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ArtsWest

Responsibilities: Design, Wordpress Blog/CMS, Making the site Responsive

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ArtsWest

Responsibilities: Design, Wordpress Blog/CMS, Making the site Responsive

This was a complete website redesign for a local theatre company. Besides the theatre, there is also an art gallery, and youth education classes.

I was referred to ArtsWest from another client, and they were hands down the easiest, most fun people I have ever worked with! This has been a 3 month project during the summer of 2013. I loved them, they loved me. Not only did they like my ideas, but they brought so many ideas of their own as well. A true collaboration.

They already had a WordPress site in place but it wasn’t very easy to use, and no one could easily add new plays or galleries. So my goal was to not only make it attractive and match their new branding, but to also make it EASY to use! (I hope i achieved the “easy” part, I at least made it easier! I also supplied them a 32 page screenshot manual as well… I set a record with that one. My usual manuals are 12 pages).

Some features of the site:

Artswest edit featured image

Edit the thumbnail/banner on the site. Optionally set a different banner image.

The photo banners are changeable on every page.
If they don’t set a banner, a child page will use whatever the parent page is using. If one doesn’t exist, it will use a default image. The banner images are coming from the “Featured Image” area of WordPress. Featured images are usually only displayed as a thumbnail on a site, but I made it work for both. I also gave them the ability to have a separate banner image from the thumbnail though (two featured images!).

The banner images was easily one of the hardest things I set up on the site. The more the site grew, the more complex my hand written code got (especially once you start dealing with search results and 404 pages. What should be displayed then?)… but if I ever have to do it again, I’m ready!


Sidebar widgets that automatically show current/upcoming/or past plays/galleries.
I didn’t want the client to HAVE to touch the widget stuff, or code at all. All they have to do is mark if a play is current, past, or present, and I have written code that will figure out the rest. The widgets display a date/title/thumbnail.

Select if play/exhibit is current and choose the dates it runs.

Select if play/exhibit is current and choose the dates it runs.

Artswest widget area

The play automatically shows up in the sidebar for each corresponding area.


An archive page for the Theatre/Galleries, so that past events can still be viewed. Archived events show up automatically, sorted by showing the most recent first.


Sticky navigation example

Sticky navigation example

Sticky navigation, so that the menu is always each to reach/use (especially helpful on mobile phones).


A calendar that’s being controlled by a public Google calendar.
The calendar is a public calendar that the staff already uses to place events.


Gallery on mobile device

Gallery on mobile device

Photo galleries that are mobile/tablet touch-friendly.
What we wanted was a grid of thumbnails, that would then open up in a lightbox. I must have tried out about 10 galleries before I finally decided on one that “most” touch screen friendly and achieved what we wanted. (The gallery I chose isn’t perfect…. there are glitches now and then. But it’s close!). If anyone is curious, I used this gallery.


Private page for board members to see/edit.
Not only can board members only see it, but they can also edit. Board members have a login that ONLY allows them to edit that page and their profile (in case they need to update their password or email).

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