Red Wing Minn WordPress Website Design
The web developer at Red Wing Minn recently created a new WordPress website for an established local business. She wanted to do something different than her usual cookie-cutter website, so she took the opportunity to really put her touch on it. She started by changing the colors, moving things around and even added a bit of a playful spin by incorporating little animations throughout the site. She wanted to make sure the site was mobile-friendly and would look good on all devices. She also wanted to make sure that the site was very easy to navigate, especially since the client doesn’t have a full IT staff. She knew that creating a smooth-running, user-friendly experience for the site’s visitors was key to its success.
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) on the web, and it’s constantly expanding in terms of its features and functionalities. Whether you’re a seasoned website developer or someone who’s new to the field, you’ll most likely have heard of WordPress and its versatile applications (e.g., WordPress.com, WordPress.org, and WordPress.tv).
From a simple blog to a full news site with online store integration, there’s a WordPress CMS for every type of website.
WordPress is extremely scalable, meaning you can use it to build any website you want without worrying about hardware requirements. It uses a content-management system with a clean and intuitive user interface, so even beginners can jump in and start editing right away. It also offers a variety of free templates and a vibrant community of online experts who are available to help via forums and live chat rooms. And last but not least, WordPress is secure and free of malware. For these reasons and more, WordPress is the perfect choice for any business web development project.
What did she need from me?
As a web developer at Red Wing Minn, I got to work with the project manager to take a comprehensive look at the entire website development process. From start to finish, we collaborated to make sure that each phase of the project was handled efficiently and that the timeline was met so the website could go live shortly before the company’s big promotional push in the summer.
We began by reviewing the website’s current state and identifying the areas where improvement was needed. Afterward, we set a deadline for the developer to submit the new, improved website by the end of April.
Here’s where our collaboration ended, as the rest of the work was handled by the developer in isolation. The project manager didn’t get to see the finished product until the end, and even then, she only got a small sneak peek before the big reveal.
How did I get started?
Since the project manager didn’t have a detailed description of the site’s current state, the ideal candidate for this job would have been someone with web development experience. But since she also didn’t have the time to work through a tutorial or dive into WordPress’ documentation completely on her own, she turned to the Stack Overflow community for help.
She posted a brief description of the project and shared her contact information. She then waited for responses from developers who were interested in taking on the project. Luckily, she was able to find someone who was able to start immediately.
First things first: the design
When working with a new client, it’s always a good idea to meet face-to-face and get a sense of their personality and what they’re looking for. In this case, the project manager was able to do a little bit of both. She was able to meet with the developer in-person and get a feel for her personality, but she was also able to see the site through the eyes of the end user and get an idea of what they like and don’t like about the current design.
The client was satisfied with the way the project progressed and signed off on the final product. But as an extra measure of security, she also asked the developer to conduct a trial run of the site for a few days before the launch to make sure everything was working correctly.
Choosing a color palette
Since this was a new venture for the company, they wanted to give the site a fresh coat of paint. They also wanted to keep things light and airy, so they decided on a palette of pale blues, creams, and grays. They wanted the site to look clean and simple, without too much clutter.
One of the first things I did was review the website’s current typography and look for ways to improve it. I came across some really great, free fonts that fit perfectly with this theme and were of a high quality. I also adjusted the spacing and used some nifty CSS3 properties to make the fonts pop out more. With the right type of font, you can make headlines stand out more and make the text easier to read. This, in turn, will improve the user experience and help drive more traffic to the site.
Navigation bar improvements
One of the main page’s key goals was to make the navigation bar much more prominent. They wanted something that was eye-catching and easy to navigate. So, I added a few more design elements to the navigation bar to make it pop out more. I added a parallax effect that made the scrolling feel more natural and added a bit of a 3D feel to the overall look and feel of the page. I used CSS3’s transform property to rotate the navigation bar, and I gave it a small push backward so it would appear to be gliding on the page as you scroll down.
New blog format
One of the biggest changes that the project manager wanted to make was to switch the company’s blog from a basic, word-based structure to something more contemporary and visually appealing.
She wanted something that would make their regular readers stop and take a second to look at the blog post. So, I came up with a new design for the blog’s content area that made use of some unique, eye-catching fonts and gave the overall design a graphic, magazine feel.
Another thing that the project manager wanted to include was a way for existing blog posts to be updated with new content. Since this was an established blog with a lot of content, they wanted to give the old posts a facelift by adding additional information or images as a small update.
This is where our collaboration came to an end. As mentioned, the project manager didn’t have the chance to see the final product until the end, and even then, she only got a small sneak peek before the big reveal.
But as far as getting the project completed on time and within the budget was concerned, I think the team was able to pull it off. The client was pleased with the results and even more pleased that they were able to work together to make the website what they had envisioned. And as for me, I was able to put my touch on the design and make sure that it was built responsibly and to the highest standards.