Sunday, 13 October 2013 20:47

Acting School Website Design

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Ted Bardy Acting School

Ted Bardy Studio Inc., is one of the oldest and most awarded Acting schools in NYC. Their goals were marketing functionality for their students,maintaining their history and artistic approach of their web presence, increase their Search Engine Optimization results and create a private community for their students.  

This was a very challenging project and took a lot of effort to create the final result. As many of us already know the combination of art and technology rarely comes yields successful results. Most of the time you end up with either a great looking website which is missing basic elements for UX and SEO or with great web development which doesn't 'speak' to the audience and the potential customers of such a project. Our team created a theme that combined these two worlds, with the best possible results. We provided training to our client and his representatives, to be able to maintain and update the website by themselves. We used multiple software engines for communication, marketing, social media, blogging and a very nice registered-approval-only community which made their life easier and their students more satisfied than ever. Online payment methods, custom made social pages, photoshooting and re-branding resulted in what is probably the best website for this industry in NYC.

What it's about is the web presence of Ted Bardy Acting Schools. They have to provide information through the web about their class offerings, provide online registration for students, offer online payment options for existent and new students, event announcements and payment options for their theatrical shows and to provide a complete experience for international & local customers. Their old website (done in 2012) had many technical and UX issues, and a weak SEO engine:

  • Dark colors made the visitor feel uncomfortable
  • Logo was too "shiny", focused on the film industry
  • Images across the website were very small and not so sharp/vivid
  • There was no blogging system
  • Testimonials were hard to read and find
  • The website was not viewed correctly from mobile devices
  • Social media marketing didn't exist
  • Website performance was too slow
  • The registration proccess was complicated
  • There were no photos from the school itself

 What we did

To get the full image, here is an example of the old home-page and the new one (click for larger images):


Obvious differences:

  • 30% wider design
  • Logo & coloring was redesigned
  • Home Page transformed into a marketing tool
  • Classes are separate with "Call to Action" buttons
  • Layout is responsive for desktops, tablets and mobile view
  • Custom made blog system
  • Social media share & follow are available across the whole website
  • Testimonials are easily viewable 

Not so obvious differences:

  • State of the art - custom made - Search Engine Optimization
  • Clean Typography system
  • Very fast website (90/100 Yspeed results)
  • Easy administration & management system for the owner
  • Fast & easy registraton system that saves results in the database
  • Private community system for the students
  • Crispy-clean image system

Web Software & Configuration

For the final results that you see we had to combine 9 different commercial software and 12 free GPL3 licences, to create a complete custom solution for this complex project. Amongst other things, there is software for newsletters, facebook auto-posting, blogging system, class announcements, image calibration, multi-share capabilities, private registration, form-reservation systems, payment system, advanced database optimization, community system, rss, schedule system, and multi-marketing software.


Results (so far) 

Below you can see the infograph after the first month of the re-development:


Testimonial from the owner:

“I own an acting school in New York City. I love what I do but my internet and business skills are sorely lacking. John, and his team at The Web Empire, have taken over almost all aspects of my online presence. They understand my needs and the type of students and working professionals I wish to attract.
The clever interactive design of my website, excellent SEO and social networking strategy, and their 24/7 availability have helped the “business” aspect of what I do thrive -while also allowing me to maintain my artistic integrity.
The Web Empire has allowed me to focus more on what I love to do.”

-Ted Bardy, Founder & Artistic Director of The Ted Bardy Studio, Inc. and