Website (re)Design ~ On Trac Coaching

Longtime client Gary Mitchell first hired Blender in 2006.  He recently wanted to update and re-brand the website for his core business GEM Communications.  His existing website was dated,  performed poorly from a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) standpoint, and used technologies such as Flash which are no longer suitable for general website design. Gary wanted a modern website that would give him all the advantages the internet offers.

Our redesign stayed true to the appearance of the old, but completely replaced the foundation and back end.  Blender recommended using the WordPress Content Management System (CMS) so that Gary could maintain the content of On Trac on his own ensuring his website was always up to date.  WordPress offers well structured web pages where search engines are concerned and scales well to any size website.

Another focus was an expansion into social media including LinkedIn, Facebook, and TwitterOn Trac would have a presence on all three with the website acting as a hub from which content would be shared out.

The success of the re-design will be tracked using integrated Google Analytics for traffic monitoring.  Visitors can give feedback through website feedback forms, a blog post comment system, and  through social media integration.

Technologies: WordPress, PHP, CSS, Javascript, jQuery

Visit On Trac Coaching

 

 

author:

programming WordPress plugins

Sample Link image for Related Links Blender WordPress plugin

I was having trouble finding the right WordPress plugin for a clients website … so I programmed it!  You can see the results of the Related Links Blender plugin at the bottom of this post.  The plugin is a simple but effective way to keep visitors browsing your blog.  Similar plugins existed, but none did exactly what I wanted.  Programming the plugin was an interesting exercise – always be learning!

Plugin features:

  • Choose which posts to link
  • Just add the post ID of the target you wish to link
  • Links include thumb, title, and brief introductory text – automatically!
  • Links can be structured and styled to suite your website

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another wordpress website

Wordpress based website built by Blender Design

Another assignment for Creating Excellence, small business marketing specialist.  Corner Equipment needed a website that visitors could navigate quickly, that was easy to maintain, and that search engines would pick up and list.  Because of the client’s experience with WordPress there was no question it would be our platform of choice.  Wordpress is the most straightforward CMS (Content Management System) available, and because it is enjoying recent popularity there is no shortage of extensions  and support.

Blender created a custom theme based on Creating Excellence’s design.  Careful attention was taken to ensure the website generated would be friendly to search engines.  An SEO strategy was part of the early design process.

One interesting feature of the Corner Equipment website is the processing of images attached to items in the inventory.  Pictures are uploaded by the site owner and automatically resized for different purposes, little or no outside preprocessing required.

Visit Corner Equipment

Blender (we)blog Launched

Blender has expanded its website to include a (we)blog.  The blog will act a platform from which Blender will share news and information with visitors, to Facebook, and to Twitter.  Posts topics will include website launches and hi-lights, Blender Design news, and general web design industry news and information.

Built on the WordPress blogging and content management system (CMS),  Blender designed a custom template based on the blender website so that the blog would mesh seamlessly with our existing content.

The blog also serves as a technology demonstration to show clients how WordPress can be integrated into a website.