The Company

ATI Holidays are an owner managed travel company based in Windhoek, Namibia that has been operating since 1999, offering a wide range of holidays throughout Southern Africa.
Husband & wife team Charlotte Bond and David Cartwright both came to the industry from an environmental background, and this ethos has shaped and driven the direction that their company has taken.

The Challenge

ATI had a very outdated website that needed an upgrade in terms of form and function. The layout of the old website made navigation through its vast amount of content a serious hassle.

The challenge was to build a website that was  not just easy to use, but also enjoyable. The tour packages offered by ATI Holidays needed to be the main focus but couldn’t throw the other post types out of the limelight. Information on the various destinations, accommodations and activities relating to each tour package needed to be easily accessible.

The design and colour scheme needed to reflect the company image. The challenge was to design the website with the established look ATI Holidays deserves, while still portraying the raw, earthy feel of touring in Africa.
The website also needed its content to be moved and new meta-data created in order to up-rank the websites SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

The Solution

LSX Theme and Tour Operator Plugin 
The LSX theme was designed by our very own developers for the primary use of making life easier for tour operators. The theme creates all the custom post types, fields and categories that were required on the ATI Holidays website.
The Tour Operator Plugin is also developed here at LightSpeed. The plugin integrates and syncs with the Wetu Tour Operator database to allow for content to be automatically pulled to your WordPress website. We made use of this plugins functionality to pull the content and images for over 500 accommodations.

LightSpeed’s in-house designer took care of wireframes and full resolution designs which were then implemented in the site’s templates.

A large number of the available features on the website are due to the LSX Theme. Additional development was also done to make the website unique.

The homepage was custom developed with a selection of interactive widget areas to suit ATI’s needs.

Destinations pages – the clustered map markers on the top of destination page is a solution we’re proud of for showing site visitors where the majority of the tours’ destinations are.

ToursThe tours pages have their own custom design distinct from other post types’ archives.

The menu items on the website were customised with Megamenus to add icons and images to their design.

FacetWP was used to increase functionality by adding filtering and sorting to the site. This was so that tours can be filtered by price, duration, etc.

Accommodations – Along with all the main content and gallery images, the Wetu importer now automatically pulls and attaches featured images and banner images to the relevant accommodation listings. This allowed us to efficiently assign these images per accommodation listed.

Reviews The reviews page allows users to submit a form which then gets approved by ATI for display on their site.

Multicurrency – The LSX mutli-currency module is sold as add-on to the Tour Operator plugin. We used it on the ATI site to allow users to easily switch been currencies to see a more accurate indication of what each tour will cost in their home currency.

A large percentage of the content was moved manually to the new website. When it came to their blog, which was on a WordPress site, we used the import/export function. Errors in old copy (where the ampersand appeared as HTML) were manually fixed with regex.

Images were manually sourced for each post type. Envira gallery is tightly integrated with each template on the site.

SEO meta-data was created for all destinations and tours in order to increase the chances of being up-ranked with Search Engines.

The main concern when it comes to SEO was that the most important URLs from the old site (because their URL changed) were redirected to a relevant page on the new site.

The Results

David J Cartwright
Role & Company: MD | ATI Holidays

Internet trends and technology change apace, and in a matter of a few short years, our pioneering website was little more than a monolithic, top heavy, cumbersome old site, that had great content and poor imagery and that’s if you could find it! We realised we needed a complete rework from a company that understand the tourism industry, current leanings, SEO/Google algorithms, and had a proven track record of being able to deliver timeously and at a reasonable price. LightSpeed certainly met and exceeded all expectations in these regards.
Ashley Shaw took time out to meet and present to us, carefully listening to the style and feel of the site we wanted to create. He personally oversaw the process, continually consulting and checking with us, while at the same time advising and suggesting what he, and Light Speed’s expert team of coders felt would work best.
This will be the 4th major web-site that we’ve developed, and I can honestly say this was the smoothest, most efficient and easiest project of it’s type we’ve ever worked on. The result, I’m sure you’ll agree, is a site that is fresh, sophisticated, easy to navigate and visually compelling – while still containing huge amounts of relevant content – the difference is now you can find it!
Without question, I would highly recommend LightSpeed as developer that can create and deliver cutting edge, large to small web-sites, quickly, affordably and of a very high calibre.

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