Dare 2 Express

Set up in 2016 by its founder, John Dennis, Dare 2 Express is a small mental health charity based in Hampshire. They help people suffering from mental health issues through their grant system. These are people who slip through the already over-stretched NHS’ cracks and can’t afford to see a specialist privately.

Objectives

  • Improve load times and overall performance
  • Improve website security
  • Improve overall user experience making the charity look more mature, engaging and inviting
  • Implement a fully responsive solution using WordPress

The Challenge

John put the original Dare 2 Express website together using Wix, which at the time of starting the new charity it was a quick and cost-effective way of getting an online presence for the charity. The original site was functional but really didn't show the heart of the charity due to the limited design capabilities of the template used for the website.

Wix's servers weren't the greatest either, both for speed and security. There was no way of controlling the security headers being sent - the original website scored an F when it came to this - and although not the slowest, the page loading time could definitely be improved upon, even with a more involved design.

We had nothing really to start with as you can't export your website out of Wix once you've created it (a definite downside to using that platform), so we had a blank sheet and free-reign to come up with a design that showed off the charity and what it does.

How We Helped

First Base

As you can see, the original website left a lot to be desired when it came to page structure and aesthetics. No only was the content all over the place, the core structure of the pages was missing, making it difficult for people with disabilities to read the content properly.

Add to that the use of auto-playing large (as in download size) videos, you can see why there were some loading time issues on some of the pages.

What the original site did have was some great photos and the charity's logo, which was used as the initial starting point to the new website design.

Colour Palette

The charity's logo had an orange highlight to it, so we took this as the main highlight colour and created a calming and welcoming colour palette from that starting point.

Once the primary colours had been decided we then worked on a secondary palette, defining the various shades of each primary colour, giving us plenty of options when it came to the new website's elements.

Welcoming Design

The combination of great imagery, warming and welcoming colours makes the new website a pleasure to view and really does make it a more inviting experience for people trying to find out more about the charity and what it does.

This was something John was very keen came through in the new design and we think we gave him what he asked for.

Moving Forward

To keep the website running smoothly, Dare 2 Express opted for us to host and to take out one of our care plans. Regular site backups, traffic reports, and website health updates keep their website running smoothly and securely.

The Results

John gave us the freedom to explore the charity's new website design and he was absolutely blown away with the final results. In the early stages when we sent through the colour scheme etc. he couldn't see how it would all fit together, but when he saw the final product it all became clear and he loved it.

The charity now has a much more welcoming online presence with all the information people looking for help need to make initial contact with the charity. We also made it a lot easier for people to support the charity as part of the redesign.

Utilising our hosting servers and other speed optimisations the website performs brilliantly and is fully secured, protecting the charity's image online.