RIDGELINE CUSTOM BUILDERS

Site Modernization

THE RUNDOWN

Complexity
Value Added
Improvement
Maintenance
Cost
SEO Improvement
Time

UPDATED LOOK & FEEL

With the most popular search engines like Google and Bing now factoring in mobile compatibility into their search ranking, and with many users now browsing the web from their mobile devices, we knew we had to invest our time and resources into the new platform in order to stay competitive and accessible. Making sure the site looks good cross-platform is one way to improve SEO.

BEFORE & AFTER

Drag the vertical slider left and right to see how the old site compares to the new site.

The old site had a page called Photo Gallery, which, aside from not being concisely titled, was filled with static images and text. Apart from having a simple layout, the content itself did little to inform the user as to what project may contain the features they were interested in.

The new site put the content and the user’s end goals in mind: highlight the features of each project, while making it simple for the user to find the types of projects they were interested in. By tagging each project with several of the items it featured, we were able to generate a tag cloud that lets the user quickly browse the projects they were most interested in.

We focused on ensuring the new site looked good from any device, such as desktop, mobile, and tablet. With the huge Wordpress community at our disposal, and countless plugins, we could develop just about whatever we wanted. The first pass at modernizing the site was a success.

With less than 40 hours billed to completely modernize the site, the project went smooth from start to finish. And, going forward, we have a much better and more dynamic platform for making updates than ever before.

THE OLD SITE

The owner of Ridgeline Custom Builders was very happy with his old site, and it served him well for about 7 years. However, it was a static HTML site that was hand-written, and did not feature CMS capabilities that allowed us to easily add new content going forward. Ridgeline gets new projects all the time, and in order to avoid the heartache and expense of having to update and input projects manually, we made the decision to pull the trigger on upgrading the site to a CMS platform.


ABOUT THE SITE

Ridgeline Custom Builders is owned by a friend of mine, Matt Dolan. They've been in business for several years. In 2010, I was approached by the previous webmaster to take over the development of a custom website, built from scratch. At the time, I was pretty new to the game, and building the site was a great way to learn all of the important web languages needed to complete the project. In the end, Matt was happy, and I had completed my first project as a freelance web developer. Since then, the web has changed. A lot.

I approached Matt and asked if he'd like to modernize his site, to which he agreed. We both saw the importance of migrating the site from a static site, which performed poorly on mobile devices and required manual updates to keep the site current, to a highly-dynamic, CMS-based website that had a rich set of features and mobile compatibility baked in from the get go.