When we were approached by Barton Parish Council (Preston) to discuss various website options – we never expected to get quite the level of interactivity from the local community as we now have!
Barton is a small village just north of Preston with a small population of 1,096 people according to the 2001 census. Barton Parish Council aim to provide a voice and action for this small village and have historically found it challenging to engage and interact with the community.
Pumpkin Web Design Preston were commissioned to design and support a website which could be updated regularly by Barton Parish Council (if required), would allow villagers to subscribe and be updated with newsletters and so on, would allow discussion threads, feedback, voting on various subjects and competitions.
We designed a WordPress blog for Barton Parish Council – WordPress being a website and blog publishing platform which is open source and completely free to set up. We organised it into its various categories to allow article publishing in the relevant sections of the website and installed various plug-ins (which have been developed by volunteer developers and contributors around the world) to allow for the correct functionality as per requirements.
The response from the village community has been overwhelming with often over 100 hits on the website per day, submissions of photographs by residents (for a Photo of the Month section of the site), comments and discussion threads constantly evolving and unfolding, local business involvement and much more going on.
This is truly testament to the power of the internet, and how even a small village community can be engaged by a well thought out online strategy.