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Archive of posts with the Community topic

Just how customizable is Make & Make Plus?

By Melissa Hill on June 3, 2015

How marketing agency, Captains of Industry used Make & Make Plus as a foundation for designing and developing their highly customized site.

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In the right hands, Make & Make Plus can be the foundation for a truly customized site. Just look at the new website for marketing agency Captains of Industry that used Make & Make Plus to get a jumpstart on development, and create a truly bespoke website for their content marketing agency (and in only a few weeks!).

Captains of Industry works with a variety of organizations—mainly B2B—on the development of their brand and both online and offline content. “Our work helps clients build meaningful relationships with their important customers and stakeholders,” explained Ted Dillon, Managing Producer. “Our content marketing approach pulls the right customers to our clients’ brands and engages them on a deeper level than traditional marketing. We believe that the cornerstone of traditional marketing—the idea of making people want stuff—has become increasingly irrelevant. So the mainstay of our work is just the opposite: make stuff that people want.”

“In the spring of 2015 we decided to do a refresh of our website based on analytics gathered over the previous 12 months. We saw opportunities to consolidate pages and messages, make it easier for potential customers to find the right information, and improve the quality of our web design. Our website is the face of our business, and a declaration of our abilities as a marketing partner. It’s important to Captains that we have a website that’s exceptionally designed, follows clear and provocative UX conventions, is easily editable. This is all in the service of clearly communicating our value and capabilities to prospective clients.”

The team initially read about Make in an article on the recent redesign of Wired.com, which was built on top of Make’s page builder. “Captains is always looking for new technology and platforms that can add depth to our work — in this case, the flexibility to meet the requirements of our page templates and designs. Make Plus offered that.”

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“We started with information architecture. We reviewed web analytics and copy and made quick decisions with a small team about what to keep, scrap and adapt.”

At that point, they jumped into designing by prototyping using Make & Make Plus rather than Photoshop. “The Customizer and page-by-page features of Make Plus allowed our designs and code to co-mingle, creating an easy framework to optimize desktop, tablet and mobile designs.”

And then they asked their developer to work some extra magic. “There were a couple places where we wanted to incorporate special functionality that went beyond Make & Make Plus—like an always-mobile navigation and detailed homepage slider. Creating a Make child theme and working within a clear code architecture made that process easy for our developer.”

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How has the redesign impacted the brand? “Early feedback shows the clean design and simple architecture has helped more clearly communicate our value and act as a proof point for our capabilities.”

Which is important for a marketing agency like theirs, laser-focused on solving tough communications challenges in unconventional ways. And now, their website reflects their marketing philosophies and messages. “Consumers want tailored information and stories that are deeper than what’s being sold. The most successful marketing provides valuable, entertaining and shareable content that educates, fosters intimacy, and never interrupts. We focus on how we can build relationships prior to and beyond purchases; communicate both value and values; and shape opinions across entire sectors. That’s how we practice content marketing. It’s not for everybody, but we think we’re pretty good at it.”

You can follow the Captains on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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 Star Treatments uses Make & Make Plus to support the work of their creative nonprofit

By Melissa Hill on May 27, 2015

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When Make Plus Developer David Wilson sent us the link to Star Treatments we instantly fell in love with this outside-the-box charity organization and were thrilled that he was able to quickly put together an elegant, functional website to showcase this amazing group and raise awareness and funds to support kids going through chemotherapy treatment.

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From Star Treatments website:

“What happens when the nearest Children’s Cancer treatment center is 400 miles away? Things such as the cost of gas back and forth, a car breaking down, or even taking time off from work could make things very difficult. The last thing anyone should worry about is being able to get their child safely to the care they deserve.”

We spoke with David a bit about Star Treatments and what the process of getting this non-profit online was like.

Tell us about your client, Star Treatments

DW: Star Treatments is an organization that provides a VIP transportation experience for children battling cancer to medical facilities. Star Treatments was founded as a non-profit organization by Matt DiRito — bassist for the rock band Pop Evil — and inspired by one little girl who won her battle with cancer.

High end tour busses with all the comforts and amenities of home sit idle when they’re not booked, while children across America drive for hours in pain, to and from their chemo treatments. Star Treatments is bringing the two together, at no cost to the family.

Star Treatments subscribes to the belief that positive experiences and quality time with friends and family are critical components in the healing process.

Why did you choose Make & Make Plus for the project?

DW: I chose Make & Make Plus as the theme for the Star Treatments website because I was looking for a theme with an elegance that matches its customizability. The Page Builder template really adds an extra layer of customizability with virtually endless possibilities.

How long did it take you to put the site together?

DW: The construction period building up to the initial launch of the website probably took about a week at most. I went back and forth a few times with my client, Matt, about additional content and edits he wanted to add to the site. Realistically, had I all of the content ready to go for the site, I could have put it all together in a day. Most of the time spent was waiting on some photos from the families of children in the Star Treatments program.

Has the new website made an impact on the organization? How so?

DW: The website I built using Make Plus has been great for Star Treatments. It has given them a central place to drive traffic for their cause. Using some great SEO, we’ve boosted their page rankings as well. PayPal integrations I added to the website have allowed them to put together a great start to the company’s operating budget, but there’s always more people can do to help! Check out the donation page for more information on how you can help out!

You can also follow Star Treatments on Facebook to keep up with new events and opportunities to give.

Angela Sasser & Angelic Shades #iusemake

By Melissa Hill on May 19, 2015

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Angela Sasser is an Atlanta-based writer and illustrator. She specializes in character-driven fantasy art and Art Nouveau painting, as well as creating beautifully decorative handmade masquerade masks. In order to keep her portfolios tight and focused, she wanted to create three new sites. Angela spent three weeks putting together three different portfolios for her art, all using Make & Make Plus.

Tell us a little bit about your websites?

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I’m a freelance creative professional and I use my websites as an online portfolio to share my work with other individuals and companies seeking illustrations and other creative work. I have multiple sites, all utilizing Make, which bring the varying facets of my creative personality to my clients. I create everything from whimsical Art Nouveau Paintings to decorative masquerade masks to character-driven fantasy art.

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

Make was recommended to me by another creative professional (a writer) because it is extremely easy to use. Most artists aren’t very skilled at coding, which made Make’s simplicity appealing. I also needed a theme that was pliable enough to be adapted for use with my varied creative facets so I could make each site have its own identity. I also needed something compatible with WooCommerce, which is the e-commerce solution I picked for my business. Make suited all of these needs for me!

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

It didn’t take long to finish my websites. I would estimate about a week spent on each one and that’s because I am extremely meticulous in my setup and presentation.

Has Make & Make Plus made an impact on your web presence?

I had a hand-built site before. It was unstable, didn’t display correctly on multiple devices, and difficult to update. Make, by contrast, is very stable, scales well to various devices, and makes my site very easy to update so I can spend more time creating in the studio instead of updating websites!

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

You can find me at the following places. Social links are listed at the top of each site so you can follow which facet of me you prefer:

Do you use Make? Let us know on Twitter (hashtag: #iusemake). We’d love the opportunity to feature your site!

Luci Ward & Design by Luci #iusemake

By Melissa Hill on April 22, 2015

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Luci is a Brighton-based designer whose minimalist-chic take on her Make-made portfolio, Design by Luci just blew us away! From her website:

I embrace both print and digital design and have worked with a variety of businesses across different sectors such as fashion, travel, education and food, helping them bring their brand to life through beautiful design.

Here’s how Luci uses Make to accomplish this:

Tell us a little bit about your website?

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I’ve been a graphic designer since 2011 and decided to go completely freelance in January 2015. I offer a one on one design service to individuals, small and large businesses and also lend my skills to agencies that need a little helping hand with their workload. My website showcases my work and the services I provide, I also offer a few freebies (currently I have some desktop wallpapers up for grabs).

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

I wanted my website to be clean and minimal yet have a big impact. I was looking for a theme that allowed me to have full control and freedom in order to make my site unique and personal. Make was the perfect fit!

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

It roughly took me two weeks to put my website together, most of that was sifting through my work and picking which bits to showcase and then editing them the way I wanted. The process was extremely easy, the Page Builder tool is an absolute dream and saved so much time! With previous themes i’ve used I found that I would be faffing for ages on a page just to get a picture in the right place and would dread having to update my site, but I didn’t have any trouble with Make Plus! I look forward to uploading more of my work and adapting it as my business evolves.

Has Make & Make Plus made an impact on your web presence/business/brand?

I have found that I am being approached a lot more from companies and individuals from all over the world! It’s exciting to see a new email come through from the website and to think that after looking around my site they decided to get in touch.

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

You can follow me on Facebook: /designbyluci Twitter: @designbyluci and Instagram: designbyluci.

Do you use Make? Let us know on Twitter (hashtag: #iusemake). We’d love the opportunity to feature your site!

Kevin Skarritt & The Halfway Cafe #iusemake

By Melissa Hill on April 15, 2015

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Kevin Skarritt is Chief Peep (CEO) of Flock Marketing, and they do it all — social media marketing, content strategy, and web design and development. Their latest client project The Halfway Cafe used Make & Make Plus to create a delicious and drool-worthy website we couldn’t pass on without sharing. From Flock Marketing’s website:

Bringing a brand to vibrant life isn’t for the faint of heart.

Here’s how Flock Marketing used Make to help achieve vibrant rebranding for The Halfway Cafe:

Tell us a little bit about your business?

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Recently I was ranked by StatSocial (soon to be published in Forbes Magazine) as one of the top 100 Social Media Influencers for 2015. Although I’m REALLY excited about that accolade, it misses out on showing the full picture of what we do. We are also designers, web developers, content strategists and marketing consultants… however, our core (and most important) service is brand strategy.

Why did you pick Make & Make Plus for this project? Were you looking for specific features?

Make & Make Plus were recommended to me by uber-WP-guru Topher DeRosia. I’d been flip-flopping between other themes and found them to be either too over-built or not flexible and intuitive enough. I’m not a hard-core programmer like Topher so I needed something that better supported my approach to web development — something that was intuitive enough so I didn’t need a Master’s degree in programming, but also something powerful enough that, when I brought in the pros like Topher, the theme would hold up.

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

Of course, every site is different. One of the things I like about Make is that you can crank out a great looking site very quickly by using the built in aesthetic controls in the WordPress theme customization settings. Or you can go crazy and custom define everything. The Halfway Cafe was on a modest budget so their site doesn’t include any complex/proprietary functions or applications. It took less than 30 hours… including the design, content, supporting image processing, building the widgets and page construction.

Has Make & Make Plus made an impact on the web presence?

Anything that makes things easier is a positive impact. Yes! Make has made things easier for me to build AND for the client to control. I look forward to building just about every website in the near future with Make.

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

Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Pinterest | Google+ | Instagram | Vine

Do you use Make? Let us know on Twitter (hashtag: #iusemake). We’d love the opportunity to feature your site!

Ravi Raman & Motivated.Life #iusemake

By Melissa Hill on April 8, 2015

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We really loved the way Ravi used high contrast colors and typography to make a bold statement with his new website, Motivated Life. From his website:

[Ravi] is a Coach, Yoga Teacher, Ironman, UltraMarathoner and Plant-Based Athlete. In a prior life, Ravi spent 14 years as a Product Strategist and Director of Marketing at Microsoft Corporation.

Ravi left his corporate career over a year ago to travel the world with his wife and two dogs. He is in the midst of designing a lifestyle that will allow him the space, freedom and income to travel the world and continue teaching and helping others to design the life of their dreams.

Here’s how Ravi uses Make to accomplish this:

Tell us a little bit about your website?

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I’m a personal development blogger, endurance athlete and lifestyle coach. Motivated Life is where I write about my journey of personal growth, and share proven strategies that can help my readers to live happier lives.

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

I am not a developer, but know my way around WordPress. I wanted a theme for WordPress that allowed me to quickly throw together a website that looks awesome on all types of devices, without having to pay a professional designer or web developer for support.

Make has ready-made layouts that make my blog look awesome, with a pro looking landing page layout to boot!

The text and readability of Make is also amazing. My posts really look good, without me needing to spend any time messing around with formatting.

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

I put together my website in a few hours (really!). I then spent an hour here and there to customize things, update my logo, and get all the widgets setup the way I want them to.

As I discover more features in Make and Make Plus, I go back tweak things a little more to make my content look even better (e.g. like the built-in icons and Format Builder to use when create posts).

Make and Make Plus are super easy to use.

In total, I’ve probably spent 10 hours setting up and tweaking things on my blog. However, I got everything up and running using Make Plus in about 1-2 hours. The rest was me just messing around and tweaking things over time.

Has Make & Make Plus made an impact on the web presence/business/brand?

As my site is new (just a few months old), I can’t say for sure…but I have already gotten multiple comments from people who think my site looks awesome. Can’t complain about that!

Also, compared to other themes I have used (e.g. default themes from WordPress and some other paid themes) I find that Make Plus is super easy to use and helps me create good looking content much faster – without needing to mess around with formatting. Make Plus also really does a great job being responsive and my content looks awesome on tablets and phones as well as PCs (40% of my readers view my website on a tablet or phone).

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

Yes please! Follow me on Twitter @yogiravi or LinkedIn where I share tips on how you can live a happier life.

Do you use Make? Let us know on Twitter (hashtag: #iusemake). We’d love the opportunity to feature your site!

Tim Mooney & Tranquil Space: #iusemake

By Melissa Hill on April 1, 2015

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Tim put together an elegant website for Tranquil Space that looks great, functions beautifully, and manages to organize a lot of information for their yoga studio students. From their website:

Our emphasis is on encouraging the growth of one’s potential, enjoying the sacred in every day, and living our five studio values: initiative, passion, community, creativity, and compassion.

Here’s how Tim uses Make to support this effort:

Tell us a little bit about your business?

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Tranquil Space is a yoga studio in Washington, DC and Arlington, VA. It’s best known for focusing on yoga as a lifestyle, taking the lessons one learns in class off the mat and into your daily life.

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

As a part of the studio’s 15th year in business, we revamped the logo and website to be more in line with what the studio is now. I needed an easy-to-use theme that allowed me to create a more visually interesting and informative front page with a cleaner look, flexibility with colors, and (most importantly) a responsive design. Make got me 95% of the way there and Make Plus gave me a few extra tools to complete the task.

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

Oh the process… We worked with a designer for nearly a year and the results were not what we wanted. In a fit of desperation, I discovered Make and thought it might allow me to create a demo that was closer to what we really wanted. In 4 hours, Make Plus helped me design a site that a professional designer couldn’t make happen in a year! I’ve been working in WordPress for a while now and found I usually could create decent looking designs, but often had to make visual compromises because of theme limitations. In contrast, Make Plus gave me the flexibility to create exactly the look I wanted without relying on custom CSS (something that’s closer to gibberish than not for me).

Has Make & Make Plus made an impact on the web presence/business/brand?

Make Plus gave me the tools to build a new Tranquil Space site that perfectly tells the world who we are. We’ve been getting a lot of kudos from our students and staff, particularly how the new site works on mobile devices. Because our new front page slider conveys information to our studio community in a much more effective way than before, I’ve been finding our operations are more efficient. That was a bonus I didn’t expect.

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

I’m @timmooney on Twitter and I’m looking forward to my next project with Make Plus: a redesign of my bicycle touring site and podcast, Pedalshift.

You can learn more about Tranquil Space at tranquilspace.com and @tranquilspace on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Do you use Make? Let us know on Twitter (hashtag: #iusemake). We’d love the opportunity to feature your good work here on our blog as well as the Make site (which is undergoing a refresh). Stay tuned for more good things to come!

Could we feature you on the Make website?

By Melissa Hill on March 18, 2015

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Have you launched your blog, brand, or business site with Make yet? If so, we’d love to showcase your work alongside other amazing Make & Make Plus users.

We love seeing you push the limits of what’s possible with Make & Make Plus. We know that without you—your content, your vision, your unique take on the design and layout of each individual page—the theme itself is a blank canvas.

Your success can inspire the next photographer, writer, designer, organization or entrepreneur to put together a professional, polished web presence.

Share your site with us so we can spread the word about your brand or business!

All we need from you is a tweet—tell us how you’re using Make. Be sure to include a link to your site! Each week we’ll select another user to showcase on the Make website.

Use the hashtag #iusemake or tweet to us @thethemefoundry so we can continue this conversation. We’ve made it easy for you with some pre-written examples (click the links to edit and then tweet!):

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Hey @thethemefoundry – Check out our site! #iusemake

Drag & drop page builder + a ton of customizer options? Of course #iusemake

We created a new #WordPress website with Make by @thethemefoundry and we love it! #iusemake

We can’t wait to see your site up on our customer showcase! Keep up the great work!

Customer Showcase: Oxford-themed Magazines & Blogs

By Melissa Hill on March 12, 2015

It’s been a little over a year since we launched Oxford — and since then, we’ve seen so many magazines and blogs start up, really leveraging the featured content area and typography to push their content to the fore.

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Here are ten amazing magazines you should be reading (that all happen to use Oxford). What really stands out about each of these sites is that it’s not the theme, rather the writing, photography, and editorial stylings of each that makes them so effective.

Which is exactly what we were aiming for.

Read more