If you’ve read my bio page on this site you’ll know that I freelance via Lowcows.com from time to time. Lowcows.com use to be a collaboration of freelancers creating WordPress websites for small and mid sized businesses. While I liked that approach because it kept me in contact with a lot of talented people, keeping things organized wasn’t always easy. Changes needed to be made.
About a month or so ago I meet with a good friend of mine who’s involved in the web world but seems to enjoy everything I dislike about it. And funny enough, I like almost everything he dislikes about it. I figured that this was the perfect chance to make Lowcows.com a solid partnership between two people rather and a collection of people scattered around the United States (and a few other countries).
Along with the change there, a new change to the Lowcows.com website was in need. So between working on a few other projects my new partner and I put our heads together and came up with the new design you see below.
Above you will see the main page of the website. It features a slideshow of the 5 most recent portfolio items, few columns of intro text as well as a excerpt of what Lowcows.com is all about.
The theme itself makes use of the DMG WordPress Theme Options to make life a lot easier on us. From here we can adjust a number of things on the site including:
- The maximum number of items to show in the slideshow
- Number of results to show on the search results page
- Handle the 3 columns of text on the main page
- Change the copyright text
- Add, edit, remove the social media and feed icons
The options handle a few more aspects of the site, but nothing too fancy. Just enough to save us some time.
The area where the slide show is on the main page (the white band) changes depending on the page you’re on. The main page is the only one where the slide show is shown. On single post and pages we show 4 featured portfolio works. On archive pages (or any page where we use a description) we show the archive title, description and 2 featured portfolio works – as the images below show.
The side bar house the site search and any other widget we decide to put there. One unique feature of the side bar is that the content can change depending on the page you’re on. For example both ‘Work’ and (eventually) the ‘Blog’ will show all sub categories for the respected category page you’re on.
The image to the left shows this in action when visiting the ‘Work’ category or any of it’s child categories.
What was done
From start to finish this was a fully custom WordPress theme. I handled this project like I would with any client of mine. We sat down and discussed what would be needed for our site, not just now, but down the road as well.
2 mock-up designs we put together to pick from – the difference here was we asked family, friends and our Facebook fans to pick. From there it was a matter of finalizing the design elements, crafting the code and making the WordPress theme.
All in all it was a pretty unique adventure treating myself as my own client on a project like this. It’s not always easy to step out of the box and analyze what you’re working on wondering if it will please the ‘client’.
- Installation and setup of WordPress
- Custom design converted into a WordPress theme
- Theme contains options and is widget ready
- Installation and setup of multiple WordPress plugins