In January 2022, I launched a completely redesigned website for jekyllisland.com. The site regularly see more than two million users annually, and is at the core of our marketing efforts as our main owned channel. Serving a multitude of functions, including trip planning, event listing, business directories, amenity marketing, and corporate communication, this mobile-first design was built from the ground up using the latest web technologies.
From backend architecture to improved usability, the site had many goals. Every site element was redesigned to improve usability and match brand standards. New landing pages were designed for each of Jekyll Island Authority's amenities. We introduced filtering options for directories. The SEO engine was completely overhauled, which improved site positions in Google searches noticeably. Hosting was transferred to a new provider with cutting-edge technologies built on Google's lightning-fast Cloud Platform, reducing average load times by more than 1 second. This list of improvements seems endless. And just as the digital world continues to evolve, the site it built to be improved over time.
Because the site is so vast, a well-organized and structured menu was crucial to the redesign's success. Page flows were studied to determine which pages to include in the menu, while maintaining access to all other pages within just an extra click or two. Also new, additional content marketing with the introduction of blog-like posts for trip ideas, which have become important pieces of content across other digital channels. Because the site is just as functional on the backend as the frontend, staff with little CMS experience can contribute to the site's content.
Visually, the site is calm and clean, much like Jekyll Island. Functions are clear and simple, with bright visual cues to guide user interactions. New font faces and sizes improved legibility across the site.
To stay on brand, even the dreaded 404 page was lighthearted and resourceful. Included in the site's improvements was an overhauled search system, which provided more relevant results by default.