It has been a busy few months at Web Savvy Marketing. Although summer is usually our slowest time, we began a website redesign. It has been a huge undertaking for my colleagues and me.
This website redesign is an example of how I refuse to take any task lightly. When you consider that I have client websites to maintain and summer in Michigan, it feels like I have been pulled in so many directions for the past three months.
I started graphic design in May and provided art direction for various website elements I would like to have created and coded. We wrapped up the design in July and began coding right away. Because I can’t do what is normal, this took me about a month to code. This is true for both my personal and business lives. For my personal life, I prefer the go big or go home philosophy.
Staging Equates to Health
Without a solid area of development for build and testing, all the design and coding won’t be worth much. WPEngine has made this possible.
I felt a bit uneasy about my hosting company earlier this year. Although I needed to make some changes, I was scared of moving our website, 35+ demo websites, and 25+ client development sites to another host.
I was then able to meet with WP Engine staff in San Diego. Any hesitations about the move were quickly dispelled by a poolside chat with the WP Engine sales staff.
WP Engine is a great tool for developers. WP Engine already had a large development instance. We had to ask their server for a push to our staging website. From there, we could start coding and testing the new WordPress theme. It was all done in a secure environment on the same server as our live website.
WP Engine is great in support and performance, but their staging area is the best thing about them and their hosting.
Create a unique look and feel
I already mentioned that we created a variety of templates for our use. These may be the most custom design templates we have ever had for a website build.
The Genesis Framework is the basis of our website redesign. It includes the following design templates.
About/Who are we?
Portfolio individual project
Each product can be stored
Forum individual topic
Get in touch
The team developed custom plugins to be able to support some of the functionality. They use a mixture of custom post types and diverse custom fields.
Next, we needed to think about creating pages such as About, Enterprise, and Website Design. These pages were designed to be modular so that there are sections of content I can add within the regular page editor.
Select the template I want, and additional fields will appear for me to fill in and move about. This is great for everyday users like me. We can create a beautiful page with minimal knowledge of CSS or PHP.