Blog > Site of the Month: Downhead Manor Farm
Posted By Create
What sets Downhead Manor Farm's online presence apart from many others is the multitude of ways in which it's used - from showcasing accomodation opportunities for holidaymakers to offering information on its flora and fauna and farm-reared meats.
In this month's Site of the Month, we're talking to Caroline Clark, owner of www.downheadmanorfarm.co.uk, about the family business she helps and what makes a good farming website.
The Website Design
This website uses the Linear template, and the first thing you notice about the home page is how sparing and uncluttered it is, with a full banner-width given to the cleverly-designed logo. This provides a focus for the attractive images that follow it. The information given in the text is relevant, nicely laid out and most of all, welcoming.
At the foot of the page you'll find trade assurance stamps that link the visitor to the relevant websites. These stamps build a lot of trust in the business, and the way they are only sparingly used, rather than plastered over every page, indicates that the business is proud of its links but not keen to show off.
Downhead Manor Farm has been in the Clark family for over 40 years, and Lindsay-Clark Partners is run by Andrew, Janey and Tim (father and son Tim and Andrew are pictured below).
What They Say
We asked site designer Caroline Clark about how their website has helped their longstanding business:
"Over the past 12 months the website has been developed to launch the farm enterprise – not just grain storage and cropping – but to assist people in the development of an above-ground bio bed, which at the time was receiving a lot of publicity and attracting lepidopterists and flora enthusiasts to come and see first-hand how we managed our species-rich grassland.
"Create has allowed us to tell our story to a global audience – including big stakeholders in our farming enterprise, such as Natural England and the Environment Agency. We keep people up to date with little anecdotes, from the first lambs to alpaca shearing, and we always point people to our website to find out more about who we are and what we do.
"We've also used the website to promote our grass-fed lamb, which has resulted in many more orders than through friends and family."
As Caroline mentions, there is a significant amount of storytelling in what the website achieves, which is perfect to get the attention of animal lovers of all kinds.
Use of Imagery
Of particular note are the website's photo galleries, which show off in an at times artistic, and other times affable and lovable way, the breadth of experience available to visitors of the farm and the kinds of stories being created there.
"In rural locations, much of the selling features are based on where the business is located, therefore good quality, relevant photos are key in setting the scene.
"The website should be easy to use and be fairly minimal so that users can easily find what they are looking for without having to search through dozens of drop-down menus.
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Having an online presence showcasing Downhead Manor Farm has been so beneficial to the business that Caroline is using Create to build another website:
"We've decided to split the farming side of the business and generate another website for Lindsay Clark Partners, allowing this area to focus on varied agricultural contracting work, from stock management to arable and grassland spraying, and to keep Downhead Manor Farm for the accommodation, flora, fauna and livestock."
Thanks for chatting to us, Caroline. We wish you the best of luck with the new website, and congratulations to you and the whole Clark family for being named Create Site of the Month!
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