Breed Society Website Tips by H&H Reeds

Agricultural and Breed Society Website Design: Our Top Tips

Here at H&H Reeds, we are proud to work with many of the dedicated Breed Societies that safeguard the integrity and sustainability of the UK’s leading cattle and sheep breeds.

As part of H&H Group, we collaborate closely with numerous businesses associated with the livestock sector in website design and digital marketing. We have recently completed a new website for the Livestock Auctioneers Association, which demonstrates how to optimise an online platform for an agricultural membership organisation. H&H Reeds Director Alan Bewley explains the key priorities that drove the design of this site, which should be the cornerstones of any successful site for similar representative organisations. "Breed societies have a geographically diverse membership, and their website is their most important online marketing and communication platform. The website is their most accessible and immediately visible shop window, and its quality reflects their credibility and value to their members."

Website Fundamentals

Allan lists four fundamental priorities that a good website must deliver:

  • Good design: A well-designed website must reflect the quality and trustworthiness of the brand.
  • Positive user experience: A website must be clear and easy to navigate to avoid user frustration.
  • High performance: Quick and easy interaction improves the user experience and uses less energy, which is cleaner and more sustainable.
  • Web security: Assurance of data security is absolutely essential, especially for sensitive information related to members' personal and financial data.

"The quality of the design and imagery makes a favourable initial impact on any website user," agrees Alan, "and Breed Society members are no different in wanting to see the best of their cattle or sheep breeds. However, behind the look and feel of the site is the functionality that makes a good website an effective and reliable communications portal for the society and its members."

Key Website Functionalities for Breed Society Members

The key functionality required by members includes:

  • Information and content about the breed kept up to date and relevant, with educational resources, news, and updates.
  • Membership resources in an exclusive area, with easy-to-access member-only content.
  • Breeding & pedigree information, with seamless integration with third-party pedigree and performance data providers, and search functionality.
  • Event information clearly scheduled and offering the ability to register for events.
  • E-commerce/payment ability for merchandise, and purchasing or renewing membership.

Members of breed societies also expect their organisations to incorporate all aspects of tomorrow's technology, making their website both future-proof and fool-proof. "The latest data surveys suggest that almost 98% of the UK population now uses the internet, and nearly 89% of them access it via their mobiles. Therefore, the websites we create are designed for mobile optimisation but must also be easy to use and navigate across all devices. The number one channel for brand discovery today is 'search engines', which underlines the value of a highly visible website, and highlights the need for websites to be well designed, high performing, and functional in order to rank higher on search engines. There are a growing number of important factors in the quality of our website design, content, and functionality that help to boost our clients' Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)."

Website Legislation Guidelines

For any new website, there are legislative requirements that must be met to safeguard users. Most importantly, every website must publish a Privacy Policy detailing how personal information is collected, used, and protected, and provide information on users' rights regarding their personal data.

Every website must also clearly display a Cookie Policy, informing users about the use of cookies on the website and their purpose, and offering options for users to manage cookie preferences, if applicable. Ensuring a website is accessible to users with disabilities contributes to a positive user experience for everyone and reflects well on the values of the organisation.

Allan Bewley, Director of Web & Digital Services, H&H Reeds
Allan Bewley, Director of Web & Digital Services, H&H Reeds

Bespoke Web Solutions for Your Breed Society

"We design websites as a showcase for your 'brand'," says Alan Bewley. "It encapsulates everything your members or users want and need to know about you. For Breed Societies, it offers members the clearest proof that you deliver what they need in terms of information and support, and that they can trust you to represent them credibly and professionally. Your website is a digital, online representation of who and what you are, and when we are entrusted with the commission to produce the right website for any client, we take responsibility for ensuring that we represent your brand at the highest possible level of quality – visually, technically, practically, and personally."