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Archive of posts with the Community topic

Closed vs Open Communities (and why we choose one over the other for The Theme Foundry)

by Melissa Hill on April 8, 2016 / Leave a comment

You can make a pretty good case that an engaged community ultimately forms the basis of any healthy business. At The Theme Foundry, we have several levels of community. We have our premium support forums here, where we give help and think through solutions with our users. We have our community support forums that we maintain on WordPress.org — which anyone can access to get help with Make. And we have specialized communities — like our Slack channel for Make Plus Professional members.

For the most part, due to the sensitive nature of the topics posted in our forums, we’ve chosen to keep our communities closed. Our members overwhelmingly prefer this for privacy and security reasons. Our Slack communities are more akin to “masterminds” and we try to foster collaboration and share in one another’s successes. So far, we’ve chosen to embrace the closed model for our communities, but lately, we’ve also been considering a more open community for Make users to jam on their site ideas and needs.

In last week’s episode of #CMGRHangout, I had the opportunity to chat with other community managers on the subject of open vs. closed communities. Watch the replay here:

And catch up on the Twitter feed from the show on Storify.

Do you maintain an online community for your business? How do you feel about the open vs. closed model?

Maira Martins #iusemake

by Melissa Hill on January 7, 2016 / 3 comments

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Maira Martins is a Brazillian photographer living in Stockholm, Sweden. She specializes in wedding and portrait photography, defining her style as natural, honest and emotional. On her about page, she explains, “I don’t want to be yet another photographer, shooting yet another wedding… that’s just boring. I am looking for meaningful stories and evocative images.”

Martins recently redesigned her website using Make, and despite not having a background in development or design, managed to capture both her style and purpose with effortless perfection. Her website and blog are full of small touches that convey her personality and philosophy to potential clients.

“I am totally in love with what I crafted for my business using Make,” Martins told us. “I have used other [themes and frameworks] before but was tired of them being so heavy, you know? Everything takes hundreds of clicks to achieve and the website was slow.”

Part of what makes Martins website so wonderful is how she’s leveraged different aspects of the page builder, along with the content features of Make and Make Plus. Martins explains, “I upgraded to Make Plus because I wanted the Post List section, but I ended up finding lots of other things I love and had no idea I needed!”

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Her homepage and portfolio galleries use the Posts List section, along with different taxonomy tags to filter her favorite posts and categorize the types of photography she specializes in. She brilliantly uses the Gallery Slider on her photobooth page, and she makes liberal use of the Format Builder. “The Icons! I love them! I’m always using the hearts on my blog posts and have little diamonds on my pricing list”

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Using Make and Make Plus, Martins also plans for expanding the current site. “One thing I’m planning to do is to create a one page ‘mini site’ with info about my commercial and editorial work! It will be just a page on my normal site, but I’m planning to try some Parallax and use the Banner, Columns, and Posts Lists sections. I have already drafted on paper how I want this page to be and it shouldn’t take me more than 3 minutes to create it with Make Plus.”

Martins enthusiasm for Make and Make Plus lies in its ease of use and efficiency. “I think Make is brilliant! First off, it’s easy to use. Anybody can customize a website and actually understand what they are doing. Secondly, I discovered there is something liberating about Make’s minimalism. I love that I don’t need to struggle with millions of options. All the options are actually linked to my own creativity.” Not only has the redesign impacted the way she showcases her work, it’s also rekindled her love of blogging.

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“The simple but powerful approach of Make has taken me off that bad habit of constantly tweaking my website instead of writing. I now blog more often, because I’m finally free to focus on my content! And my wedding inquiries kinda doubled now that my website is looking amaaazing!”

If you’re looking for a photographer in Europe, check out Maira Martin’s services or follow her on Instagram.

How do you use Make? If you’d like to be featured on our blog or in our #iusemake showcase, reach out via email, Facebook, or Twitter.

An introverted community manager’s guide to surviving WordCamp US

by Melissa Hill on December 21, 2015 / Comments are closed

Since I’m the community manager at The Theme Foundry and I can get to Philly in just a few hours and on one tank of gas, it made sense for me to attend the inaugural WordCamp event earlier this month.

If we’ve met in person, you know I’m pretty introverted. Conferences, and especially high-energy conferences, can take their toll. So instead of writing another standard #wcus recap, because I’m sure you’ve read a million of them by now (Learn Javascript, Deeply, right?), I’d like to offer some insight on how to find connection and value at WordCamp when you’re a hopeless introvert.

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The view from my Instagram at #WCUS. That’s a lot of WordCampers!

Make friends with at least one person who knows everyone else.

While I’ve been involved with WordPress on the ancillary (as a writer, blogger, user, etc.) for years, I’m newer to the WordCamp scene. It’s awkward to go to an event alone and not know anyone though! What I’ve discovered about WordCamps in particular, is that there are always a few people there who actually make a concerted effort to notice those loners and reach out. Inspired by those connections I’ve made, I’ve decided to make a special effort in 2016 to introduce myself to anyone who seems to be struggling to find their footing at WordCamps.

So if you find yourself at a WordCamp I happen to be at, and you look lonely and lost, I’m going to find you. And I’m going to introduce you to that one person I know who knows everyone else.

Attend the talks that interest you, but don’t panic if you miss one (or six).

Courtney OCallaghan

While at WordCamp US I attended a handful of really fabulous talks — and missed more than a handful because I was having fabulous conversations with other folks in the hall, dining room, and around town.

Just a few of the amazing talks I watched included:

What I learned when my blog post went viral – With humor and humility, Happiness Engineer and comedy writer Dennis Hong shared the pitfalls and rewards of accidentally creating viral content.

Open Source and Museums – My inner super-nerd was fascinated by the challenges Mel Choyce and Courtney OCallaghan overcame by embracing open-source culture, technology, and practices when faced with the task of digitizing the Freer and Sackler Galleries entire collection.

Teaching the next generation of WordPress bloggers and hackers – Charlie Reisinger shared an amazing talk about how he and his IT department at Penn Manor School District in Pennsylvania gave students a voice and a platform by choosing WordPress and other open-source technology. The results were nothing short of inspiring.

All the talks that I missed were recorded anyway, and I was able to catch up later (I’m still catching up). I get the FOMO that introverts sometimes struggle with — especially if you just need a quiet break. But it doesn’t have to be that way at WordCamp. While it’s awesome to support the amazing speakers who are innovating in WordPress, you shouldn’t pressure yourself to do ALL the things.

Approach the speakers (and developers, designers, community organizers, etc.) that you admire. Say thanks!

I tried to personally thank the speakers of all the talks I watched, though I missed a few. I also made sure to reach out to WordPress community members that I’ve interacted with on Twitter, in Slack, etc. People go to WordCamp to network, after all. I’ve learned through experience that a simple hello at a WordCamp can lead to business ideas, partnerships, brainstorming sessions, and professional development. Introducing yourself to strangers is hard! Make it easier by just saying, “I saw your talk and thought it was great! Thanks so much for that!”

Use this break from the confines of the desk to move your body! In fact, move all over Philly…

Sometimes reaching out and making friends leads to wacky misadventures. Like walking six miles across Philadelphia at night, experiencing falafel fail, and crashing sponsor after parties with fellow geeky developers (you know who you are! Let’s do it again next year!).

My advice: wear comfortable shoes.

Come ready for surprises. And bring extra bags for the surprises.

Almost every time I introduced myself as a member of The Theme Foundry team, I heard, “Oh! You guys built Make! I love that theme!” Which was super encouraging and exciting. The fact that The Theme Foundry is now synonymous with Make means we’re doing our jobs here. I’m going to work on getting more Makers at WordCamps and meetups in 2016 and if you end up going, I hope you’ll find me and say hello!

One of the differences between WordCamp US and the smaller WordCamps I’ve attended is how busy and crowded the sponsor hallway was. The sponsors really came all out, showing off their enthusiasm and knowledge of WordPress and really engaging the community. I learned a ton — especially about hosting, security, and the Automattic suite of products.

The swag haul alone could have filled another bag and I came home with nearly an entire wardrobe — shirts, hats, socks, and gloves. I’d like to challenge the 2016 sponsors to print up pants of some variety — leggings (my vote!) or sweats? — so I can be fully clothed in swag when I leave.

Notable promotions included the SiteGround Christmas socks and GoDaddy Pro commemorative coins that Michelle Schulp designed. I happened to pull a special black coin from the bag — for which I was rewarded a new Blue Yeti Microphone (was hoping to snag a GoPro to attach to my motorcycle! I’ll console myself by starting a podcast).

And finally, I was surprised by how much I ended up enjoying myself. It’s always difficult for me to venture outside my bubble. One reason I love our distributed team is that I don’t have to interact with the outside world. While the idea of attending a conference with a thousand other people, in a city I don’t know very well is scary, I was surprised by how quickly it is to find a rich and diverse community at WordCamp.

Tickets for WCUS 2016 are already available. Will I see you next year?

WPCharitable & Studio 164a: #iusemake

by Melissa Hill on November 10, 2015 / Comments are closed

Screenshot 2015-11-06 12.17.10

We’ve featured nonprofit organizations that put Make to use for the greater good in this #iusemake series on the blog before. Today we’re excited to have the folks at Studio 164a — a design and development studio out of Australia. They recently released Charitable, a WordPress plugin designed to help nonprofits achieve even greater success online — and they built their own site using Make & Make Plus.

From the Charitable website:

Thousands of non-profits choose WordPress because it’s free, easy to use and boasts an unparalleled collection of plugins that extend its capabilities.

Charitable is a fundraising plugin that helps non-profits build awareness, empower ambassadors, and raise more money – all with their own website.

Tell us a little bit about your business and what you do?

Studio 164a is a 2-man team in Darwin, Australia. Wes is our Director of Design and helps our clients (a mix of non-profits, startups and social entrepreneurs) create unique brand identities and goal-driven websites. Eric is the Director of Code, and most of his time goes towards building Charitable, a donation plugin.

We launched Charitable just a few months ago, after many discussions with non-profits who were frustrated with traditional fundraising software. We created Charitable so that non-profits have a powerful fundraising solution that plugs directly into WordPress, without any transaction fees.

Even though there are a few other donation options out there for WordPress, we feel like there is still a lot of room to help people solve problems that other plugins aren’t solving. For example, we have a peer-to-peer fundraising extension, which offers a really powerful way for non-profits to grow their fundraising efforts.

Why did you pick Make & Make Plus for the website? Were you looking for specific features?

We needed a website to show off Charitable’s features and sell extensions. We wanted to speed up the development process, so rather than building a site from scratch we decided to look at a few of the page builder themes. Make caught our eye because of its combination of simplicity, flexibility, and ease of use.

Once we started using Make, we realised we could really use the features of Make Plus, so upgrading was a no-brainer.

Make’s integration with Easy Digital Downloads made the process of setting up an eCommerce store quick and easy.

When it came time to relaunching the Studio 164a website, we didn’t think twice about using Make again.

How long did it take you to put a site together? What was the process like? Any favorite plugins?

It took us about three weeks to put the Charitable site together, although it is constantly evolving.

We put together some initial ideas of how we wanted each page to look, and then the process of implementing them was fast and enjoyable. It allowed Eric, our Director of Code, to spend most of his time building Charitable, rather than being held up with website development.

Some of our favourite plugins include:

Ninja Forms
Yoast SEO
WP Rocket
Jetpack

When it came to rebuilding the Studio 164a website, we chose to use Make again. We iterated live on a staging site, and launched within a week!

Has the new site made an impact on the business/brand?

We only had a basic landing page before, so we don’t have much to compare it to, but wpcharitable.com has certainly helped us position Charitable as a professional, reliable fundraising platform.

We’ve been able to use Make to quickly create landing pages where we can focus on specific segments of our target market.

How can we follow you?

We love connecting with people in the WordPress/non-profit/fundraising arenas:

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wpcharitable
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/wpcharitable

For Studio 164a news and updates, connect with us here:

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Studio164a/
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Studio164a

If you’re using Make & Make Plus as the foundation for your site, we’d love to hear about it! Reach out on Twitter using the hashtag #iusemake to grab our attention!

BrianFarkas.com by Registered Creative #iusemake

by Melissa Hill on October 20, 2015 / Comments are closed

brianfarkas

Registered Creative is a design shop in Durham, North Carolina. When their web designer and developer, Mark Branly, shared the site they had recently put together for local political candidate, Brian Farkas, we were impressed by the team’s ability to organize a lot of information in a very readable, accessible, and elegant way. The one-page site is simple, straight-forward, but remarkably effective. Better yet, this site has the foundation to scale when ready, which is why we love one-pagers.

Mark was kind enough to share a bit of their process for building the site, including why they chose Make & Make Plus for the groundwork.

Tell us a little bit about your websites/brand/business?

We’re a design shop. We build brands, develop content, craft print pieces, and construct websites. We problem-solve for a variety of clients, including local political candidates like Brian Farkas. Our website projects are team-driven. So we bring our full set of skills including design, content, and code to each site to deliver the best value for our clients. Brian’s site is a great example of how that teamwork and client collaboration comes to fruition.

Why did you pick Make & Make Plus for the website? Were you looking for specific features?

We had a lot of features in mind during framework shopping, for this particular client and for others. We wanted something that would make it easy for our designers and developers to collaborate, that provided good support, that would be easy for clients to get a handle on if they require any editing control, and something that could handle a variety of modern designs from simple to complex. That’s just the tip of the iceberg in a list of qualities we sought out. It was a major strong suit that Make & Make Plus had informative documentation and reviews available. We found that similar products were too marketing-driven and left out a lot of detail. We felt confident based on our research that Make would give us a lot of what we were looking for.

How long did it take you to put a site together? What was the process like?

All in all, the build process took about a day. We had already developed and finalized content with the client. So from there, we made a plan about what would work best stylistically for the content in context of Brian’s professional field. This site was our first experience using Make, and we were very pleased with both how quickly we were able to execute on that plan and, of course, the results.

Has the new site made an impact on the web presence/business/brand?

Since this is a fairly new branding position for Brian Farkas and he has a while to go in the political race, it’s hard to analyze the impact just yet. We’re keeping track of feedback and data, and what we’ve seen so far leads us to be very optimistic.

How can we follow you?

Registered Creative is on Twitter. Or follow Brian Farkas on Twitter.

If you’re using Make & Make Plus as the foundation for your site, we’d love to hear about it! Reach out on Twitter using the hashtag #iusemake to grab our attention!

400k Make users + a few of our new favorites

by Melissa Hill on October 13, 2015 / Comments are closed

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Make has passed another milestone — earlier this week we surpassed 400,000 downloads! We really appreciate each and every one of you who has downloaded, tested, built a site with Make & Make Plus and is sticking with us through the long haul. We have exciting ideas for the future of Make and are looking forward to doubling that number of users in the coming months.

As Make matures and gets better, so do sites built with it — and to illustrate that point, here are just a few of the amazing site’s we’ve stumbled upon in the last few weeks using Make.

wpbff

Shannon at WP-BFF is on a mission to teach solopreneurs how to wrangle WordPress (and use Make!).

hannahdormido

Hannah Dormido is a part-time journalist, part-time mermaid.

frumik

Content & SEO is the speciality of freelance WordPress specialist Susanne Lund Mikkelsen.

eastofmemphis

East of Memphis is the solo project of Nashville singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Rinehart.

pam

Pacific Asset Management is a registered investment advisor in Washington.

Thanks again for all your support, encouragement, and enthusiasm around Make & Make Plus! Neither would be nearly as exciting if not for the amazing community of WordPress users and developers surrounding the project. Here’s to another 400,00 downloads!

Do you use Make? If you’d like your site to be featured on our blog, use the hashtag #iusemake and let us know on Twitter!

Slack is changing the way we communicate with customers

by Melissa Hill on September 22, 2015 / Comments are closed

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It should surprise no one that The Theme Foundry team has a soft spot for WordPress developers and designers.

They are our people.

The folks who are in the trenches building client sites are often the ones that push our themes to the limits, offering invaluable feedback, ideas, and pointing out areas for improvement. They’re a theme shop’s dream community and we spend a lot of time and effort checking in on them.

After switching from HipChat to Slack for team communications earlier this year, we knew we wanted to test the waters with some sort of customer channel, so back in June we created a group for Make Plus Developer customers and sent out invitations. Here’s what we learned in the last three months from daily chats with these users.

Human interaction is the missing link

We thought we had a close connection with our community through our support forums, and between Twitter and Facebook. But the nature of email, Facebook and forum posts is the inevitable lag between replies. Slack has given us the ability to engage in deeper, more meaningful conversations. It’s a place for us to solve problems, revise work, and brainstorm solutions for users — which results in a greater understanding of their needs.

Slack shares a photo along with every message sent, and we’ve all gotten to know the faces behind our developer’s names. Users tell us when they launch new sites using Make and we get to chat through their processes and recommendations — getting to know their work also. A few weeks ago I received an email asking for a referral to a developer for a specific project. I was able to toss it to the group and within a few minutes, had half a dozen recommendations for folks who specialize in just that sort of job. So while the group is still small, it’s laser-focused, and has helped us serve our larger community of WordPress users.

One on one communication

Initially we were concerned about opening up our tiny team to what we feared could become an onslaught of demanding support requests and distracting personal messages. But — and perhaps this is because of the type of people we invited to our channel — the reality is that we’ve still been able to funnel support through to our forums. Setting expectations for the Slack channel has been key to managing it successfully. We’re still evolving those expectations also, with input from the community.

For example, seeing the #general channel littered with feature requests, a member suggested we create a new channel to capture all those ideas, rather than risk them being lost in a sea of chats. This one small change makes it easier for the team to review and prioritize new developments for Make and Make Plus.

Private conversations have also increased in our channel — and based on our Slack stats, don’t always happen between Theme Foundry staff and users. Rather our community is chatting amongst themselves, sharing resources, tips, and tricks. It’s given Scott and Corey the chance to have deeper conversations about design and development, while I’ve been able to direct our community to outside WordPress resources, and connect like-minded customers for networking and collaboration.

A basis for community

We’re still working through how Slack might figure in our broader user base, or whether it would be as effective if the group were significantly larger than it already is. The benefit of having a team like ours though, is that we can experiment and move on quickly if a new tool doesn’t prove useful. For now, Slack is definitely changing the way we communicate with our users — for the better — and we’re excited about growing our developer community and getting to know them better, personally.

Are you a Make Plus developer? Did you miss your invitation? Drop us an email and we’ll get you set up on the channel.

Jeffrey Donenfeld and Make — adventures in blogging

by Melissa Hill on September 8, 2015 / Comments are closed

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Living vicariously through the good people using our themes is just one perk of being on The Theme Foundry team, which is why we’re so thrilled to see Jeffrey Donenfeld’s site done up with Make & Make Plus. Jeffrey is an adventurer, photographer, consultant, and more — and documents all the details of his international adventures with amazing photos and stories. Read more

C4 Atlanta uses Make & Make Plus to support local arts initiatives #iusemake

by Melissa Hill on August 25, 2015 / Comments are closed

C4 Atlanta uses Make & Make Plus

One way to measure the effectiveness of a site is the impact it makes in the real-world community. We’ve been watching C4 Atlanta’s new site come together over the past few months, and recently caught up with Joe Winter, a developer behind the project, which is now powered by Make & Make Plus — for an overview on how they created this community hub for local artists.

Tell us a little bit about your organization?

C4 Atlanta is a nonprofit business incubator for artists and small arts organizations. Our mission: to connect arts entrepreneurs to the people, skills and tools they need to build a successful artistic career in metro Atlanta. We teach artists professional practices and offer resources to help artists earn a living making art.

Recently we began a new fiscal sponsorship program, which we call ArtsForce. Through fiscal sponsorship, artists can raise money for creative projects that carry a public benefit without having to launch a new nonprofit organization from scratch. Through ArtsForce, we needed to offer artists the ability to raise money for their projects by offering them a project page on our site that they could use to make it easy for donors to give online. Using Make together with some plugins and a little bit of coding wizardry, we built a Custom Post Type to accomplish our objectives. Make made it easy for us to build an archive page that displays our currently active projects.

Why did you pick Make & Make Plus for the website? Were you looking for specific features?

We chose Make & Make Plus in part because we were looking for a theme that made it easy to lay out pages the way we wanted them laid out. We looked at some other themes available with a “drag-and-drop” or “WYSIWYG” interface, but they were either unwieldy or far out of our budget. Make & Make Plus offers an interface that my colleagues could easily learn and falls within our budget.

This is the third major iteration of our website. In our first iteration back in 2010, we were just getting started as an organization, so we used one of the free themes from the WordPress repository. Our second iteration used a very widely used and highly regarded theme that later updated to a WYSIWYG interface with a pricing structure that was far out of our budget. We put a lot of effort into trying to make what quickly became an expensive and obsolete theme work. We learned a lot about what we wanted and didn’t want out of a theme.

c4atlanta

How long did it take you to put a site together? What was the process like?

You could say that our current site is five years in the making; C4 Atlanta just recently celebrated its fifth anniversary since its founding. But to the spirit of the question, from the moment we decided to use Make and created the initial dev site, it probably took about three months to put the whole site together.

We began by thinking first of the various audiences we serve and how we can make the website easier for them to navigate our programs. Like many nonprofit organizations, we have many stakeholders to keep in mind: clients, members, donors, institutional funders, and others. To think about tackling this issue, I referred back to an article that asked the question, “If Google were a nonprofit, what would its website look like?” I didn’t quite follow the advice offered in the article, but the question gave me pause. The first draft of our home page quickly became a mishmash, and I wound up throwing the whole thing out and starting over a few short weeks away from the launch date.

One question we asked was whether we wanted to continue using Gravity Forms as our primary commerce plugin or if we wanted to switch to Woocommerce. The real question was whether we wanted to continue using single payment forms or switch to a shopping cart. Ultimately, we determined that all the transactions made through our site were single transactions. Therefore, a shopping cart solution did not make sense for us. Our entire staff is also now very familiar with Gravity Forms, so less training would be involved. (Note: Both Gravity Forms & WooCommerce are supported by Make & Make Plus.)

For the inside pages, we evaluated our existing site to make sure we knew what we wanted to keep and what we wanted to rethink entirely. Most of our site map had to be reworked entirely. But we were able to migrate and reuse most of the content from what we had at the time. We found that Make works very well with Shortcodes Ultimate and Gravity Forms to help us build a more simple but visually appealing website. Finally, we used WP-Types to help us build out the Fiscally Sponsored Project post type.

Has the new site made an impact on the web presence of C4 Atlanta?

It may be too soon to tell whether there has been an impact on our brand. We have received a lot of positive feedback, especially from people who were familiar with our old website. However, thanks to Make, we were able to offer an attractive way to present fiscally sponsored projects. I have seen several artists with fiscally sponsored projects advertise links to their project pages. It helps our brand, and — more importantly — it helps them raise the money they need for their projects.

How can we follow you? Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.?

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

If you’re using Make & Make Plus as the foundation for your site, we’d love to hear about it! Reach out on twitter using the hashtag #iusemake to grab our attention!

How YeahDave.com rebranded and relaunched in 30 days with Make Plus

by Melissa Hill on July 29, 2015 / Comments are closed

yeahdave

Martyn Bromley is a developer we’ve spent some time getting to know via the Slack channel that we’ve set up for our Make Plus Developer subscribers. He consistently blows us away by how he pushes the boundaries of what’s possible with Make & Make Plus. When he shared the new site he put together for best-selling author, Dave Romanelli, we knew wanted to hear about his workflow for an #iusemake blog post.

From the Herosite website:

“We work one on one with focused entrepreneurs to help develop their online business, powerful websites, digital products, creative branding and marketing.

We remove the technical barriers you normally face while building an online business, so you can stop wasting valuable time trying to be your own IT department and start injecting more fuel into your venture.”

herosite

(Herosite.co is a Make-based site also!)

Tell us a little bit about your business and your client…

I’ve been working with WordPress for 8 years and used to run the usual client based WebDev shop, pitch/build/handover repeat, building sites using various themes and plugins. Less than a year ago I redefined my business and have been trying a new approach based on “teach a man to fish,” so much of my work has shifted over to consultancy for people who sort of know what they should be doing with their online business, but need some help getting the most out of the tools available to them. I now promote my consultancy as “A personal trainer for your online businesses”.

My client, best selling author Dave Romanelli (aka.Yeah Dave!) had a somewhat “vintage” bespoke website that housed his online courses and blog which was not at all mobile friendly. He was looking to move over to WordPress and relaunch the site to increase membership signups for his series of happiness and wellbeing courses. Make provided the perfect clean and stylish design he was looking for, and The Theme Foundry’s excellent sister product, Memberful supplied the integration tools needed to provide members with access to his courses and link both Mailchimp autoresponders and payment integration all in one.

booksyeahdave

Why did you pick Make & Make Plus for the website? Were you looking for specific features?

I chose Make as my “Forever Theme” back when I decided to focus my business on WordPress consultancy and training as it enables me to coach my clients using a consistent page builder. When every site has a different theme with various settings it makes teaching very difficult. And most importantly, the fantastic layout results my clients can achieve very early in the process (without relying on hundreds of shortcodes) means they see much quicker results from their efforts. Using Make as the foundation for all my client sites and training courses means I’ve chosen slimplicity over a million different features that never get used and clients work better with some constraints, they learn quicker and feel more in control of their sites once we’ve finished their training.

How long did it take you to put a site together? What was the process like?

We planned to to be live in 30 days, although I was being very conservative as moving the entire site content—including 16 audio courses—over to WordPress actually happened in less than 48 hours. I put this down to Make’s page builder and it’s ability to create consistent layouts and duplicate them very quickly.

The core site was 90% complete within a week, which is my usual timescale for a conversion. The second week focused on integration with Memberful and setting up the site with additional functionality for members. Finally, we spent time refining the user onboarding process with Mailchimp, and then soft launched to a small group of existing members who had been successfully transitioned over to the new site. All, as planned, just in time for the launch of Dave’s new ‘Soothing Anxiety’ online course.

Has the new site made an impact on your client’s business?

Prior to the update YeahDave!.com was a relic, a homage to another era of web design and development. With a complete makeover—WordPress, Make, and Memberful have catapulted Dave’s online business into the “here and now” (something he likes to remind people of in his modern meditation courses). His online presence is now more accessible to his growing mobile user base, and followers of his books and blog now have access to his written and audio content on all their devices thanks to Make’s default responsive design. This has helped drive page time and readership up even in the first few weeks of going live. Combined with a social media strategy to drive signups for new and existing courses, the business is on track to grow like never before.


You can follow Martyn and Herosite.co on Twitter and take a look at the case study over at Herosite which details the full process of creating a membership site using WordPress, Make and Memberful.

And be sure to check out Dave’s Twitter stream also, @yeahdave.

If you’re using Make & Make Plus as the foundation for your site, we’d love to hear about it! Reach out on twitter using the hashtag #iusemake to grab our attention!