Northumbria in Bloom was a full site rewrite commissioned by the Trustees.
They had three goals in mind:

  1. make the site easier to navigate for both the public and the judges
  2. make the more attractive to encourage competitors and new judges
  3. incorporate the new RHS branding (which you can see in the new header logo and on this page)

On top of this, there was a far more urgent problem which was that the site had been hacked many times and every time I cleared the bad links away the hackers would just return.  The reason the site was being hacked so often was because the theme in use was old and no longer updated, so it wasn’t getting its security loopholes plugged by the authors.

As an interim measure I installed the premium Wordfence plugin to block the countries where these attacks originated,  but given that hackers are now using the Cloud to launch their attacks I knew this would only be a short term measure.

So a full rewrite was called for: a new theme, more robust security, a cleaner, more modern look and feel, clear navigation.