Six months ago, a nutty little dog named Izzy Louise came into my life via the incredible efforts of a rescue organization that works on saving dogs of her breed, Rat Terrier ResQ. An all-volunteer, nationwide staff that is tireless in its mission, ResQ was in desperate need of a new website that reflected all aspects of the work they do, as well as the group’s fun-loving nature. It didn’t take long for me to get sucked into the vibe as a volunteer, and over the last few months, I’ve been working on this redesign for them, volunteering to work with their board of directors to produce a new brand, corresponding logo and ultimately, the site.
Since I love all-things-WordPress, I decided to use this as a test case to run all kinds of flexibility tests. People need to be able to find available dogs, for example, using loads of parameters like location, sex, whether or not they were good with dogs/cats/kids, etc.. The site also had to be easy enough for staff to post dog profiles and stories. I ended up choosing WordPress’ categories structure to handle most of the taxonomic work, with a fairly extensive set of parent & child categories. The query_post fucntion became my best friend. I tried to avoid using custom fields (I think they can be confusing to the end user making the profiles), but ultimately gave in and implemented them for the thumbnails for the Featured Dog in the sidebar, the city each dog is in, and the extra information for dogs needing sponsors.
It was a fabulous challenge that really got my gears going. But besides all that, I know it’s going to help a lot more dogs find homes, and for that I couldn’t be happier. As they say at ResQ, “To one dog, you may just be the world.”
Ah yes, the trilogy is complete: my third launch in Launch Madness concludes the flurry (for the moment) of WordPress sites I’ve set up for various folks. This one is promoting AlterNet’s new book, Water Consciousness: How We All Have to Change to Protect Our Most Critical Resource. Edited by AlterNet’s own supremely awesome Tara Lohan, it’s an incredible set of articles, analysis, ideas… you name it, it’s here. Some of the artwork’s just stunning, too, and working with such a great piece makes it easy for designers like yours truly to implement a complementary website. Hurray!
That’s right, y’all, I am becoming the webgrrl to the stars. I had the honor to work with Thomas Frank and his publisher, Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt USA, on the redesign of his site, and I’m happy to say that it went live this evening. Have a gander at http://tcfrank.com/.