People 1st's careers resource UKSP (www.uksp.co.uk) has been named the big winner in this year's Caterer and Hotelkeeper Web Awards, picking up the title of Website of the Year.
The website, which helps support and develop careers in the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism industries and supplies information to career seekers, employers, training providers and advisers, also picked up the Services Provider Website award.
The site impressed the judges of the Caterer and Hotelkeeper Web Awards with its fun and interactive elements "bringing in all media elements of a high-quality and modern website".
"An attractive design with a lot of calls to action that encourages users to explore the site further," said one judge.
Blogger Chris Brown scooped new category for this year, Blog of Year, with his Great Cafes blog (http://greatcafes.blogspot.com/) providing news and views for the professional operator. One judge commented: "The author of this blog understands that a picture speaks a thousand words. It offers a great combination of good photography and helpful comments and top ideas for any café owner."
Best Use of Social Media award went to Radisson Edwardian (www.radissonedwardian.com), which was praised for its innovation. "The FourSquare Check In/Check Out Later is a great idea - a neat way to tie in with mobile users," said one judge.
Last year's Online Marketing winner, Strada (www.strada.co.uk), picked up the award for Restaurant Website - Group. It was described by one judge as easy to use and navigate without "overcomplicating the brand for what it actually is".
Dishoom (www.dishoom.com) picked up the award for Restaurant Website - Independent. Judges praised its ease of use: "The website creates engagement, buzz around the brand and is appealing to the audience. It shows great imagination and dedication to building a brand online."
In the hotels category, Yorkshire hotel the Devonshire Arms (www.thedevonshirearms.co.uk/) picked up the award for Hotel Website - Group. "The site is very well laid out with the right mix of text and images to maintain visitor interest," said one judge.
In the Hotel Website - Independent category, www.onefinestay.com won for its highly innovative and unique concept. One judge said the website had "high commercial potential for both the concept and website".
Equipment supplier winner Simon Jersey (www.simonjersey.com) was commended for its innovation, in particular its mobile website and video facility and its interactivity.
In other categories, previous winners Milsom Hotels (www.milsomhotels.com), won the Online Marketing award. Judges were impressed with attractive design, with good accessibility and clear navigation.
The Pub and Bar Website award went to Belushis (www.belushis.com) for its fun and modern design. "Belushi's know their market - the young, party crowd - and caters for this profile well," commented one judge.
Mitchells & Butlers jobs site www.mbcareersandjobs.com picked up the award for Recruitment Website. One judge commented: "The site is professional, clean and friendly."
The Food and Drink Supplier award went to JusRol Professional (www.jusrolprofessional.co.uk) for its "simple and clean design" and a great archive of recipes and videos.
Top five tips on building a successful website
● Engagement - provide simple and clear ways for people to engage with you. A website is a two-way street.
● Content - commit to provide compelling, regularly updated content to your users. Avoid the hard-sell.
● Evolve - poll your users, check your analytics and be prepared to change your website as required. Don't focus on what you (the website owner wants from a site), instead listen to and focus on the users of your site.
● Web Standards - a simple, sensible, robust and reliable approach to web development. Let this be your guiding light and avoid countless pitfalls in development.
● Design - online, form and function are one and the same. Great design will drive allegiance, increase usability and encourage interaction.
Andy Wickes, digital director, Jellybean Creative
By Katherine Alano
E-mail your comments to Katherine Alano here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/tabletalk
Caterer and Hotelkeeper jobs
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Caterer and Hotelkeeper jobs