The Running Bug is a website devoted to runners and the joys of the "world's greatest sport" and pastime. The goal is simple: to help people get the running bug and once they've got it then to help them keep it.
Created by running enthusiasts, The Running Bug website offers a wide range of features, including articles packed with useful tips and advice, real life stories, running news and interviews with professionals and celebrity runners, as well as forums and blogs that attract lively updates from runners and event organisers throughout the world.
When Joe Mountain and Ian Knighton decided to launch The Running Bug, they turned to Ballard Chalmers. "We don't have the technical expertise to develop websites ourselves," explained Ian. "We had worked with Ballard Chalmers on an eCommerce project some time ago and were impressed with their knowledge and expertise, so we asked them to partner with us."
There were four objectives for the website:
- Function as a community website for runners.
- Provide wide-ranging content (including articles and training programmes).
- Provide facilities for users to publish information about forthcoming events.
- Encourage interaction between registered users.
Working closely with Joe and Ian, Ballard Chalmers developed the initial version of the website, incorporating as many features and facilities as was practical. Aside from third party Blog and Forum software, the entire website was developed from scratch in ASP.NET Version 2.0 and SQL Server 2005. "It made no sense to develop the Blog and Forum elements of the website as proven and widely-used solutions are commercially available," said Geoff Ballard, CTO Ballard Chalmers.
Graham Scanlon, Application Development Manager at The Running Bug said, "We have a very good relationship with Ballard Chalmers. From the outset, we wanted a partner that would work with us and develop a platform that we could rely on. Ballard Chalmers has a great team that has delivered a visually impactful website that meets virtually all of our requirements. Without their help and advice, The Running Bug website would not be half as good, and we are already working closely with them as we develop the next version of website."
Shortly after launch, The Running Bug had attracted well over 60,000 visitors and boasted a membership of 7,500. The site also handled over half a million page refreshes each month. Thanks to the flexible design, almost all webpage content updates can be managed by Joe and Ian and Running Bug staff, reducing administrative costs and ensuring that the latest information and news is rapidly available to site members and visitors.