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

by Melissa Hill on May 27, 2015 / Leave a comment


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.


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 / Leave a comment


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?


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!

Introducing Finder

by Melissa Hill on May 6, 2015 / Leave a comment


It’s always exciting to release a new theme, and today we’re thrilled to share our latest — Finder with you. You can learn about Finder’s unique features or see it in action right here.

Save 50% for 24 hours

For the next 24 hours we’re offering Finder for just $39 — that’s 50% off. After the sale ends, the price will return to $79.

Design Simplicity

We’ve crafted Finder to frame your content with efficiency and edge, removing much of the typical WordPress clutter so that your images and words are the focus. Only the most important elements remain in our most minimal theme to date.

No post titles, dates, categories, tags or meta information will take away from your images and words, while uncontained images create a sense of space and scale on your posts and pages. Blog feed featured images link together, creating a visual narrative of your journeys, your work, and your passions.

Effortless Custom Styling

Finder features a unique custom text mask you can add to your site’s title. Use the default marble pattern we’ve included, or create and upload your own. Of course, if you already have a logo you love, upload that right from the Customizer as well.


Easily change the background color or image. Pick your favorite header and font colors. Add your own favicon and Apple Touch icon. Finder includes two menu locations, including one in the footer that stays sticky, no matter how long your content scrolls.

Choose your favorite widgets to display on your posts, while your pages and blog feed remain distraction-free.

Built in Typekit Fonts

Using a mix of bold headlines and thinner weight paragraph text creates a sense of visual drama. We’ve echoed the theme’s refined lines with the use of Aktiv Grotesk Std by Dalton Maag, a beautiful yet neutral typeface that that puts an emphasis on the content. No additional Typekit account needed through our partnership with Typekit — we’ve bundled these premium fonts right into the theme.

Get Finder Now

Don’t miss out on your opportunity to save 50% for the next 24 hours (sale ends May 7th at 12 noon EST).

UPDATE: This sale is now over.

Purchase Finder now →

Save 25% on Make Plus Developer for the next 24 hours

by Melissa Hill on April 28, 2015 / Leave a comment

UPDATE: This sale is now over.


“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.”

Kevin Skarritt, Flock Marketing

It’s exciting to see designers and developers push the limits of what’s possible with Make and Make Plus, develop faster, and ship more. We’re constantly impressed by the incredibly valuable feedback we receive from our Developer community and continually wowed by the sites they’re putting together for clients. We rarely run sales, but for the next 24 hours…

Save 25% today only.
Get Make Plus Developer now →.

Here are just a few of the features our Make Plus Developers have flagged as favorites:

  • Responsive design – Beautifully responsive on any screen or device, you won’t have to worry about losing clients or customers due to mobilegeddon.
  • Clean, valid code – Professionally and thoughtfully coded with WordPress best practices in mind, and valid HTML5, CSS3, PHP, and JavaScript.
  • Action & filter hooks – Action and filter hooks, complete with documentation, make it easy for developers to expand and customize Make sites for their clients.
  • Ready-made child theme – Download and install a ready-made child theme for your Make site. Save your customizations while ensuring your site is up to date with the latest Make release.
  • Sass files included – We have Sass files for you, in case coding the CSS by hand isn’t your style.

Make also comes with native styling for and integration with Contact Form 7, Gravity Forms, WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, Postmatic, and the official Twitter plugin.

We hope you’ll consider adding Make Plus to your developer’s toolkit, and we’d like to extend a 25% discount on a year of Make Plus Developer.

Save 25% today only.
Get Make Plus Developer now →.

Luci Ward & Design by Luci #iusemake

by Melissa Hill on April 22, 2015 / Leave a comment


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?


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 / Leave a comment


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?


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 / 2 comments


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?


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!

Website Spring Cleaning – Finding and Fixing Broken Links

by Melissa Hill on April 6, 2015 / Leave a comment


It’s finally starting to feel like spring (in the Western Hemisphere anyway) — which always inspires me into a sort of tidying frenzy. It’s also a great time to take a moment and refreshen your website, especially if you’ve been in hibernation mode all winter.

This week, we’re dusting off the links.

Week 1: Find and fix broken links

Time to complete: 10 minutes to 2 hours

Nothing frustrates a site visitor more than clicking on a link and being met with a 404 page. Unless it’s a clever 404 page. I digress. Finding and fixing broken links can be a pain, but it should be a priority if you’re maintaining a professional business web presence. It’s not always obvious though, especially when you’ve got a blog full of outbound links, which sites might have shut down or reorganized. Taking a few minutes to find and fix those broken links can go a long way to ensuring your credibility as a resource.

There are a few ways to tackle this chore, but the easiest is probably to use this handy free plugin: Broken Link Checker.


Once installed and activated, you can find Broken Link Checker in the Tools section of the Dashboard. The plugin will scan, find and notify you of broken links on your WordPress site, either through the WordPress dashboard, or with automated emails.

Depending on the size and scope of your site, the scan can take from just a few minutes to a few hours. If you have to wait, I recommend you seize the opportunity to dust and detangle your computer chords.

Once the plugin has detected broken links on your site, you can update them right from the plugin admin screen, which saves the time of having to manually edit each post individually.

Caveat emptor: the plugin can be a resource drag, so you might consider deactivating (and then deleting it if you don’t plan to keep it updated) after use.

If you’d rather not install another plugin, another dead-simple way to find those broken links is with W3C Link Checker.


It scans your website and outputs a list of links you should check on. I noticed that it doesn’t like shortlinks (generated by Twitter, etc.), so you’ll have to check those manually. You’ll also have to go back into your posts and pages to edit the links if you find any errors, which makes the whole process significantly more tedious.

Finding and fixing broken links isn’t the most glamorous website chore, but if you check in on it regularly — quarterly even — you won’t have to worry about your visitors hitting a brick wall while browsing your site.

Consider this a friendly reminder! When was the last time you checked your site for broken links?

Tim Mooney & Tranquil Space: #iusemake

by Melissa Hill on April 1, 2015 / Leave a comment


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?


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 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!

Choosing (and moving) between and

by Melissa Hill on March 25, 2015 / Leave a comment


We love and have a lot of happy Theme Foundry users over there. It’s a great managed solution for people who are new to WordPress or just getting started with a blog or website. But occasionally we are asked about transferring from a site hosted on to a self-hosted installation of Today we’re going to look what you can expect if you decide to move your site from to a self-hosted site (and vice versa).

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