To build a new and improved website for nonprofit Vega Productions in one weekend, approximately 48 hours. This was a volunteer effort sponsored by 48 in 48, a nonprofit organization that builds free websites for other nonprofits.
- Website Design
- Website Build
Please Note: All screenshots reflect how these web pages looked the last time I touched them, and do not necessarily indicate how the live website renders now or in the future.
Having recently moved back to the Twin Cities after several years, it’s been important that I make an active effort to meet people. The WordPress community has been a great organizing element for this purpose. When the 48 in 48 opportunity came up, I knew it was a wonderful opportunity to give back using my skillset, and to hang out with other WordPress people doing the same.
Close to my Heart
I was so pleased to be paired with a nonprofit that helps underfunded school music programs. Vega Productions works to get instruments into the hands of students who otherwise would not be able to participate in band or orchestra. As a former band geek myself, I know that being involved in music is a super positive, healthy and fun extracurricular. Especially for the clumsy creative types, like me.
I was even more pleased when I discovered that Vega had a lovely logo and color palette as well as a handful of high-quality stock images to work with.
Even better, the writing was already completed. I still couldn’t help but to separate some of the ideas into chunks for easier online readability and to inject a bit of personality. I mean. It’s what I do.
48 in 48 uses the collection of Beaver Builder premium plugins to simplify building a website in a weekend. I’d used the Divi pagebuilder for another client project, and found some definite advantages to using a pagebuilder. I was happy to discover that Beaver Builder is an even better option, in many ways.
While I love to hand-code, page-builders do make it easy to visually lay out complicated pages quickly. And there is usually a lot of functionality built in, which decreases the amount of plugins and coding necessary for customization.
The biggest reason I’ve moved to using a page builder in my workflow is because they make it so much easier for clients to update the website after it’s launched.
This is one of the pages I put together after the event because there wasn’t time to include it in the 48 hours. I wanted a place to display photos of the ways to can get involved with Vega’s mission. (Truth be told, I also wanted the main menu to have the same number of items on each side of the logo.)
I gave this page an individual contact form too. Sometimes having a specific contact form for a specific purpose – even if in reality it’s going to the same general email address – makes it feel like you’re not just sending your message into the abyss.
…Or maybe it’s just me. But from a practical purpose – having an individual contact form for a specific purpose is an easy way to organize messages by subject and send them to the appropriate person or department.
Also note: Since the actual website uses parallax on the hero images – the little boy’s face is not covered during the entirety of the user’s experience on the page. Nor is the man’s head cut off.
I know contact pages aren’t that exciting. But I wanted an opportunity to show this photo. And to point out one of the ways I used the copy on the original site in a new (and more effective) way on this site.
Previously, there were these great facts about how learning to play music is good for your brain in all sorts of ways. But it was in the middle of a paragraph, surrounded by a couple of other paragraphs.
I didn’t want this quality information to be skimmed over. So, I broke up each tidbit and used them on the hero graphic at the top of several pages where they’re more likely to be read.
Since this was a volunteer project, I wasn’t able to perfect things to my satisfaction. Even with finishing up in the couple weeks after 48 in 48, I still had to be mindful of how I spent my volunteer hours polishing off the site.
Overall, I think it looks great. Especially, considering the circumstances under which it was built. But me being me, I could spend at least another 48 hours tweaking.
I’m super grateful to have participated in this event. I met wonderful people, supported a worthy cause and pushed my perfectionist self to not overthink and just get it done. Woohoo!