An adventure in a website overhaul for an online magazine.

A website overhaul for an online magazine can be a daunting and horrible task. Reorganizing content and wading through the muck of someone else’s ideas can be really time consuming.

One thing I have never had the opportunity to do in my career is design and develop an online publication. Not that I haven’t wanted to. I just never had a client say, “Hey! I have this publication that I want to put online. Can you give me a hand?”

Early in 2023 I finally got my chance. Dee Ferrero moved from Western Massachusetts to Boiling Springs in 2022 with her husband. I found myself working with her to build a new organization in the Upstate centered around women in leadership. In getting to know one another she mentioned that she had been running this online publication called Western Mass Women Magazine since 2016. Once she heard that I specialized in WordPress website development, she finally said those magic words, “I need to talk to you!”

Turns out the website was in a state of disrepair. A combination of poor design and neglect had made it not just hard to navigate but to look at. It read more like an outdated personal blog than a reputable women’s magazine. I mean, just look at the before screenshots and decide for yourself.

The Avada Page Builder Made it Super Fast.

avada layout builder

We started this project in Early March of 2023. By April 10th it was complete and published. That might be faster than some that have been half the size!

What made it super easy was the page builder in use in WordPress. I created global elements and page layout templates that the post and archive content would just flow to. Category archive pages, 404 error page, search page and individual post pages were all created using the Avada layouts and it simplified just about every part of this project.

I think the new design definitely lends the site a feeling of confidence and professionalism that was lacking in the old site. When a reader comes across something that is easy to use with quality content they develop a sense of trust in that brand and for this client that can manifest in advertisers spending their marketing dollars on this website and creating a recurring revenue. And that’s a big deal!

A responsive layout was super important as well. If your readers can’t access your website on their mobile devices or they have to pinch and zoom to read … well, they aren’t just not going to read, but Google may not even show them your page in search results if it thinks it’s too hard to use.

Building a Website Doesn’t Have to be Big and Scary.

We completed this project in just about 4 weeks and it was right around $3,000. And that includes a clone of the site to run as a South Carolina version coming soon!

If you are even thinking about a new or redesigned website, you should definitely reach out and have a talk. It doesn’t cost you anything to talk through your ideas and feelings. Let’s talk!

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