Master woodcarver Chris Pye’s popular online video learning tool, Woodcarving Workshops, needed a make over and we were more than happy to help! Their old site, which was built using Umbraco, was a little tired and not responsive so they needed a site that could keep up with the requirements of their users.

The new site needed to stay close to the existing navigation and design so that existing members would be familiar with the layout – but a new dashboard for members helps them keep up to date with videos added since their last visit and any replies to comments they’ve left. Built with CodeIgniter, the new site is fully responsive meaning that members can easily view the video lessons on any device they take to their workshop.

As an experienced woodcarver, Chris had over 450 video workshops on the site, with new ones being added regularly including commentary for each, so we needed to create a dynamic site which met the needs of not only the user but the administrator too. Getting the existing videos and other site content from the old site proved tricky so we wrote various “spiders” which could crawl the old site and dig deep to get the video files!

We also introduced Vimeo for uploading videos so that Chris and his wife Carrie can easily add new ones as they go along, whilst hosting costs stay manageable, utilising Vimeo Pro features to ensure you can only see the full workshop videos if you’re a paid, logged in member.

Speaking of members, Woodcarving Workshops have a devoted database who subscribe to the site on a monthly and yearly basis, with payments managed using the Chargify API. Having an active database of loyal, international members meant the site had to make even more of a fantastic first impression, so we worked hard to ensure a smooth transition from the old site to the new.