ROCKLAND — The board of directors of the nonprofit Maine Lobster Festival knew their organization needed a new website, and they wanted a site to match their reputation as an internationally known fun family festival. They also knew that big sites involve big budgets, which can prove challenging for a small, nonprofit organization. That’s when Rob Landry, owner of Pemaquid Communications, and a group of web design students from the Maine College of Art stepped in and teamed up to take on the task of an all-out makeover of the website MaineLobsterFestival.com. The site was recently launched to rave reviews.
The idea was to take Web design students who wanted to gain real-life Web design experience and team them up with some of the best Web designers in Maine to show them the ropes. The project, called Extreme Makeover: Website Edition, allowed the festival to get a world-class site at a fraction of the cost while the students received hands-on experience and excellent tutoring in quality design.
The organization’s official website, which has tens of thousands of visitors each month, features a new, modern design with photos that make you really feel like you’re at the event. The site was designed with mobile devices in mind and displays like an attractive, upscale magazine on an iPad and other tablets. Last week, the new site received a nod of recognition when it was named a finalist for the 2011 TechMaine.com ‘Best of the Web’ awards for Best Arts & Entertainment Website.
“Pemaquid’s team did a fantastic job with the design,” said Holly Sherburne, lobster festival director and coordinator of the website project. “The design team wasn’t afraid to try some innovative and creative design techniques to make sure our site gives a stunning first impression to people who are considering coming to the festival.”
The site features new pages for each of the festival’s main events and a new photo gallery that allows potential visitors to see what they can expect with a trip to the festival. There is a social media feed that highlights what the festival posts on its Facebook fan page and Twitter feed. Visitors can shop in the online store for official Maine Lobster Festival posters; tickets and apparel will be available soon.