Avada Theme Showcase

I’ve built hundreds of sites with StudioPress themes. Dozens of sites with Elegant Themes. And around 20 using ThemeForest Themes. And now I’m going to implement the biggest selling theme of all time from the ThemeForest line… Avada. With almost 70,000 sales they must be all over the blogsphere. But they’ve been reluctant to maintain a showcase where developers could get ideas and highlight their work if they wanted… until now… Avada now has a list of themes they put in a blog post for their initial showcase.

http://theme-fusion.com/knowledgebase/avada-showcase-sites/

 

Avada Theme Showcase

Avada Theme Showcase

 

Lots of great implementations here. Especially the creative use of the Revolution and Layer Sliders. I personally use Revolution sliders because after I bought about 4 Layersliders, I found out they did not work on some versions of Mac OSX. Yeah I found out the hard way, after I implemented them. So anyway here are some of the BEST implementations of Avada that were represented in their showcase. They gave me all kinds of creative ideas for my next project.

 

e Pixel Media

e Pixel Media

e Pixel Media

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Fash Cam Creative

Fash Cam Creative

Fash Cam Creative

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JL Recruitment Pte. Ltd.

JL Recruitment Pte. Ltd.

JL Recruitment Pte. Ltd.

Medical Website Designs I like

Here are some medical website designs I found on ThemeForest.net that look great and they have lots of satisfied purchasers. They all run on WordPress which gives them 2 huge advantages.

1.) The content can easily be updated by medical office staff or Doctors themselves.
2.) Since they run on WordPress, they will rank well on Google with a minimum of extra SEO work.

ThemeForest.net WordPress sites (don’t forget to sort on sales) This will give you a list of choices


Care +

MediCenter

HealthPress

Wellness

Medical Plus

 

 

 

 

Sonata Materials Website

Sonata Materials Website

I built the Sonata Materials website using a StudioPress Genesis 2.0 framework and an Agency Theme. There are about 10 pages and a dozen cool stock and custom photos used in the site. And of course it’s build on WordPress to take advantage of the many available features. The management team at Sonata might want to add a blog section to the site in the future and building it on WP will allow them to do that instantly when they’re ready.

I used a LayerSlider for the homepage but I might switch it to a StudioPress responsive slider at some point in the future. The Layerslider has a ton of optional transitions that we might use later although at launch we are just using the fades.

201 Real Estate Photography website

Bergen County Real Estate Photographer

This is a visually stunning site with HDR photography and top shelf royalty free images used throughout. Built on a WordPress website using the Invictus Theme which I bought on ThemeForest.net. Wow – it looks great. It’s full responsive of course and it’s formatted properly on any device.

It usually takes me around 40 hours to build a commercial website but this one took 90 minutes. I thought about this one for about 3 months before building it and I had all the images easily at hand. There are only 2 pages on the website so far including the homepage and the contact form.

I’ll be replacing this site probably with a StudioPress Genesis 2.0 Metro Pro Theme with a lot of real content. I will probably use a Revolution slider on the new custom build although I’ve used a lot of Layersliders lately. The Revolution goes to full screen now so it’s great for full screen galleries like Invictus has built into the homepage. But the Metro Pro will handle content a little better for my future needs.

WhiteHouse.gov has 44 Validation Errors

Wow. I was just filling out a survey that was sent to me by the White House webmaster. So I took a look at the White House website and got hit with a mighty blow. When the White House website is run through the “validator” to check how well the code is written they have a whopping 44 ERRORS and 9 WARNINGS. They’ve unfortunately disregarded professional standards when it comes to web design.

White House website validation errors

White House website validation errors

My site Web Design WorkPlace has an experimental HTML 5 slider running on top of a world class StudioPress Genesis framework – which runs on HTML 4 still. So I have a hand full of validation errors due to the Ken Burns slider being a newer language of the HTML website language. But my site is not representing the entire population of the United States. And I can replace my slider or wait until Genesis is upgraded to HTML 5.

When you have a showcase production website like the White House, it has to be bullet-proof. One way to ensure that it’s bullet-proof is to clear all those validation errors one by one after you build the site.

The White House developer is too lax – not on their toes – and it’s a tad bit embarrassing. It’s sloppy. It’s not professional. It might be an indication that the White House website does not display properly across all current browsers. In any case it should be remedied immediately.

White House website

White House website

When I was at the Smith Barney World HQ in Manhattan, if a consultant did sloppy work that was found out, they were escorted to the front door right then and that was it. On Wall Street it was purely performance based. No one cared what you looked like or where you came from as long as you did the job right. In the US Navy they had ways of “developing character” in the submarine service. Like washing dishes for 18 hours a day until you were ready for game time and professional level work. I’m not sure how they enhance the level of professionalism at the White House but I’d suggest they figure it out fast. For the staff at the White House to represent the people of the United States with shoddy work in front of the whole world is not up to our level of our expectations.

 

New Non-Profit Website

I just launched a new website for a friend of mine – Ray Burkhard. He’s organizing the Woods and Meadows Division I Homeowner’s Association in Poulsbo Washington.

  • This site is built on WordPress using a StudioPress Genesis Serenity Theme.
  • It features Google Calendar integration on the homepage as well as on it’s own full width page.
  • I’m using NextGen for the photo galleries.
  • Another Gravity Forms rollout as well for their contact form.
  • He’s hosting it on his own Hostgator plan – I think he’s using a “Baby” or a “Hatchling” for this one.
woods and meadows homeowner's association

woods and meadows homeowner’s association

Click on the image to open the website up on it’s own page.

 

New Website Options

So you need a new website and you need to know what your options are. They basically fit into 3 categories.

To summarize: you have to decide if you are going to spend 10 grand and up to have an old style HTML site built, 2 grand and up for a WordPress site to be built, and 100 bucks and up for you to build your own WordPress site.

Here are all your website options in outline form. You can:

1.) Hire a company to build your site using old style HTML. Costs are generally $10,000 and up.

  • This is an expensive solution. Although there is a huge amount of information available to help you learn how to be an HTML programmer, it can take years working at it full time to start to get good at it. The learning curve is usually considered prohibitive unless you want to make it a career. You can buy a pre-made HTML website “template” to help build the site, but that cuts down on the custom programming by about 30% at best. When done correctly, HTML websites can look stunning artistically, and very professional.
  • You are tied to that companies programmer for life. Old style HTML has standards, but they are applied in wildly different ways by every single programmer.
  • When you end your relationship with one programmer you have to find another programmer and they invariably won’t like the code written by the previous person. So it will cost you a lot to get the new person to take over, they might have to “fix” big sections of the code to make it more like their style.
  • When you want to add, change, or delete a page, you have to pay your programmer to do it. Unless you learn the HTML programming language to the extent that you can do it yourself which is usually doubtful. The programmer controls the content, even if you want to change a single punctuation mark.
  • For the life of that website, every time you need a new feature it has to be custom created for you by an HTML programmer. If you ever want to change the “look and feel” of the website that’s a major overhaul process where every single web page is completely rewritten.

2.) Hire a company to built your site using WordPress.  Costs are generally $2,000 and up.

  • This is a moderately priced solution. WordPress itself is free and since it’s “open source”, there are a hand full of ways to get free support and free information about it. There are dozens of books and magazines available on every WordPress subject from building it to just using it. The learning curve to learn how to build WordPress is moderate and it can be taken on as a hobby. When done correctly, WordPress can look stunning artistically, and very professional.
  • WordPress is modular and very standardized so there is a lot less unique code written. In some cases a website can be made with no unique code so that it works without major modifications right out of the box.
  • You are less likely to have code written by one WordPress programmer that is impossible to figure out by the next WordPress programmer. So in general there is a much easier transition from one WordPress technician to the next.
  • In many cases you can add, change, and delete pages by yourself with no programming knowledge. WordPress gives control of the content to the user. Sometimes the content is written using HTML programming tags which makes it hard for users to use, but many times the website can be built so users can add content completely by themselves.
  • There are over 10,000 features available for free or a small charge that work as “plugins” to WordPress. You can change the entire look and feel of the website by changing just the “Theme”, because the content is stored in a database away from the actual code needed for the website structure.

3.) DIY or Do It Yourself websites.

  • This can be an inexpensive solution.  Costs are generally $100 and up (because you need to pay for hosting).
  • Most hosting companies offer a DIY solution for 5 to 10 dollars extra a month. Almost all of these websites look amateurish when they are completed. Even if you build one correctly, their style marks them and marks you as being “cheap” or “non-professional” or “mom and pop level”.
  • WordPress can be considered a DIY solution with a moderate learning curve for both building websites and maintaining the content. Most hosting companies have an automatic tool you can use to install a WordPress website. Using WordPress is definitely DIY as the main concept behind it’s design is to allow users with no programming knowledge to control their own content.
  • Writing your own HTML website is NOT usually considered a DIY solution.

Options for Domain Names and Hosting

If you are opting for the best most cost effective solutions for domain name registrations and website hosting, I recommend GoDaddy.com for domain name registrations and HostGator.com for hosting. Although GoDaddy is the best place to buy domain names, in my professional opinion their hosting is below industry standards and it’s very difficult for professionals to work with. HostGator’s hosting solutions are industry standard and their support is the best in the industry. I’ve probably used a half dozen domain name companies over the years (registrars) and I’ve used Godaddy for probably more than 2,000 domain name purchases or renewals since 2004. I’ve used at least a dozen hosting companies and I eventually moved my entire business to HostGator because I found their pricing, and their service and support was simply the best. There are links below for both GoDaddy and HostGator. Both of these links are non-affiliate links.

 

 

Built with WordPress

I started building attorney websites on WordPress years before any of the big box legal marketing firms. And there are dozens of reasons why. In good conscience, like a Doctor who is trying to do the right thing for a patient, I just can’t recommend old style HTML sites anymore.  WordPress websites from Web Design WorkPlace look stunning, they give clients control over their own content, and they rank fast because Google loves WordPress. They are supported by an active community of world class experts who take security and functionality very seriously.

You Can’t Tell It’s WordPress

Web Design WorkPlace can convert any website you’ve ever seen into WordPress and you won’t be able to tell the difference. It can look like anything you’ve ever seen on the internet or anything you’ve imagined. There are a lot of styles that are standard such as the “blog” style. That style has blog pages that act as articles on the home page and it may have a sidebar on the right or left sides… or both. Some people think all WordPress websites have to look like the original “blog style”. Not true. We’ve used WordPress to make hundreds of individual and unique looking websites.

WordPress Gives You Control of Your Content

With old style HTML sites you needed a programmer to change any of the content. Then you had to use an FTP program to upload the new changes up to the server. Who wants to do that? The person who wants to do that obviously is the person charging you money for every change like that. It’s a waste of time going back and forth with a programmer as well. WordPress lets you add / change / or delete content by logging in, editing the page or post, and clicking the “publish” button. It’s as easy as that – literally.

WordPress Ranks Better on Google

The structure of a WordPress website is exactly what Google likes to see. Many of the pages are interlinked and there are easy to follow pathways for Google and other search engine spiders to follow. WordPress websites make it easy to alert Google when new pages are added. And they work with Google Analytics flawlessly to exchange data between your hosting company and your website and Google. Google loves WordPress and they usually show their love with PageRank.

 

Responsive WordPress Themes and Why You Need Them

Just when you thought technology was standing still for a minute… it was improving all along. And the latest improvement to WordPress is responsive technology. We can now design a website so it automatically reshapes itself to fit on a handheld or a tablet or any sized display automatically. It does not just make itself look like it’s under a magnifying glass or something like that… it divides into blocks and lines up vertically on a handheld screen.

Do you need responsive? Yeah. You need this. More and more people surf the web with handhelds and tablets every day. Having a website that automatically detects them and reshapes the site to conform perfectly to their environment just makes sense. It costs more to build this way but in the long run it’s worth it. This is the future of WordPress web design.

The first responsive design I ever used was Bill Erickson’s “Driskill” which is based on the StudioPress Genesis Framework.

http://demos.studiopress.com/driskill/

To see what responsive is… go to Bill’s demo site and grab the theme by the lower right corner and drag it to the left. See how the different design elements center themselves on the available browser width as you make it smaller until they eventually wrap under each other in a programmed order to make sense for the user?

I’m partial to StudioPress Genesis because they have in my professional opinion the best technical staff and technical support. Although there are many great companies out there now like Elegant Themes and Woo Themes and dozens of great companies on ThemeForest which are all top shelf and World Class. StudioPress has continued to roll out more and more responsive themes since Driskill, and Elegant Themes genius design guru Nick Roach converted 10 of his Elegant Themes to responsive:

 

Here is a link to all 10 of Elegant Themes responsive themes http://www.elegantthemes.com/gallery/category/responsive/

You can see 17 StudioPress Genesis Themes that are all responsive using their theme chooser here:

http://www.studiopress.com/choose-theme

And here is the ultimate link dealing with responsive design today… you can test any site in cyberspace by going to this StudioPress page and enter it’s URL:

http://www.studiopress.com/responsive/

That will allow you to see exactly what the theme looks like at various screen sizes. Brilliant. Typical for StudioPress but nevertheless simply brilliant.

Now if you have not seen enough here is a well researched article highlighting the best WordPress Themes of 2012 and I’m surprised at how many I’ve already used… check this out if you need a little eye candy:

http://bloggingexperiment.com/best-wordpress-themes

So if I was to recommend a responsive theme I can tell you I’ve rolled out projects with these themes and been happy with the support and the very professional results:

StudioPress Driskill by Bill Erickson

StudioPress Legacy by Wes Staham

StudioPress Agency – a stock Genesis theme

StudioPress Streamline – stock Genesis

And you want to see 13 pages of mind blowing responsive WordPress designs on ThemeForest? Check this out:

http://themeforest.net/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&term=responsive&categories=wordpress&sidebar_redirect=true