Cosmos Holidays Booking Engine & Destination Guides Go Live
Thu 1 Feb 2007
After five intense months working alongside Cosmos’ internal departments and technology partners, we’re very pleased to announce that Phase 1 of the website redesign and development project has been completed, and has gone live – have a look by clicking here.
Phase 1 of the project was to build an application development framework (ABBs) which would link the Cosmos inventory and booking engine (Cosnet) and the website’s content management system (fed by the Cosmos brochure content system – Campaign) with bespoke commercial administration tools and search engine optimisation tools (SEO).
The signed off designs were converted to CSS/HTML ‘blocks’ and loaded into ABBs. These ‘blocks’ were worked on by the internal IT department at Cosmos and linked to the inventory system within the framework. Our very own programmers linked the ‘blocks’ to the website’s content database, which in turn was populated by the Cosmos Media department. We worked closely with the Commercial department at Cosmos to standardise a huge amount of product data which again was fed into the website’s content database - this data effectively glues the site together.
As part of Phase 1, we created a comprehensive holiday research section, consisting of numerous ‘Destination Guides’. These include detailed information about destinations, regions and resorts.
A key aspect in ensuring the site’s success is the relationship between design, functionality, usability, accessibility and, of course, search engine optimization (SEO). Spannerworks (one of Europe’s leading online search marketing companies) worked alongside the Cosmos Media team in writing copy that was both informative and included key holiday search terms. Each page within the site was fully reviewed in terms of the best practices for SEO and, through collaboration with the other partners involved in the project, we developed a series of tailor-made, automated SEO management tools.
The website’s design is focused around aesthetically pleasing holiday imagery and attractive maps, immediately drawing the visitor’s eye to photographs of sunny, idyllic locations. By making the graphic and photographic elements of the website so central to the design, the irresistible nature of these images can’t be avoided.
Behind the scenes, the Cosmos IT department reworked the inventory XML files that power its affiliate websites, ensuring that the ongoing online maintenance effort is minimised.
It has taken just five months for us to complete this massive amount work, which has seen fantastic effort from everyone who has been involved.
So, with Phase 1 complete we are now moving into Phase 2 – testing, tracking and tweaking.