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Continual Web Development to Match Alton's Latest Openings

Quick Results

About the Client

Alton Towers Resort is one of the UK's well established theme parks, based in the grounds of a country estate in Staffordshire. Part of the Merlin Entertainments Group, Alton Towers has developed beyond a traditional theme park over the past 37 years; it now offers a water park, 3 hotels (including the 2017 opening of the UK’s first Cbeebies Land hotel) as well as offering tree top adventures, a spa, golf and conference facilities.


Alton Towers has a range of events running throughout the year, including Scarefest, where the theme park is open over October evenings with specialty mazes which add that extra scare factor to visitors. 2018 sees the opening of the new 15m rollercoaster, code name 'Secret Weapon 8', Wicker Man. Another world’s first for Alton Towers, fusing wood and fire to give visitors an experience that has to be seen to be believed.

Business Challenge

Alton Towers Resort began working with CTI Digital in January 2017, initially to work through a backlog of business critical updates to the Umbraco website, required for season opening in March. Working with CTI Digital across our Continual Development stream meant that we provided monthly sprints, where key work was prioritised and delivered every 3 weeks.

As with any seasonal business, there were challenges to deliver to deadlines for park opening. We also ensured that we helped to continually improve the website journey for a range of audiences, whether they were looking to book theme park tickets, waterpark tickets, book short breaks or find out information about rides, opening times and events.

Alton Towers

Improved Menu

Within the first few months of our continual development process with Alton Towers Resort, we conducted an SEO audit, which highlighted that the main navigation menu could benefit from some changes in structure, based on most popular pages and current user navigation paths.

This lead to an in-depth review of the navigation, to lead users through key journeys, such as short breaks, theme park tickets and information on rides and opening times. Improvements were delivered in the very same month.




 

 

Mobile First

Alton Towers Resort has seen an increase of mobile traffic in 2017 of 56% from 2016. Mobile now accounts for 70% of all sessions to the website. Considering this, our mindset to approaching any work on the website has to be truly mobile-first, from our wireframing and design concepts to final testing. This approach ties in with the Google mobile-first indexing change, which will likely see the impact roll out in 2018.

AltonTowers Mobile First

Showcasing the UK's first CBeebies Land Hotel

2017 saw the opening of CBeebies Land Hotel at Alton Towers Resort. A microsite had been previously built, however we needed to concisely communicate the offer of the hotel, to families with preschool children, on the Alton Towers Resort brand website. This involved promoting key activities and the benefits of the various themed rooms, based on characters from popular shows. We implemented a one-page interactive landing page, to communicate the activities of the hotel and to use the overarching brand assets to help engage users.

CBeebies Land Hotel

Showcasing Scarefest

Scarefest is Alton Towers’ annual celebration of all things scary, aptly timed for the peak times of October half term and Halloween, also coinciding with the end of the season. We worked with the Alton Towers team to create engaging online creative to help showcase the different ticket types and the mazes available for this exclusive period.

 

Improving the Short Breaks Journey

Alton Towers Resort has an extensive offering in terms of accomodation, With the Alton Towers Hotel, Splash Landings Hotel, Enchanted Village woodland lodges and luxury treehouses, as well as the recently opened Cbeebies Land Hotel. There are almost 600 rooms and 55 different themes to choose from.

Having a clear customer journey was important, helping potential short break visitors to find the best room for their stay. As a result, we implemented an updated Short Breaks landing page, using research from the industry and best practice to inform our approach. This page helps users to see the key benefits of each hotel and the enhanced Themed Rooms listing page allows users to find the perfect room for their stay. We also implemented improved individual listing pages, which clearly show the room facilities, with photos, 360-degree video tours and information about other hotel amenities available, such as restaurants and spa, golf and other adventures.


Alton Towers Short Breaks
 

Opening Times

We implemented an updated design to the Opening Times page. As Alton Towers Resort has multiple attractions, operating under various opening times, we needed a clear way to communicate to users what times the Theme Park was open, as well as the Water Park and other activities. A concise page, with interactive calendar modules, delivered this.

Alton Towers Opening Times

 

Quality Assurance (QA) Testing

All of our projects undergo rigorous testing, throughout the software development process. In order to deliver the utmost quality for clients and their respective users, our in-house QA team ensure that all end products perform accurately and reliably under normal and abnormal conditions. Testing is followed by continual monitoring of software performance, to prevent reoccurrence of any issues and to ensure efficient ongoing operation.

As such, we were able to confidently deliver a well-designed, scalable and technically stable result.

Results

By working in an agile way with Alton Towers Resort, to help plan continual improvements to their existing site, we have managed to implement a wide range of updates across priority business areas on the website. This resulted in CTI Digital continuing to work with Alton Towers for 2018 and across more projects.

See the results for yourself on the Alton Towers website.