We recently had the opportunity to work on a web design and development project with The Ethical Society of St. Louis. An Ethical Society is organized similarly to a religious organization. Instead of being focused on the worship of a specific deity the society focuses on the betterment of people and upholding ethical practices in day to day life.
About the Ethical Society
The Ethical Society of St. Louis came to our attention as a referral from one of our existing customers. The St. Louis Society can trace it’s roots all the way back to 1886. We spoke with the Society’s leadership and discussed the problems with their current site. We also dug into the desires for new features they wanted in the new web design. The primary focus was to improve communications with their congregation. They wanted to present the most important pieces of information in a bold display that limited the choices a user needed to make. For this project a specific budget was set aside to use for development.
Developing with New Tools
Once we had finalized the contract we dove into the work. We came up with a solution that would meet the society’s need for visual impact while satisfying their desire for a flexible theme. As a result, the redesign was based on the Beaver Builder theme and plugin. We looked at several page builders and have used similar tools in the past. Digging into the Beaver Builder tool, we found it to be a wonderful resource for building the customizations we needed.
The home page had the most customizations for this build. Each of the four areas on the page brings in content from a different part of the site. We have a featured post, a recurring event, a general text area, and the dominant featured event for the page. Leveraging Modern Tribe’s Events Calendar plugin we were able to provide a powerful tool for promoting the Sunday Platform.
Since there were custom features and the client had limited knowledge of WordPress, we included a two hour block of training time. We gathered all of the clients questions from the span of the project – from template guidance to specific plugin questions and met with them over an Uberconference to address them one by one. The Society has the benefit of some smart technical folks. The training not only covered the list of particulars but we were able to answer some new questions as well.
The Final Web Design
Once the development of the project was completed, the Society had some content migration and some additional styling tweaks that they wanted to perform. They worked through these changes internally and the new site launched. It’s a dramatic change from their previous site and it gives them the flexibility to make changes as their needs change. Consequently, the site focuses on the three core events used on a weekly basis while keeping all of their content accessible when a visitor needs more.
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