All Deluxe All the Time is is a pet project of ours. The site deals with mindful living, and offers tips on cooking, health, and other ways to make the most out of life.
All Deluxe All The Time was what I like to call a “one day” project; that is to say, “one day” we would be able to get around to it. The idea for the site rolled around in our heads for a couple of years before we took any action on it; other things — like paying the bills — got in the way. When we finally got serious about making the business a reality, we started planning out the site. Of course, who else to design and implement our web presence but Deluxe Interactive Services! What we had in mind was a fun, friendly site with an easygoing style. We would be offering a single product for purchase, and creating bi-weekly posts about all things related to a Deluxe lifestyle. We would need the ability for our users to register and we would need a contact form.
We purchased our domain as soon as we got serious about the project and set up a WordPress instance so we could immediately start blogging. Even though it would be several months before we would have the site built, creating content could start immediately. As is the rule with most any web effort, content is your gold. By the time the site launched, I wanted to have plenty of good information already in place. I would advise anyone developing a business site to begin creating content and blog posts as soon as you can.
For the design, I reviewed many existing web sites, with a focus on those with a mindset similar to what we were planning. I knew I wanted the site to have a “down home”, warm feel. I played with colors and layouts, and finally narrowed the designs to two concept ideas. I conducted an informal survey and went with what was most well received, concept 1.
A logo had to be developed as well. I worked on a number of ideas and finally narrowed it down to 3 treatments. Again, I asked the experts, my likely readers, for their opinion and the logo concept 1 was chosen to go along with the site.
We mapped out the hierarchy and I began building out the HTML while Richard started researching plugins and widgets. There was a time not so long ago when we would have had to hire a programming team to create some of these services, but so much is available through WordPress and other online services it’s easy and inexpensive to launch a business site.
For instance, since we would start with only one product in a very low quantity a full blown shopping cart would have been more than what we needed. So we chose to use the services offered at lulu.com. It’s a great deal as you can order as few as one copy. We set up a page at their site and let them handle the purchase, production and shipping. They reimburse you via PayPal or check.
As for the blogging, of course that is what WordPress was originally set up to do so we were good to go, but we needed to up that a little. We wanted the ability for folks to register and be automatically set up as a subscriber. Richard selected the Wysija Newsletters plugin to handle that bit of business.
Fresh content is imperative and the blogging would definitely be good for that, but I wanted the home page to display the new content without having the blog reside on the opening page. We set up an area in the right rail that would highlight our latest post and display a selected feature image while home page text lived in the main content area. The contact us form was a breeze with Gravity Forms, a WordPress plugin we use because of it’s ease a dependability.
With design selected, stories posted, a shopping section set up, and the HTML converted to WordPress, we were able to post an attractive site already filled out with good content and purchasing ability ready to rock and roll.
As our effort expands so will the site, but we’ll address advances as they’re needed, making this project easy on our budget, and all in good time!