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Host offers hassle-free, all inclusive accommodation to students, ensuring a reassuring and stress-free experience for students at university or college.
Host’s existing website needed to evolve to showcase its properties, presented as comfortable and stylish places to live while also providing an environment that is safe, welcoming and supportive.
We inherited the site, which had been built by another agency, so that we could improve the site through our Always Evolving model.
We dedicated more time up-front to make significant changes at pace, then continued to deliver small incremental improvements over time.
Host is an award-winning student accommodation provider that has been dedicated to delivering exceptional quality for the past 25+ years.
Boasting accommodation across 18 cities in the UK and Europe, with its next city launching in 2023, Host properties are situated in central locations that are close to campus or right in the city centre.
We started collaborating with Host to evolve their website over time, with web design and development improvements that could feed into their longer-term growth plans.
We identified areas for key improvement across the site, including how to boost site speed and performance. We created a detailed plan that identified the changes we could make that would have the most significant improvements at a rapid pace.
This enabled us to kick off our work together with well-informed improvements that were high impact yet low effort. To follow, we developed a roadmap outlining how we could further optimise the site over time.
Formatting changes supported our performance optimisation efforts, such as removing elements of the codebase that weren’t needed to run.
These changes ensured the website would stop loading information that was no longer needed, with less requests resulting in significant site speed increases.
We’ll get your site working harder for your business with ongoing optimisation.
Image optimisation also contributed to speeding the site up, while also having a positive impact on Google page speed scores.
We supported Host to make informed decisions for their site moving forward, such as sharing our recommendations about different image formats for speed and performance.
Head of Marketing & Communications, Host
One of the key goals for the site was to engage with students and encourage them to use Host for their accommodation. However, Host also has other key audience groups that they need to communicate with through their digital platforms, such as universities, parents and investors.
We supported Host to engage with multiple audience personas by creating a different look and feel to reflect different audience groups at different points across the site. Careful planning of user journeys helps each group navigate through the website without friction.
In addition, we launched a new section of the site, specifically aimed at corporate investors and feeding into Host’s longer-term growth plans.
Through close collaboration with the team from Host, Atomic Smash worked through a detailed initial investigation and followed this with regular meetings, becoming the technical extension of Host’s team.
We also collaborated with Host’s chosen branding studio, using our skills and experience to bring their refreshed brand to life on screen.
Head of Marketing & Communication, Host
Your website can evolve when you have the right digital partner to support you. Discover how we can help.
As a customer-facing organisation, Host needed a way to display important information on their site that was easy to find.
We implemented cross-site banners to show the most important information or time-relevant prompts, ensuring these were positioned prominently for site visitors to find and scan quickly.
The cross-site banners are versatile and were used to display important information during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other time-relevant information for students such as clearing offers.
Site health and regular maintenance are critical for any website to remain robust, secure and working well over time. It was a priority to keep WordPress core and plugins updated.
Our standard practice includes regular security maintenance, managing plugins and checking things are running properly and smoothly, and thorough testing in staging environments before pushing any changes live.
Implemented designs and user journeys for multiple audience personas
Launched a dedicated section of the site for investors
Versatile cross-site banners to display key information
Regular maintenance for a robust and secure site
Close collaboration to support with technical expertise
We’ll take a look under the hood. We also take a step back to see the bigger picture. You can rely on us to discover where your site is hitting its goals and where your users want improvements.
Head of Marketing & Communications, Host