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Located in the southern county of Cork, Blarney Castle is a living piece of Irish legend. Since the 13th Century, Blarney was a stronghold of the celtic chieftains and consistently remains one of Ireland’s top visitor attractions. Millions flock to Blarney Castle every year to see the castle ruin, explore the 60 acres of stunning parkland and, of course, to kiss the Blarney Stone, said to bestow the kisser with the gift of eloquence.
brightfive’s web team have worked with Blarney Castle for 8 years, helping to design, develop and maintain a world class web presence. We work closely with the Blarney team on their website, email newsletter and social media platforms.
In March 2015, brightfive were pleased to announce the launch of Blarney’s brand new website.
Blarney’s old site was beginning to show its age. So, we gave it a complete redesign, built on our fantastic HatStand Content Management System. Blarney Castle’s modern redesign brings it bang up to date with a crisp clean layout, bold photography and straightforward navigation.
The fame of the Stone and the castle often eclipse the Blarney’s other offerings. So, in this redesign we put the gardens centre stage. Making use of Blarney Castle’s wealth of gorgeous photography, the new website features a beautiful fading banner showcasing stunning views from around Blarney. Visitors can explore some of highlights of the extensive grounds on the Gardens, Map and Virtual Tour pages - making it clear that Blarney Castle has a lot to offer beyond the Stone.
Another priority was that the new site be even easier to navigate. We positioned the site’s most visited areas (tickets, opening times and shop) at the top of the homepage and added a ‘Plan Your Visit’ drop down that takes you straight to the page you want, wherever you are on the site. The new site is fully responsive too, so it looks lovely (and works seamlessly) across different devices.
Within a week of launch we saw an increase in site traffic of around 60% with over 12,000 unique visitor, as well as a reduction in the bounce rate from mobile visitors - two of our stated project goals. We also saw an increase in the eCommerce sales from mobile devices.
Related Blog Post: St Patrick’s Day Spotlight: Blarney Castle