Latest Project: Web 2.0-friendly WordPress Installation
I am pleased to report the launch of my latest web project for a birding tour company. This was a fantastic collaboration between my web team (Katherine Koch, lead designer and Bill Klingensmith, Rob Mauer, and Sean Koch) and the owners of Tropical Birding (a birding tour company based in Quito, Ecuador).
The result is a sophisticated, Web 2.0-friendly WordPress implementation that stretches the limits of what WP can do as a content management system.
Our mission was simple: craft a sexy, eye-catching site that gets visitors where they are going fast, then add video, stunning photos, and social media. We customized the framework and functionality around the client’s top-notch content, so the pages are filled with sharp photography, videos, and tour descriptions as well as awesome tables, maps, forms, and graphics.
One of the greatest challenges of this site was to develop a tour page that effectively displays the gobs of information related to each tour. Some of the tour info is static–it rarely changes; we kept that in the main content area. Other tour information can change annually if not more often. We decided the best approach would be a tabbed accordion menu on the left sidebar to hold all the tour-specific information on dates, prices, extensions, trip reports, etc. The client has full access to update this information in the custom fields area of each tour page.
Other site highlights include:
- Custom css overlay to enhance the core Thesis theme
- Custom double navigation designed to get site visitors to their preferred tour destination immediately.
- Google Maps implementation for site visitors who prefer to surf a world map to find their desired tour destinations
- Sortable database table of tours for site visitors who prefer to browse tours by date, type, region, etc.
- Interactive forms: registration form, contact form, and feedback form
- Custom slideshows with NextGen gallery and Monoslideshow
- Multi-author Blog
- Full social media integration (Sociable and MeLikey plugins, Twitter feed on home page)
- Video testimonials embedded in sidebar
- Live chat installation to help client service site visitors in real time.
I always say that the best websites are built on a “three-legged stool” of great design, great functionality, and great content. It was truly a pleasure to build a website with all three. Thanks to the owners of Tropical Birding for bringing me the opportunity to improve their online business, and to my web team for making it happen.