Veggycation is an online initiative of Hort Innovation, the grower-owned, not-for-profit marketing arm of the Australian horticulture industry. Funded via a research and development levy from the Australian Government, the site aims to increase awareness about the goodness of Australian veggies, from nutritional information to optimum cooking methods, preparation and storage.
Australian growers produce some of the best fresh fruits and veggies in the world. However, like a fading vegetarian cookbook from the eighties, the Veggycation website was a little bland and wasn’t really presenting our fresh produce in its best light.
The site was burdened by an outdated design, complicated information architecture (IA), and an unclear sense of purpose and target audience. While the visual design was bright and childlike, the language was heavily laden with the sort of jargon one might expect from a resource aimed at nutritionists. The site’s poor IA had also compromised SEO. Many of the featured veggies did not even have their own pages but were buried within various levels of dropdown menus. This was particularly problematic as the project was funded by an R&D levy only. This meant that there was no budget for marketing and the site was very reliant on the generation of organic traffic.
In essence, what the site needed was a bit of spicing up – which is where Luminary and our creative agency partner Hard Hat came in.
What we did
The engagement was kicked off with a Business Context workshop led by Hard Hat, which allowed the teams to gain a better understanding of the site’s target audiences and the overall aims of the project. From here, Hard Hat developed the design and front end of the site, while Luminary was brought in to complete the back end development.
The site was originally built on Wordpress but the decision was made to migrate it to Episerver. This was in part because Hort Innovation had numerous sites on different platforms and was looking to consolidate these to simplify content administration and maintenance. Episerver was chosen for its value for money and scalability. It was also considered to be a solid future-proof choice due to the fact that it’s not dependent on a specific hosting platform. The new site was built using a modular and reusable format so that it can be easily extended to Hort’s other sites in future.
From the user’s perspective, the new site features a far simpler IA, which is much easier to navigate and offers a seamless browsing experience. The home page is kept fresh by featuring produce tagged as seasonal, while integration with Google Analytics displays the top five veggies based on pageviews at the bottom of the page. Featured veggies rotate as the page is refreshed. Audience relevance is also addressed with separate information for farmers for each vegetable.
In terms of SEO performance, Luminary created editable fields to allow for customisation of metadata for every page in the CMS. We also provided guidance to editors on how best to use these fields. Open graph tags, twitter cards and metadata tags following SEO best practices and guidelines were added on every page.
This project has completely transformed the way Veggycation manages content, resulting in a much simpler, faster approach that is easy to replicate across the site and beyond. It represents the first stage of Hort Innovation’s multi-site Episerver rollout, and the modular content approach used in this site will mean that content administrators do not have to start again from scratch when rolling out future sites on the Episerver platform.
Meet the Veggycation team
Find out more about the key team members and how we helped.
Thai is like the Swiss Army Knife of developers - flexible, adaptable and always dependable.
With more than 20 years’ experience in technology consulting – including seven at the helm of a prominent digital agency – Liam brings a wealth of knowledge to his role as Engagement Director.
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