BUFFALO NAVAL & MILITARY PARK
The Buffalo Naval and Military Park is a military history museum located on the shores of Lake Erie featuring several decommissioned naval vessels and other artifacts. The park provides interactive exhibits and educational tours of the ships to visitors, aiming to preserve a piece of our national history and share it with all ages.
OtherWisz designed the original Naval Park website in 2014, helping this non-profit to market themselves online for the first time. Pleased with our ongoing support in the form of website maintenance and marketing assistance over the following years, the Naval Park called on OtherWisz again when they decided it was time for a refresh. In the summer of 2019, the museum sought to add enhanced functionality to their website – online ticket sales and a better E-commerce gift shop – and create a more interactive experience for site visitors, with added video content and expanded sections on their tours and exhibits.
Ships from the past, a website designed for the future
When considering the design and functionality of the new site, OtherWisz took cues from other significant military museums in order to give the Naval Park the same presence and level of performance as larger institutions. The new website has a more organized navigation system and a cleaner, streamlined design that puts the main focus on the content, making it easier for potential visitors to locate what they need (park directions, exhibit info, etc.). Graphics and homepage hotkeys call attention to the Donate and Gift Shop pages, helping to draw more support to the museum’s operation.
Enhanced features make it easy to schedule a visit
Recent upgrades to the Naval Park’s website work to assert the museum as a major attraction on Buffalo’s Inner Harbor, and a destination for tourists from the Buffalo area and beyond. A large video banner is the first thing you see on the homepage, showing aerial footage of the entire park and setting the stage for your museum experience. Visitors can easily schedule a group tour online with the addition of detailed booking forms, which streamline the process and collect all the details that the staff will need to confirm the request.
The website redesign also included the implementation of an online ticketing system to facilitate self-guided tours of the Naval Park. By automating ticket sales, the new system decreases the amount of leg work that the staff needs to do to accommodate current global health guidelines. While the Naval Park already had an online gift shop, our team updated the design of their Ecommerce solution to fall in line with the overall site redesign and increase the number of items for sale. The new online shop allows the museum to sell gifts, memorabilia and apparel to a wider audience, including out-of-state fans and senior military veterans who might not be able to visit in person but still want to show their support.
SEO that’s sure to draw a crowd
As part of the web development process, OtherWisz crafted more tightly focused SEO for the Naval Park website that utilizes keywords tailored to military/navy enthusiasts, veterans, and other relevant demographics. Engaging the park’s target audience through search engine optimization draws more organic traffic to the website and more visitors the museum.