It’s true in any profession: everyone will look at your own (insert specialty here) and assume it’s representative of the best of your work. More often, the opposite is true – especially if you’re good at what you do.
The cobbler’s children go barefoot.
This was definitely the case for us. The previous iteration of the Crowd Favorite website was built on WordPress 1.5 – for you recent WordPress users, that was before WordPress supported themes. The site was implemented using a variety of clever techniques that were made obsolete over the years as WordPress improved. When I renamed the business in 2007, I simply updated the theme on top of the existing site content and structure. The entire thing was due for an overhaul, and that’s exactly what we did.
The new Crowd Favorite website is finally representative of our team’s considerable skills. I’ll go into detail on many of these items in future posts, but here is a brief overview:
- Built on WordPress 3.0, utilizing the new custom post types feature.
- Advanced, custom page layouts with easy configurability and management – powered by Carrington Build.
- Integrated bbPress for product support forums.
- Single sign-on for Crowd Favorite customers to access the forums and product downloads.
- Fresh, new design – all created by our in-house design team.
- Expanded portfolio section, filterable by toolset, technology and services.
- Real, useful directions to the office, including where to park and public transit stops.
- A friendly and sophisticated contact/project inquiry form that helps us capture more information about projects, leading to more meaningful conversations with potential clients.
- Integrated client testimonials.
- Beautifully terse and semantic HTML5 markup (with backward compatibility to IE7).
- Consolidated JS and CSS delivery with ETAG support.
- Theme integration between WordPress and bbPress.
- Migration of legacy customer data.
- Payment integration for our store using our Rockefeller payment library.
- Extensive use of custom taxonomies, custom fields and metadata for content organization.
- Custom gallery displays.
- Small, elegant touches like the slide-out search box.
- Custom search implementation with editorially controlled keyword matching.
- New homes for all of our WordPress plugins and themes.
We started taking notes for the new site requirements over a year ago, and started and stopped working on design concepts several times over the last few years. The final design came from a series of comps we started last fall. I am certainly our worst client, having put us through countless iterations, new starts and revisions. The end result though, is definitely worth it.
This post is part of the thread: Crowd Favorite – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.