campaigns and put the website into another language, without having to go to the team at Web Torque.

Web Torque then improved on their in-page module system by creating a visual editor to go with it. Content editors of Silver Fern Farms can see the front end of the pages they are editing – on rollover, they can see what module is being used and edit that module accordingly.

Screenshot of the Silver Fern Farms website - Mobile version

Hosting solution

The site was moved onto the SilverStripe Platform, which meant Web Torque could concentrate on developing the website without worrying about hosting, security and maintenance issues. With the global nature of this website, the 24-hour availability of the platform team is a huge benefit.

Technical goodness used

The application uses several well-known community modules, including:

As well as some Web Torque modules to make managing content easier:

In-page module visual editor

An alternative method to define content in the CMS, either replacing or amending the core "page type" system of SilverStripe CMS. Allows authors to insert "content modules" into a page as separate items, which enables more flexible content structures, both for sidebar-style content and flexible main content areas.

Here’s a sneak peek of Web Torque’s visual editor in action on Silver Fern Farms' new website:

The results

To date, the results speak for themselves. In the three months post launch, website visitors were up 30% on the previous period and visitors are engaging more with the content – spending an extra 25 seconds on average per visit on the site and visiting more pages. Feedback from customers and consumers has been overwhelmingly positive. General Manager Marketing Sharon Angus says: “Silverfernfarms.com is a key medium to tell a story of our place, people and passion that is Silver Fern Farms, with our customers and consumers around the world. It is essential that we tell this story effectively on platforms which are increasingly mobile, with rich and engaging content.”

About the author
Vinh Nguyen

Marketer at SilverStripe. He is the love child of Marketing and Web Technology.

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