Case-study Bletchley Park

Bletchley park home page

Bletchley Park is a popular UK attraction and a source of much educational material informing the public of Britain's activities in the Second World War. With as many as 6000 page views an hour in their busiest period, Bletchley needed a site that was reliable, attractive to search engines and with the efficiency to attract on-line ordering from their shop.

The Strategy

To build a website that could scale to cope with very high bandwidth spikes, with a separate microsite for education, an events area and an online shop and designed to achieve high rankings in the popular search engines.

What YellowHawk did

Working with Bletchley Park's own graphic designer we implemented a website for the general public including:

  • content managed visitor information
  • online shopping integrated with WorldPay
  • backend processes for controlling the shops catalogue
  • order processing and customer order tracking
  • press information
  • event calendar
  • on-line visitor registration to build a mail database
  • separate 'educational' site driven from same membership database

Why YellowHawk

YellowHawk were chosen for their ability to provide a search engine friendly site that was also user friendly and accessible. YellowHawk were able to provide all this fully hosted in a scalable environment that offered fast delivery of pages, particularly essential for the efficient working of their on-line shop.

Of particular concern to Bletchley Park was operation under heavy load. Because of the nature of the organisation there can be very heavy bursts of traffic when Bletchley is mentioned, for example, in BBC news stories.

Particular Challenges

Bletchley had previously managed their on-line catalogue through their existing site, which did not provide the ability to export the catalogue. YellowHawk provided automated code to navigate the precious site, building up a spreadsheet of products and related images.


The Bletchley Park site has received in excess of 300,000 pages impressions a month and although it is not specifically a membership site already has over 8000 people signed up for newsletters and/or made a purchase through the shop.

The site is now managed by non-technical employees of the Blethcley Park trust. YellowHawks administrative framework has allowed different users to be granted administrative rights to different areas of the site. The people running the physical shop now also run the on-line shop, being responsible for maintaining the catalogue and tracking/fulfiling orders. Other people manage the educational content of the site, and others the day-to-day content.

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