Building and supporting services that improve lives – Homes for Ukraine

In 2016, we built a campaigns platform so teams across government can create campaign sites quickly and easily. Last week we saw it in action

Last week a dxw-built platform was used to create a new campaign website with the hope of helping to pair Ukrainian refugees with homes in the UK

Within the first 24 hours of the campaign going live, several hundred thousand people had visited the site, and over 100,000 people had registered their interest in helping to provide accommodation for those fleeing the war in Ukraine.

What we did

Back in 2016, we worked closely with the Government Digital Service (GDS) to build a multisite platform in WordPress that would allow teams across central government to create new single page campaign websites.

Part of the brief was to design the platform in a way that teams could create new sites in a matter of hours without having to worry about the hosting setup or costs. This is all included as part of the ongoing hosting, maintenance and support service we offer to GDS.

Get the infrastructure right, and the rest is easy

The campaigns’ platform was designed to allow non-technical teams to easily build and launch new campaign microsites without the support of a specialist technical team. None of the hassle of sorting out domain registrations or security certificates, nor the worry of whether the hosting will stand up in the face of heavy traffic.

The platform has been built to make sure that these essential technical considerations are already taken care of, allowing users to focus on what they are trying to do – create a campaign to raise public awareness of the issue or cause they are working for.

Making an impact

We’ve seen how high profile campaigns can make a real difference, whether to raise awareness of a specific issue such as the long-running campaign site or the latest site that prompted me to write this post to address an immediate, urgent need.

At dxw, we all come to work every day with the hope that the things we’re doing – big and small – will have a positive impact on the world.  Our company mission is to create digital public services that improve lives.  It’s a mission that now forms part of our constitutional documents as we became an  Employee Owned Trust (EOT) last year. To see something we created play a positive role in a humanitarian crisis is very humbling and makes me proud of the work my colleagues and I do.  

Sustainability over time

We’re continuing to work with GDS to keep improving the platform and make sure it keeps pace with the latest accessibility standards and best practice. We will continue to iterate the site and the underlying hosting infrastructure so the platform has the built-in resilience that high profile campaigns need.  As evidenced by the sort of traffic we’ve been able to support successfully over the last few days.

I’d like to finish by saying that our hearts go out to those suffering through the atrocities happening in Ukraine, and we hope for a better future for everyone.