Independent Cambridge was set up in 2012 by Anne Beamish and Steve Linford to celebrate the diversity and individuality unique to the local indie scene.
We at Catfish have long been admirers and supporters of this venture and secretly hoped there would come a time when we could get more involved. Last year, we had a fantastic brainstorming session with Anne and Steve about where they wanted to take Independent Cambridge and the things they were struggling with.
From the outset it seemed that our ideas meshed very well, partly since we work with a lot of independent businesses ourselves and are very ‘community minded’. Anne and Steve explained they had been looking for a digital partner who shared their vision and invited us to work with them on a redevelopment of their website.
The main issue with the website was that it was rather static. We suggested a magazine format with regularly updated articles on the home page to encourage more engagement with visitors and to make the site feel more of a community. The blog now ties in with their social media and the weekly newsletter. Everything now helps to form part of the bigger picture.
The directory was well set up and easy to use but needed some fine tuning. One of the big steps forward was allowing users to join up and pay online using a subscription service. For any businesses who have taken a free listing, it is now very easy to upgrade and take advantage of their own mini website in the directory. There’s also extra exposure for new members who are automatically displayed on the home page in a scrolling banner.
From a technical point of view there was a distinct lack of flexibility in updating the site, but this was resolved with an easy to use content management system.
It was thoroughly enjoyable working with Anne and Steve who have such energy and commitment. They are constantly bursting with new ideas and there are going to be exciting times ahead.
What Anne and Steve say: "We are very, very happy that our shiny new website is now live. A massive thanks to Jane Horwood and the Catfish Web Design team who have been a joy to work with and who are now officially our digital partner".