As a community-based business, we have seen firsthand the continuing impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Many different types of businesses have reconnected with their customers through their websites, with the types of engagement most often reserved for in-person interactions. For the Champaign County Freedom Celebration, an organization built around a single event — the celebration of Independence Day — the past year gave them a chance to regroup, refocus, and rebuild. At the front of the list? A clean, modern update of their website.
One of the biggest changes was a style upgrade of the Freedom Celebration logo. We kept the elements that made their branding recognizable, but gave it a more modern look that is easier to scale. Separating the text from the imagery increased both the cleanliness of the text and the versatility of the branding.
Although this year’s celebration will not include all of the elements that draw crowds, such as parades, races, and large-scale gatherings, Champaign County will be enjoying a fireworks show. The new website needed to be built with flexibility in mind, leaving important information in private pages while streamlining the navigation menu to include only information that is relevant to the current year.
Of utmost importance to the planning team was the ability to easily accept and track donations. We utilized a form creation plugin we love and trust to connect donors to secure payment gateways, while allowing exporting of important data so that the team could easily reach out to acknowledge those donors, and in future years, run events more smoothly. The result? Donations to the Freedom Celebration have more than doubled since the 2019 festivities.
No matter what year the celebration takes place, there will always be site traffic from mobile devices. So of course the new website is responsive so it displays cleanly on any size device. Future site updates will include updated maps with Google integration, as well as celebration-day announcements that are easy to find. Meanwhile, all of the historical storytelling from the previous version of the website is still present and easy to read.
ThirdSide is proud to be a part of the Champaign-Urbana community, and we look forward to celebrating Independence Day this year and for years to come. Check out the updated look for the Champaign County Freedom Celebration website at july4th.net.