Our Work

Batcheller Monkhouse, one of the leading estate agents in south east for agricultural land, residential sales and lettings came to us for a new website. Their old site was slow, out of date, unresponsive and expensive.  They weren’t able to make any site updates themselves, and having to go through the original agency was costly. We’d already created a new brand identity for them so we knew exactly how the website should look and feel.

The new site needed to be easy to use, quick to load from any device and simple to update.  An automatically updated property feed is key for an estate agent so we made sure the site included a feed with pictures, epc diagrams and property pdfs.

Work Summary

Speed+80%

Mobile Traffic+26%

website traffic increase

Page size-40%

Enquiries+20%

The Brief

Batcheller Monkhouse are a regional firm of Estate Agents, Chartered Surveyors and Chartered Planners, providing a diverse range of property related services throughout the South East.

A few years ago Batcheller Monkhouse were sold a website and Content Management System (CMS) from a specialist in the field of estate agent websites. However the CMS was slow to load and clunky. The design started off looking clean and clear, however over the years the layout and branding elements on the website had slipped meaning there wasn’t a consistent approach to the website elements leading to a bad user experience.

The CMS was also a proprietary system meaning that if Batcheller Monkhouse wanted to update or change the way the website looked / worded or functioned they were tied in with the originating agency. Over the past few years this had led to increased costs and constant ‘upsells’ to maintain their website.

In addition to the difficulty in getting the website updated our client was also being charged a monthly maintenance and hosting fee which was exorbitant.

One further worrying point to the old website was that the website was not responsive despite it only being a few years old. The CMS was split into 2 areas – 1 for desktop computers, and 1 for mobile and tablet computers. This meant that users got a different experience and different content displayed to them depending no the device which they were using.

Having 2 versions of each page also meant that Batcheller Monkhouse had to edit 2 pages on the website CMS if they wanted to change the desktop AND the mobile pages every time.

Estate Agent Website Design East Sussex

The Work

Having worked on the original brand identity and website design we knew exactly how the website should look and feel. We re-built all of the website from scratch to include the latest in responsive website design technologies.

Doing this enabled us to keep the code light, the website fast and made sure the code was future proofed for every possible browser and device.

We then installed our bespoke website design into a WordPress based system enabling the client to manage the website with a clean and intuitive user interface. This reduced the amount of time needed to manage the website and helped streamline the processes at Batcheller Monkhouse making the website a dream to work with.

More importantly it also gave Batcheller Monkhouse the knowledge that they weren’t using a proprietary system and could develop on their website in the future with any web developer worth their salt.

Key to any estate agent website is a property feed which shows the latest properties that all 5 offices have on their books. Working with WordPress and the property system that Batcheller Monkhouse are using we were able to create a feed which updates every 5 minutes to show the most recent properties available at any moment in time.

The feed also displays extra imagery, property pdfs, epc diagrams and everything you would usually associate with a property search.

South East Estate Agent Website Designers

The Results

The website has at the time of writing been live for a little over 2 weeks, however initial investigation and results are encouraging.

The rebuilt WordPress website is sitting on our Litespeed cloud based hosting servers. With a speedy platform underpinning a speedy website the website statistics speak for themselves….

The new re-coded website load time is just over half a second, 80% faster than the original website. In addition the homepage size is 40% smaller than the original website, but displays exactly the same amount of information on the page.

In addition to speed enhancements the user engagement metrics have increased too. Bounce rate has reduced, and the average time people spend on the website has increased too, all very important factors for Google when it assesses your website.

Little changes to the structure and code along side optimisation enhancements make the world of difference leading to a better, quicker user experience.

Batcheller Monkhouse now have a website which they can develop on easily in the future, as well as a platform which is fast to load, easy to use and incredibly search engine friendly.

Most importantly our clients faith in website designers has been restored by our clear talking, no nonsense, honest approach to the web design process.

“We are delighted by the support and input that Michael Bell One have given us with the new Batcheller Monkhouse website. The website is now 80% faster which gives a much better user experience and the new platform is far easier to manage which saves us valuable time with new content and various necessary updates. The site is also much more cost effective to run with no ongoing license fees and considerably reduced hosting charge.”

Charles Thacker, Partner, Batcheller Monkhouse