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Archive for Project Files

The power of the WordPress platform absolutely amazes me! I recently finished a project for a design company called TwistnShout which completely stretched everything I knew WordPress could do and then some.

TwistnShout

TwistnShout main page with area to highlight recent projects.

TwistnShout portfolio page

The portfolio pages have a different sidebar file for each category which allows for the groups of thumbnails to change and be used for navigation.

The basic look of the site was given to me by the owner of the company, who is an amazing print designer. Amy knew the look she wanted, but she wanted a site that she could maintain on her own in the future. Based on her desire to make future modifications on her own, I knew WordPress would be the platform of choice. We hired Brian Gardner to create the site’s basic structure in the form of a custom theme that used multiple template pages and did not contain the comment features, and other typical blog elements.

Once Brian coded the basic structure, I was able to add the content, tweak the design and challenge myself even more.

Each primary section of content – the copy that Amy will most likely change from time to time – was created using a WordPress page or subpage. The side bar (right and left) content was hard coded in using individual theme files.

TwistnShout theme filesAmy wanted the testimonial quotes in the who we are section to change depending on which team member’s bio you were reviewing. She also wanted different navigation for each project type in her portfolio. This took some creative thinking, but I was able to achieve this level of customization through the use of detailed theme files. Each main navigation item already had a unique template that called the correct left navigation, center content and right sidebar. I just took it a step further by creating sublevel template and theme pages.

The development of the TwistnShout site was truly a team effort. Amy knew what she wanted and was willing to let Brian and I challenge the WordPress platform to create a scalable, professional looking portfolio site for her company.

I have lost count of the number of people who have asked, “Is that really WordPress?” To which I have been able to reply, yes it is!

Categories : Project Files, WordPress
Comments (12)

WordPress is an extremely powerful platform for blogging, but it is also a great Content Management System (CMS) and recently I used it to design and develop a more traditional, static site for a local furniture company. They didn’t need all the bells and whistles WordPress has to offer, and the platform used was not important to them. What the client did want was a quick-loading, simple web site that would do well in the search engines. As a web designer, I knew that from a budget standpoint, I could develop a site that would meet all their needs quickly and for a very affordable price by using WordPress as the backbone for the site.

Furniture Warehouse

How It Was Done

  • I started with Brian Gardner’s Downtown Java WordPress theme as a base.
  • Next came the color scheme and some graphical elements.
  • Most of the typical WordPress blogging features were removed from the template as they are not needed.
  • I hard coded the gallery sub navigation into the sidebar.
  • Each of the content pages was created using the Pages feature – this will make it super easy to update over time.
  • I used the WordPress static page feature (dashboard Options, then Reading) to control which page would be the home page.

Overall, it was a fairly quick project and both the client and I are very happy with it. If you have used WordPress to develop a site that is something other than a blog, I would love to see it!

Categories : Project Files
Comments (16)

Earlier this spring I took on a new client and was faced with a challenge. The client wanted a fresh, new site, but wanted to be able to make basic changes and updates themselves. The most logical solution to the challenge was to build the site around some form of a content management system (CMS). And what better CMS to use than WordPress? Afterall, WordPress is not just for blogging! You can easily create static pages and tweak the CSS to your heart’s content.

So, here is the finished product:

oga screen

How It Was Done

  • I started with Brian Gardner’s Blue Zinfandel theme as a base.
  • Next came the color scheme and some graphical elements.
  • Most of the typical WordPress blogging features were removed from the template as they are not really ready for interactivity yet.
  • The introductory text was laid into the home.php file above the WordPress loop in order to keep it always on top (thanks for the tip David)
  • Each of the content pages was created using the Pages feature – this will make it super easy to update over time.
  • And the hardest part was getting the drop down navigation (see below) to play nicely. Thanks to Randa for conquering that one!

oga2

Now that I have seen the true power of WordPress as a CMS first hand – I will definitely be using it for other projects! If anyone else has used WordPress to create a “traditional” site, I’d love to see it!

Comments (24)

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