The owner of NWABride had big ideas for her site, but a small budget and a very small time frame — just two weeks.
Designer Tom Hapgood and I are always up for a challenge, so we agreed to give it a shot.
NWABride’s owner, Mary Mann, had a website a decade ago. There’s a screenshot from that site below.
All that Mary wanted to keep from that design was the logo. She has since gone to a black and gold color scheme, and she sent us a poster to use as inspiration.
Mary wanted to be able to make changes at her website frequently, and she wanted a lot of control over details at her site. She also wanted a rotating gallery, several custom forms, and the ability to sell tickets to her show from her website and to capture the data from those sales for later marketing efforts. She had been working with a relative to build a site, but she had run out of time for that. With her budget, we could see that WordPress was the way to go.
Tom created a custom theme using Mary’s logo and her new color scheme. Mary sent me the content she wanted to use and I optimized it for search and installed it in her site. Mary had a lot of small changes she wanted, but since she was clear and specific (naming fonts she wanted, for example, and sending specific photos clearly labeled for the pages), we were able to get all the changes made quickly. We used a variety of plug-ins to speed up the process of creating forms and a shopping cart, helped Mary get set up with PayPal and Facebook, added things as she thought of them, and met the deadline with a day to spare.
Here’s what made it possible:
- A decisive client Mary knew exactly what she wanted and was able to articulate it clearly. When we had a recommendation, she was able to listen, understand the reasoning, and make a quick decision on whether or not to accept our suggestions. This way, she got what she wanted and was also able to benefit from our expertise.
- A practical CMS Custom building a CMS is expensive and time consuming, compared with using WordPress. Customizing WordPress gives a very nearly custom experience with the speed and resulting savings of being able to use a huge library of themes and plug-ins.
- Good communication Good communication meant that even though all of us are very busy, we were able to shoehorn lots of tasks into a small amount of time.
We built Mary a five page custom site with e-commerce capability, exactly as she wanted it, in two weeks. And, since she was clear about her ultimate goal from the beginning, we’ve built it with stage 2 in mind. We’ll be able to add the remaining bells and whistles and update it for next year without having to start over from scratch — again saving her time and money.