Workin’ with WordPress
One of my latest projects of the summer was creating a website for Nick & Dan’s Collision. They offer a wide range of collision repair services and work on vehicles of all makes and models. They’re a family owned business serving the Stratford and St. Marys area for the last 35 years, and have just opened a state-of-the-art facility in Stratford.
We wanted to create a modern, user-friendly site that showcased Nick & Dan’s new facility and gave customers access to important information. They had basic requirements for their site’s functionality; this wasn’t going to be an eCommerce site (they aren’t selling products online) so they really just wanted to create a better online presence than what they previously had.
WordPress is a great option when it comes to creating websites. It can be a very convenient and budget-friendly solution. With the unlimited options of HTML templates and plugins, you can create a customized site in far less time than when developing and coding from scratch. After learning what they were looking for, I chose an appropriate template to work with (the Appointment theme) and did some minor CSS customization to add their branding into the design. The layout of this site is very user-friendly; you can scroll through majority of the site’s information all on the homepage, but also have the option of going to separate pages (About Us, Services etc.) through menus located in the header and footer of the site.
Check out their website for a better look and for more information.
If you’re looking to have a website created and don’t know where to start, contact me today !
Thanks for reading,
~ Manda Mac
The largest freelance project I’ve taken on to-date is redesigning the Parts N More website. This e-commerce website (owned by MC Distributing) sells thousands of parts for vintage motorcycles. Their current website was created several years ago, and so they felt it was time to freshen up their look and give their website a facelift.
I tackled this project as not only a website facelift, but an entire rebranding. I wanted to give them a new identity that would help them stand out against competitors and modernize the look and functionality of their site. I wanted their new look to be strong and sleek, so I toned down their colour scheme by using a lot of charcoal gray and using teal blue as their main accent colour. I also wanted to add some photography of motorcycles to make the purpose of the website immediately known and to add some visual interest. I also redesigned their logo to reflect their new identity.
When designing websites, one always has to keep in the mind the user experience (UX) and the user interface (UI). The functionality of the website needed some tweaking to help simplify the UX. I kept the layout clean and simple, but changed how customers could find their products. Instead of having to go to 2 different pages before getting your search results, you can now filter through the bike year and model on the home page and be taken directly to your results page.
We also added some new key features to the site such as:
- a site-wide multi-currency feature
- a more obvious separation of custom fit parts and universal fit parts by creating separate sub-categories under each main product category
- a pop-up window showing customers an item has been added to their cart, giving them the option to either continue shopping, view cart or check out
- a full footer menu in addition to the header menu
- an order history page with full order details
- a simplified checkout option with PayPal
- an order confirmation page
- and mobile-friendly designs
I have designed all of the website pages in Adobe Photoshop and we’ll be ready to start development soon! (We’ll be working with the developer d3.)
This project has been the most satisfying experience for so many reasons. I not only love what I do, but I thoroughly enjoyed working with the lovely people at MC Distributing. This was also satisfying to create because at my last job I spent months designing a website for a similar industry that was never launched, so it feels like I might actually get some closure this time around! It’ll be exciting to get this website up and running after weeks of work, especially for the client. Stay tuned for the website launch details!
I’m already on to the next website redesign project for Nick & Dan’s Collision, but I am always taking on new clients. If you’re looking to create or upgrade your online presence, contact me for help!
Thanks for reading,
~ Manda Mac
It’s ‘Toon Time! Who doesn’t want a cartoon version of themselves? These digital drawings are projects I really enjoy doing. I’ve always loved to draw; and learning how to apply that skill set to the digital world has been challenging and fun. A few months ago, some dear friends of mine made a request to get a digital family portrait created.
I used Adobe Illustrator to create this project, and used reference photos (shown above) to make sure my vector drawings resembled each person (and puppy!). The inspiration for this type of portrait was a flat, vector style which is a style I LOVE.
These type of digital drawings are fun to create, and fun for my clients to receive. I love the reactions I get when showing them their “cartoon selves”. They also make for great personalized gifts.
To see other styles of digital drawings I’ve done, check out an older blog post of mine from last year here.
If you’d love to have a digital drawing created, ya’ll know who to come to!
Love and lollipops,
Roller Derby Dames
In terms of favourite clients to work for, I’m noticing a pattern of me being attracted to strong women…enter my next client: Tri-City Roller Derby.
Tri-City Roller Derby is a registered non-profit, all-women’s flat-track derby league. They’re based out of Waterloo, Ontario but face teams all across Canada and the U.S.
This league of women will be the first to tell you: this ain’t your momma’s derby. All the hits, blocks and spills you see on the track are real and un-staged. This isn’t just a show, but a hardcore sport.
They’ve asked me to create monthly event posters to advertise their games and events. These events survive off sponsors and ticket purchases, and in the case of this weekend’s event, a portion of all proceeds will go to Waterloo region Women’s Crisis Services.
So I get to create artwork for a group of strong, athletic women and also help support a cause that aids even stronger women seeking help?
I think it’s safe to say, I love my job.
Check out these ladies at tricityrd.com
Chicks Rule 🙂
Thanks for reading, guys!
~ Manda Mac