the art & adventures of tracy durnell

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January 29, 2010

 

Work Website Posted!

I am so excited and relieved to finally be finished with my website overhaul for work! I started work on it in earnest in mid July, with many breaks in between as I had to switch to other projects.

The old website used tables and ugly out of date code with a bland layout, tiny project photos, ugly feature images, colors that didn't complement the company's logo and identity, and an unclear focus that confused potential clients. Left, old homepage, right, old service page.
original homepage and service page

My goals were to:
  • improve SEO,
  • develop a style complementary to the company's identity,
  • refocus content to more accurately reflect our work,
  • update the code to be cleaner, easier to update, and adherent to current webstandards.


I got to try a bunch of things I hadn't gotten to before, including sIFR text replacement, using php to construct the pages, and a little bit of fine-tuning javascript add ons (gallery slideshow and scrollable project list).

I started off thinking about the site's structure, and reorganized the division of projects to be more logical to laypeople like myself. We discussed what new pages we wanted to add - a blog and a page about our sustainable practices.

To begin, I designed the homepage, which grew from the selected option (below) to the final page at watershedco.com. Funnily, I got stuck around permutation 4 for quite a while while I moved on to designing the service and project pages.
progression of homepage design

Final homepage (screen capture in firefox 3):
final homepage design, screen cap in FF3

When I had a good feel for how the homepage would look, I started designing the subpages. I divided the meat of the site into sections - wetlands, streams, planning, etc, and each of those sections has a landing page listing services and projects.
steps in service page design

Final service page (screen capture in firefox 3):
final service page design

I started gathering content, since I wanted a description, statistics, and photo slideshow for each project. I wound up writing more myself than I thought I would at first. Also, I had to research options for the features I wanted - photo slideshow, text replacement, and a way to display projects. Originally we had been going to stick with our old webhost, which support asp - but not, I discovered after spending hours teaching myself about master pages, asp.net. Terrible, ancient hosting. Thankfully I convinced my boss to upgrade our hosting. That way I got to use .php instead, which I hadn't used before but now wholeheartedly embrace.

Finally, writing the code (which I prefer to do from scratch), testing, creating styles for print, mobile, and iphone viewing, and the launch!

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comments:

Wow! It's really interesting to get a synopsis on the creation of a (your) website. Mind boggling.
# posted by Blogger Maureen : February 5, 2010 at 9:40 AM

 


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