You’ve tried a number of WordPress themes but found nothing that really speaks to you. You need something different, or a blog that matches your website. Blogshop Santa Fe owner and award-winning designer Melissa J White can update or create an entirely unique site for you on WordPress and then teach you how to use it!
As a small business owner, a full-time blogger and a Web designer in Santa Fe since 2000, I understand the need for a custom design that incorporates how you want your blog to look with the functionality of a WordPress backend.
Here are a few of the themes I have designed or tweaked.
Nancy Judd creates couture fashion from trash, exhibits her garments in airports around the world and runs dozens of workshops every year to teach the benefits of recycling and reduced use. I’ve been working with Nancy since 2007. I helped her create focus groups to test her business name, designed her logo, created print materials and signage and helped install her first airport exhibit in Albuquerque. When it was time to redesign her self-made website, I designed her theme in Photoshop creating three main templates, a slide-show header and the left-column garment gallery.
Mindshare Studios of Santa Fe ably took my layered files and created the WordPress backend. Nancy put all the content into the site herself. Her traffic numbers, already high, increased with her new site and took a major leap on Earth Day, April 22, 2011, when 1,923 visitors came to her site after an article on CNN.com. How important that she had her new site up, ready for that burst of new visitors!
This was my first theme from scratch; I named it the “Melissa” theme, of course! It has a stationary background image and widget functionality. I designed the site in Photoshop, put the pieces into html using Dreamweaver, then downloaded a stripped version of WordPress and plugged chunks of code into php. It took two weekends using a great series of videos from Chris Cyier’s CSS Tips & Tricks. Look up video-screencasts-71-building-a-website-photoshop-mockup.
In 2008, Ecuador became the first country in the world to recognize ecosystem rights through their constitution. Nelson Denman needed a website to support fundraising for his folk opera based on the villagers whose lives were being disrupted by timber and oil companies. Because the site needed to go up quickly, I made some custom adjustments to the default Twenty Ten theme header and background image, which is a turquoise color that fades into black. I also created a PayPal button for donations and copied the code into a text widget so it shows on every page. Nelson’s new website combined with his networking talent, raised a significant amount of money in just a few weeks. The fact that Nelson, on my suggestion, purchased the domain name therightsofnature.com, also granted him some leverage in creating a community around this important environmental issue.
Phoenix and Stryder Simms wanted a blog that would also act as a website for their film projects and services. I did research on what theme would work best for them. They chose Autofocus, with a unique home page. I designed a logo for their new endeavor and hired a php expert to create a horizontal rather than vertical navigation. With Stryder’s visual imagery and poetical-essay style, their new blog/website is the perfect home to showcase their artistry.
Bob Burbic’s blog, The Las Campanas Life was created during a Blogshop weekend. We then spent a few hours of private consultation in which we tweaked his theme and worked on SEO. In a competitive luxury real estate market, Bob now ranks on page one of Google for the search term, Las Campanas Expert.
Santa Fe architect Deborah Auten has a distinctive website which I designed in 2010. This month, I am creating a blog on a separate directory to match the design of her site. With a fixed photo of a shaft of light along a hand-trowled adobe wall — a photo I took when visiting one of the homes she designed — the website uses a partially-opaque textbox to always remind you that the play of light is always evident in Deb’s work. Watch for the launch of this multi-talented designer’s blog!
Each blog has a personality and style all its own.
When you’re ready to take the next step and have your blog custom designed, give me a call at (505) 231-8775 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I am happy to meet with you in person or by phone to discuss how we can create your custom blog design.