I met Anne W. while I was the Blogger Coordinator at TravelingMom.com, but our re-introduction was by chance. I accidentally sent out invites to a service that I did not actually endorse to everyone in my contact book. She replied to make sure the email was legit and after I explained the mistake, we began talking about my services. She was currently planning a re-branding of sorts in which she expanded her current business.
She brought with her a clear vision:
“I want my website to showcase me as a “Ben Stein” among professional women. That is, someone who has diverse talents – communicator, business strategist, writer, speaker – and does them all extraordinarily well, but, most importantly, is a pleasure to work with, personally and professionally.” – Anne
Anne wanted a cleaner site that focused on putting her brand (herself) at its center. She wanted a site that better conveyed her message and provided a more organized and convenient way to update the information on it, as necessary. Additionally, she wanted someone who would answer her questions and guide her through this transition as she does her clients: with attention, communication, and respect.
I chose the Genesis Framework as the backbone of this site because of its great SEO qualities, its ease of use, and its smooth functionality. I would create a custom theme that would provide Anne with a design that maximized the benefits of WordPress. Additionally, we collaborated several times to streamline her content and prioritize every aspect of the site. For client collaboration, BeautifullyArtful relies on Basecamp by 37 Signals to be our hub.
I created, for Anne, three mockups using some of the content she provided. I wanted her to be able to see what a “live” version of the site would look like with her words driving it home. All of my Mockups are provided in Hi-Res so that clients can get a realistic view of each design (protection is added in our contracts to deter clients from taking them to another developer). All suggestions and questions are sent and responded to via Basecamp.
After three revisions requests, I was ready to begin slicing and coding the design on my local computer. I run WordPress on MAMP locally so that I can tweak the design in a live environment.
Some of the elements added to the Custom Genesis child theme includes additional preset image sizes, a widgetized header area for the main site quote, a Home Page Layout, and widget-ready sidebars and footers.
The next time Anne saw her site, it was live on the BeautifullyArtful test site. She was able to get a real-time view. Of course there was more tweaking, inputting content, and training.
The Final Version
Add-ons included a Blog, a Contact Form, setting up a Google Analytics and Google Webmaster account for Anne to allow her an easier way of tracking her website traffic, Feedburner for her RSS Feed, integrating Constant Contact for her mailing list, and adding Facebook and Twitter to the site. Once everything was finalized, we did a another walk-through to ensure that all was where it should be and worked correctly, then I turned over all control to Anne. She will be launching shortly.
“Creating a new website is a big deal. When it’s your own, you need a design partner to whom you can articulate your vision and then feel confident that they can translate that vision into your online brand. Kristina nailed the look and feel of my website, and helped organize the information so that visitors could easily navigate the links, understand my services and begin a dialogue. She is professional, collaborative and delivers a quality product. I recommend Kristina if you’re desire is a professional website reflective of your unique brand.” – Anne Witkavitch, Anne W Associates
Here’s a sneak peek of the final result: