Archive for Project Files
Liz and Terry approached me about designing the site for the second year in a row and I was so honored to be the one to give the site its’ look for another year. The theme of the conference this year is “where the virtual meets the concrete” so we went for a much more pared down look.
Liz wanted lots of white space, cool blues and grays, and the flexibility to feature different media types on the home page as well as use different layouts for the interior pages, too. Luckily for Liz, I had just finished designing a site using the new (and oh, so, super, amazing cool) Headway Theme. The Headway Theme has a built in visual editor which makes it ridiculously easy to place blocks of content where you want them and to use a different layout on every page (if you want).
Anyhow, go check out the site and take advantage of the early bird registration and the New Blogger Bootcamp deals while you are there!!
In August 2007 Brian Gardner revolutionized the WordPress theme space by launching the first of a family of ultra-customizable, cleanly coded and innovative themes aptly named Revolution. Shortly after customizing my first Revolution theme, it quickly became my first choice when considering themes for projects.
The following are a few of the site designs/customizations I have done in the past six months using Revolution as the base:
From top to bottom, the sites are:
- Easy Green Living (magazine style)
- Chilli Factor (business site)
- Modern Beats Hit Talk (magazine style)
- The Learning Tree (magazine combined with storefront with flash component)
- Jersey Shore Guide (magazine style tailored to a geographical area using Revolution City)
- SOBCon 09 (event site)
- Printables4Kids (magazine style)
- Reach Career Potential (business site done in collaboration with Leah Maclean, Working Solo)
- Wendy Piersall (personal branding/small business)
- Apex Gymnastics (business site with no blog component being used as a CMS)
- KeySplash Creative (business site)
- Doll Diaries (magazine style)
While the original Revolution theme took the traditional WordPress site to the next level, the Revolution Magazine theme and its variants kicked things up a few more notches. The magazine style theme allows more content to be displayed on a site’s home page, giving web publishers the ability to control what content stays in front of the visitor and for how long. The theme is also perfect for adding video, audio, advertising, and interactive features to the site.
Brian has recently released Revolution2 – taking Revolution from a premium, for purchase theme to a completely free, open source series of themes with specific functionalities based on the type of site you need to create. Additional Revolution2 features and support are now available via subscription, including access to the support forums and a listing of Brian’s recommended designers (I am one of them).
So, yes, I have been a little busy (which explains the less frequent posting here), but I really enjoy taking client ideas and bringing them to life using Word Press and more often than not, the Revolution theme. If you are ready to take your site to a new level, I’d love to help you get it there. You may contact me at cpolanosky [at] gmail [dot] com for availability and a quote.
One of my clients, APEX Gymnastics School, was very happy with the general look and feel of the site I created for them a few years ago, but due to the growth of her business and the fact that more and more of her customers were going to her website first for information, we needed to set her site up so she could make changes herself from anywhere.
Since WordPress continues to become the most powerful and flexible content management system (CMS) available, it was the obvious solution.
What Was Needed
- Ability for client to quickly add announcements to home page from anywhere – this is very important for posting closings due to weather, and it allows her to make changes from home when it is convenient rather than having to be in the office.
- Ability to maintain basic look and feel of previous site and horizontal, drop down menu with individual pages for specific programs.
- Ability to edit/modify text on pages throughout the site quickly.
Making It Work
The first decision I had to make was whether to code the new WordPress site from scratch or to use another theme as a base. Brian Gardner’s Revolution Pro Business theme had so much of the structure I needed already included, it just made the most sense to use it as the base.
Next I recreated the header to accommodate the new site width and to include the phone numbers of both gym locations (one of them is brand new).
The home page is set up to display some basic information about her program and latest news. The client can easily add an announcement to the site by logging into the WordPress dashboard and creating a new “Post”.
Each navigation item on the horizontal navigation bar is either a Page or a child page (which shows up in the drop down).
All of the comment code has been removed as she is not looking for comments on the static pages. However, if she ever wants to put up a post where she wants feedback, she can. It also makes it easier to add polls, video, and photos to the site.
Pages can easily be edited, modified, added or deleted using the dashboard without the client having to know any HTML. Additionally, we added the TinyMCE Advanced plugin to give her more of the “Word”-like formatting buttons in the editor. I especially like the ability to add a data table easily – perfect for displaying class times.
On the individual pages, visitors can see the latest announcements without going to the home page and they can sign up for updates. Additionally, there is plenty of room in the sidebar to “advertise” in house programs.
The best part about this site redesign is that I have a very happy client who is thrilled to be able to make her own changes to her site. It took us an hour of training over the phone to get her up and running – luckily she is pretty tech-savvy to start with.
What do you think? I’d love to see more examples of WordPress as a CMS, if you happen to have one! Also, you can see more sites I have created as “traditional” sites using WordPress in my archives.