Categories : Branding

 

This post is about why I re-designed this website.

This is how my website looked before the changes – pretty radical, huh! –

Mark-Salmon.com Website jpeg

I was running my site on the Optimise Presss 1.0 theme but this theme is not responsive.

Whilst it has many good features, website design has moved on and I guess that is why Optimise Press 2.0 was created.  I almost bought OP 2.0 but backed off after Rob Cornish did an article saying that the page editor was slow and clunky.

I certainly like the look of some the OP 2.0 sites that I have seen but speed of implementation is also important.  The price at $197/$297 was also an issue.

Optimise Press 1.0 was good for squeeze pages, sales pages and membership sites.  However, I use plugins like Paper Template and Instabuilder now to create squeeze pages and sales pages and I build membership sites on either the Membersonic Theme or the Instatheme.

I then looked carefully at the Thrive Themes produced by Shane Melaugh but I felt that these were relatively expensive compared to other options on the market.  I own Shane’s plugin called the Thrive Page editor which gives plenty of page building flexibility anyway on any theme on which I choose to install it.

I was therefore pleased to snap up the developers rights for the Elegant Biz theme by Tantan Hilyatana for just $47.  It seemed a bargain given that it has all these features:

  • Fully Responsive + Has Custom Mobile Design
  • Elegant and Beautiful Design – Designed for easy user interface, elegant and beautiful design as well as professional and modern.
  • Can be Used for Any Type of Website
  • Rating System: on post and comments plus rating block as well as top rated items list.
  • SEO Optimized: all content have been structured for SEO, we use semantical HTML & CSS code which allows search engines to easily index the content.
  • Unlimited Color Options
  • Beautiful Gallery with lightbox popup feature
  • Custom Gallery which allows you to add images from external URL
  • Content Lightbox Popup – You can add text, image or video on the lightbox popup
  • Custom Post Types
  • Custom Page Types
  • Advanced Typography options: font size, font color, font family.
  • Filterable Portfolio (One page Ajax column), 2, 3 and 4 columns.
  • Translatable
  • Icon Menu Option – Easily and quickly add icon on WordPress menus, no coding skill needed.
  • Countdown Timer
  • Tabbed Content Feature
  • Toggle/Collapse Feature
  • Lightbox Popup for 1st Visit Users – Cookie length and delay are customizable.
  • Stylist related posts
  • Optin-Form option
  • Tons of Useful Shortcodes
  • Drag & Drop Layout Editor
  • Custom Templates – Facebook iframe page, blank template, portfolio template, blog template.
  • Custom Widgets
  • Retina Ready
  • Logo Option
  • Favicon Option
  • Hundreds of Google Fonts with live preview
  • Google Maps
  • Un-Moved Background Image for The Boxed Layout – You can use both pattern background or cover background image.
  • Color Insights – You’ll find color insights inside theme setting. No more confused choosing the best color for your site.
  • Header Image & Background Color Option
  • Build-in Contact Form
  • Stunning Pricing Table – Unlimited color options, built with CSS3 and HTML5.
  • 3 Awesome Homepage Sliders – Big image slider with several of transition variations, sequence slider and featured posts slider.
  • Testimonial Slider
  • Automatic Update – You’ll see an update notification on WP admin dashboard when we release new version, simply just 1-click to update without losing all saved settings.
  • Star Rating Google Rich Snippet
  • Unlimited-Level Dropdown Menus
  • Sleek Admin Panel
  • Auto Generated Thumbnails
  • Automatic Pagination
  • Social Sharing Ready – Position is adjustable (floating left, right, top, bottom).
  • Social Profile Icons
  • Support All Major Modern Browsers
  • XML Demo Content & Dummy Theme Settings for blazing fast setup
  • Boxed and Wide Layout variations
  • Facebook Comments
  • Custom Message on Each Post – You can display specific message on each post, on top or bottom of the post.
  • Threaded Comments
  • Works with 3rd Party Slider plugin – On the demo we are using Revolution Slider. Please note, this theme does not include Revolution slider, it can be purchased separately on the vendor sales page on CodeCanyon.
    [Update May 31, 2013 at 01.48 PM EST] We’re going to integrate Revolustion Slider, so you don’t need to buy it.
  • Built with HTML5 and CSS3
  • Custom CSS Option – Need more customizations? You can easily add custom CSS directly from admin panel without editing core theme files. Those styles will overwrite the theme styles.
  • Footer Bar Layout Option
  • Sidebar Position Option – You can choose left or right sidebar position.
  • Stripe Bar or float bar on top: Very useful to point out an important information.
  • Supports Multi-Site – You can install this theme on a multi-site environment.
  • Custom Login Screen
  • 600+ Icons – A lot of icons included. Use them and create awesome pages.
  • Support with Latest WordPress – version 3.5.1, also has been tested with WordPress 3.2.+.
  • Complete set of instructional training videos and text.
  • Get all future updates with added features FREE for lifetime.
  • Dedicated support team – We provide you private support and community forum. We care about your site as much as you and will help in anyway possible.

I particularly needed to make my site mobile-friendly and, as this theme is responsive, it fitted the bill nicely.

I also needed to upgrade one of my customers sites: http://hypnotherapycoventry.net.  Here is how that site now looks:

Dr Frank Lea Website

This design can also incorporate the Revolution Slider, which I have just configured for my sisters website.  It took me about a day and half to master the complexity involved with setting up this slider so I am glad that this time was not wasted!

Also, the Revolution Slider was incorporated within my purchase of Elegant Biz theme – if purchased separately off Code Canyon I notice that it costs $19 so my net outlay was just $28 for the developers rights to Elegant Biz – it just gets better and better.

I have no doubt that there will be some page problems involved in swapping over to this new theme and some coding problems but ultimately the additional features should make the change worthwhile.

I also took the opportunity of freshening up my logo into something a little more snappy.  There are also 600 icons included within the theme which will make for nice page designs.

So the three main reasons why I redesigned my website were – responsive theme, re-branding and additional features and flexibility offered by the new theme.  I hope that you like the new look and functionality.

About

Mark Salmon is an internet marketing consultant. Mark creates digital information products about starting and building an online business. Prior to starting his online business, Mark was a corporate banker based in the UK, then ran a business consultancy for around 8 years before deciding that his future was internet marketing. You can connect with Mark at: Mark's Google Plus Page Mark's Facebook Fan Page Mark's YouTube Channel Mark's Blog

2 Responses to “Why I Re-Designed This Website”
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  1. Michael says :

    I like this theme, Mark. It’s very professional looking.

    It took 8 seconds to load though.

    Do you use any plugins to increase loading time?

    1. Hi Michael – ironically I sell a coourse on page load speed but have not followed my own advice! I agree thepage load time is slow and I have so far done zero about it. Guess I should now that you mention it so I will add a caching plugin to start off with!

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