Theme Tweaks

Elise Chenier’s work is academic – she’s a researcher, an author and a professor. She had a budget set aside for a new website, but it wasn’t a big budget. So we helped her save costs by starting with a theme & focusing on the items that would make a big impact: design & a few theme customizations (like a custom footer).

Professors and Academic Websites

Let’s rewind for a minute and talk about why we developed a new website for Elise in the first place.

Many schools offer a web page to professors, but the format is extremely limiting.

Elise was frustrated with the website that her school offered her – and she knew that she’d lose all of her links when she took a new job. She needed a website where she could invite discussion on blog posts and connect with others in her field.

A private website was the solution

Elise had a Tumblr, a WordPress blog, a Facebook page for a project and one for her professional profile. So many URLs and nothing to connect them all.

Now, with one central website we can showcase her digital projects, talks and published works. Finally you could see her entire body of work in one place.

We also gave peers a way to reach out to Elise about potential collaborations, interviews and other professional opportunities. We’re opening doors with a simple website – now that’s fun.

A Web Style Guide

When you’re starting from scratch with a website design, it’s a good idea to develop a simple 1 page style guide – a visual roadmap of what we wanted certain parts of website could look like.

We focus on styling key elements: text, buttons, links, background colors, photos.

This style guide often goes through several rounds of edits, but once we are all happy, we’re able to design the rest of the website to have a consistent look & feel.

Some of our style guide drafts:

style guide for personal branding style guide for personal brandingelise-chenier-branding-1

A Semi-Custom WordPress Theme

We needed to stick to a budget for this project, so with Elise’s approval, we found the best WordPress theme that suited our needs, and we built on top of it. That gave us time to focus on designing graphics, styling great content, and building a helpful footer section.

We trimmed 40 hours off of the project simply by finding a good compromise between custom & off-the-shelf.

website for academic researcher

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Laura Eagin • August 17, 2016


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