I just finished a delightful website renovation that required skills in a bunch of different areas of website development: Logo Work, Design Modifications, Layout and Navigation, Thematic Consistency, Security, a little Video Work, and Copy Development. Plus, I got to learn a whole new WordPress page builder and learned more about the personal fitness training world than I ever thought I would. Say hello to Darla O’Brien and Designer Fitness
First of all, make no mistake about it, Darla is highly trained, highly educated professional who has few peers in her industry. She maintains over a dozen certifications (most trainers seem to have 3 or 4 at best), works in tandem with doctors and physical therapists, and focuses on a mind/body approach to exercise that stays with her clients even after they leave the workout. She’s a Certified Exercise Physiologist, Certified Senior Fitness Trainer, Certified Weight Loss Specialist, and a Fitness Nutrition Specialist, to name a few. Oh, yea, and she has her own trademarked training system called the Motion Empowered System. She’s pretty badass.
The logo for DF was good and had been the brand for the studio for years now, so I didn’t want to change it too much. The issue was that it didn’t scale to smaller sizes or to more horizontal applications. So I outsourced to my good friend and graphic designer extraordinaire, Max Kelly. Max is excellent graphic designer and photographer. His tweaks to the logo were masterful.
He created several different incarnations of the logo to accommodate nearly any situation: round, horizontal, text only, and gray scale. If you’re in the market for graphic design or photography work, give Max a shout. He’s great.
Design, Layout, Navigation, and Theme.
The website design was mostly there, it just need the edges sanded off. I removed some extraneous sections, made header images more consistent, reorganized the navigation, and gave the content layout an upgrade.
I created a few moving parts to catch the eye as well as calls to action. Each of the service pages now has a “1-2-3 It’s Easy To Sign Up” call to action halfway down the page. I added lots of lists to break things out and make it easier to read.
The biggest issue was the copy. There simply wasn’t enough of it and the content that was there needed to tell a more cohesive story. So, I set about collecting data. I sent a list of questions to Darla to give me some fodder. Because she has so many skills, I decided to create pages discussing some of the more common training scenarios: athletics, general personal trainer, surgery and rehab exercise, medical situations, senior exercise, etc. I also fleshed out the About sections to include individual pages about Darla, her ME System, and her credentials and the organizations they come from.
With a little research, the copy that was already present, and with the ample information she provided from my questions, I was able to produce 8 full pages of useful, relevant copy that should help the search engines find her and guests glean what she does.
Finally, I will throw a shout out to the folks at Elegant Themes for their work on the Divi Page Builder. I’m typically not a fan of automated page builders as they often require too much use with the mouse. I’m a keyboard type o’ guy. Plus, they make it really easy for people to put too many moving parts, or moving-picture-animated-crap-content, on a webpage. That said, when judiciously used, moving parts can be advantageous. Divi Builder made these types of thing pretty easy. The interface is intuitive, the code it generates appears reasonably clean, and the it’s not too bloated when you build with it.