Tract Association of Friends

Tract Association of FriendsThe Tract Asso­ci­a­tion is ven­er­a­ble Quak­er pub­lish­er dat­ing back to the ear­ly part of the Nine­teenth Cen­tu­ry. They had a web­site but want­ed a new one built with a con­tent man­age­ment sys­tem that would allow for eas­i­er edit­ing. The new site is built in Word­Press. Befit­ting the organization’s ethos, the site is rel­a­tive­ly plain but there’s a lot going on under­neath the sur­face.

Many peo­ple use the site to print out copies of the tracts. There’s a spe­cial print stylesheet – cre­at­ed by the tem­plate design­er and cus­tomized by me – that means print-outs of these pages will be very clean and unclut­tered, per­fect for per­son­al pho­to­copy­ing. There’s the abil­i­ty to make tracts avail­able as PDFs through Scribd and there’s a inter­face in the Word­Press dash­board to allow embed­ding of these in the side­bar.

Discover Thyself / Earlham College

Discover Thyself featuring the Discern-o-Matic QuizDis­cov­er Thy­self is a “dis­cern­ment” site for Quak­er teens. Spon­sored by Earl­ham Col­lege, it fea­tures resources, videos and the all-new “Discer-o-Matic Quiz.” 

The design is all orig­i­nal. We went through six rounds of the con­cept design mock­ups made up on Adobe Fire­works. Because the site is built on Word­Press used as a CMS, Earl­ham Col­lege staff was able to add and arrange con­tent even before the design cod­ing began. The site uses the excel­lent The­mat­ic theme, a blank tem­plate that allows for quite sophis­ti­cat­ed designs using Action Hooks and com­plete CSS markup.

The most excit­ing ele­ment of the site is the “Discern-o-Matic” quiz, which takes users through a series of ques­tions. At the end the ques­tions are reor­ga­nized and pre­sent­ed to the user to help them under­stand what it is they want to do. The quiz is pow­ered using the open-source LimeSur­vey. Results are out­putted via a cus­tom PHP script that polls the LimeSur­vey data­base and out­puts in a nicely-worded and for­mat­ted Word­Press results page. The tem­plates for Lime Sur­vey were altered to mim­ick the look of the rest of the site; the aver­age user won’t notice the pass-off from Word­Press to Lime Sur­vey and back to Word­Press.

In hopes the quiz might go viral, indi­vid­ual results are saved on a unique URL. Users are invit­ed to share their results page via Face­book.

Vis­it Site: http://​www​.dis​cover​thy​self​.org

Catherine Lockwood MFT

Catherine Lockwood, MFTCather­ine Lock­wood is a ther­a­pist in the Los Ange­les area who had built a site in the since-discontinued Google Page Cre­ator ser­vice. It had a nice design but she could nev­er get her domain point­ing to it and she was frus­trat­ed that Google had closed the ser­vice. She wrote me say­ing “I would like to have a web­site address that WORKS. I have nev­er been able to give any­one my address because appar­ent­ly the address is not con­nect­ed to my web­site. So instead I have to tell peo­ple to google me!” 

We rebuilt Catherine’s site using the ever-trusty Word­Press. The col­ors and con­tent were brought over into a fair­ly stan­dard design. And now Cather­ine can print Cather​ine​Lock​woodMFT​.com on her busi­ness cards!

DiMeo Blueberry Farms & Nursery

DiMeo Blueberry FarmsThe DiMeo fam­i­ly owns and oper­ates sev­er­al of the largest blue­ber­ry farms in the world, right here in the “blue­ber­ry cap­i­tal of the world”: Ham­mon­ton, New Jer­sey. They have an exist­ing web­site that is hand-edited. We cre­at­ed a sec­ond site using Word­Press.
On launch it has much of the same con­tent as the oth­er site, but arranged into posts and cat­e­go­rized and tagged for search engine vis­i­bil­i­ty. It also high­lights the DiMeo Blue­ber­ry Farms’ Face­book, Twit­ter and Youtube out­lets. I’ll be inter­est­ed to see how it gets picked up by search engines and how vis­i­tors start to use it



See also:
DiMeo Blue­ber­ry Farms on Mer­chant Cir­cle, Youtube, Face­book and Twit­ter.

ReconRab​bi​.net

ReconRabbiReconRab­bi is a social net­work for rab­bis asso­ci­at­ed with the Recon­struc­tion­ist Rab­bini­cal Col­lege. It is designed to pro­vide ongo­ing edu­ca­tion and net­work­ing for far-flung alum­ni.
It’s a high­ly cus­tomized, member-only site built on the Ning plat­form. The typ­i­cal Ning fea­tures are here: video, pod­casts and mem­ber pro­files. Expand­ed areas include exten­sive train­ing mate­r­i­al for mem­bers. We record­ed and I edit­ed a series of eight screen­casts of approx­i­mate­ly five min­utes each for their Help sec­tion using Screen­flow for Mac; top­ics include sign­ing up, adding dis­cus­sions, using the cus­tomized train­ing mate­r­i­al.
Member-only Site: http://​www​.reconrab​bi​.net/.

Bradley J Winkler LLC

Bradley Winkler LLC Home RemodelingIn ear­ly Decem­ber 2009, I got a call from a prospec­tive client who want­ed me to build a web­site for her husband’s home improve­ment busi­ness. The catch? She want­ed it to be a sur­prise Christ­mas present! She start­ed col­lect­ing pic­tures from his clients and I went to work with a sim­ple but expand­able Word­Press site. Reports are that Brad was thrilled!
See it live: http://​www​.bradley​win​kler​.com/

Philadelphia Metropolis

Metropolis - Philadelphia News and Journalism

Metrop­o­lis is a “news, analy­sis and com­men­tary” site from vet­er­an Philadel­phia reporter Tom Fer­rick (Wikipedia). An alum of The Philadel­phia Inquir­er, Tom’s spent the last half-dozen years talk­ing to every­one who will lis­ten about the future of print and Philly news. He’s done talk­ing and is show­ing what can be done on a bud­get bud­get. From “This is Metrop­o­lis,” the lead arti­cle:

Local news­pa­pers, TV and radio sta­tions are retreat­ing from in-depth cov­er­age of region­al news either due to eco­nom­ic or audi­ence con­sid­er­a­tions.

The retreat has been grad­ual, but no one expects it to stop. The com­pa­ny that owns the region’s largest news­pa­pers — the Inquir­er and Dai­ly News — is in bank­rupt­cy. The size of the edi­to­r­i­al staffs at the papers con­tin­ues to shrink. The prog­no­sis for metro dailies here and else­where is not good. The jour­nal­ism prac­ticed by these papers is still robust, but the eco­nom­ic mod­el that has sus­tained it is erod­ing. If these tra­di­tion­al sources of news fal­ter or fail what will take their place?

The site was built in Mov­able Type. The most promi­nent fea­ture is the slideshow dis­play of fea­tured arti­cles. Tom has seen a sim­i­lar effect on anoth­er jour­nal­ism site and a search found the “Slid­ing Hor­i­zon­tal Ban­ner Rota­tor” at Active Den, a great site to pur­chase pre-built Flash files. Mov­able Type entries are out­fit­ted with cus­tom fields to enter images and links. Mov­able Type then cre­ates a cus­tom XML file for the “Main Sto­ries” feed, which is then picked up and dis­played by the Flash ban­ner. In addi­tion, the site uses Google Adsense to pro­vide income.

Vis­it: Philadel­phia Metrop­o­lis

Con­tin­ue read­ing

Mike’s Precision Carpentry

Mike's Precision CarpentryMichael Oliv­eras is a long-time union car­pen­ter mak­ing the entre­pre­neur­ial jump and start­ing his own busi­ness: Mike’s Pre­ci­sion Car­pen­try, serv­ing the New Jer­sey, Penn­syl­va­nia and Delaware from his shop in Ham­mon­ton, NJ. He came to me look­ing for a web­page to adver­tise his new enter­prise.
It’s a sim­ple design, a typ­i­cal small-business site of half-a-dozen pages. The col­or scheme match­es his busi­ness cards for a bit of brand­ing. Oliv­eras faced a prob­lem typ­i­cal for new busi­ness­es: a lack of good pho­tos. The work he’s done for many years is not tech­ni­cal­ly his own (per the employ­ment con­tracts) so for now the pic­tures are a mix of the few jobs he has done on his own and a few stock images. I’m sure he’ll have a well-rounded port­fo­lio before long and we’ll be able to fill out the site with his own work. In the mean­times, he added a cou­ple of great pic­tures of him and his fam­i­ly on the “About Us” page to give it that per­son­al touch.
See it live: www​.mike​s​pre​ci​sion​car​pen​try​.com