Re-building website on wordpress? Checklist to consider!

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22 Nov

Re-building website on wordpress? Checklist to consider!

As you may have noticed, for a few weeks, there have been frequent changes in the design and features on our website. Yes, we have been working on to give a new look to ServeOM Inclusion’s website; and we want to continue using WordPress as our favorite authoring tool!

We love WordPress because of it’s robust, accessible and simple administrative interface. WordPress at one time was just known as a blogging platform but today, WordPress offers a lot of rich tools to build a powerful website.

When we thought of re-building our website, we have a few requirements in mind that includes:

  • Accessibility
  • Good user experience
  • Decent color combinations with good contrast
  • Professional look and feel
  • Member area pages
  • Video gallaries
  • Social integration

First thing was to choose right theme. Explored many themes but most of them including those are accessibility ready have one common problem that sub menus get expanded automatically on focus to the menu; which we did not want to happen. We have tried hard to re-engineer those menus but found it difficult. Finally Bizwhoop is one theme we found suitable to our requirements. But this free theme has limitation in choosing colors and we don’t feel comfortable with Red. Then we have decided to purchase Bizwhoop Pro. Challenge was they accept payment only via PayPal and PayPal requires to show payments in Indian rupees for customers purchasing from India. However, have received an email from their support team with an option to transfer money to their Indian account. Soon after the payment, they have sent link to download the theme. This theme is great and worth purchasing.

Here are list of things we have customised for better usability.

  • We believe content should not be displayed in uppercase letters; so we have changed <text-transform> to “none” from “uppercase”. Read UX Movement article on all caps hard for users to read
  • We believe focus indicator should be visible to users; so we have changed <outline> from “none” to “dotted”
  • We found content text colour is gray and doesn’t go well with white background; so we have changed that using the additional CSS
  • We have added WP Accessibility plugin to make the theme more accessible. But we have intentionally not chosen to have font resize and display settings
  • We have used Page restrict plugin to make a few pages visible only to registered members. Objective of using this feature is to know our users better so that we can provide better content
  • We have noticed by default theme displays only post title and featured image (if available) and not the excerpt. We had to add a php code directly into the raw file from our cPanel. Unfortunately, we haven’t found an option to change in the theme itself.

We are still exploring options to include better help desk feature for this site. Stay tuned.

Special thanks to Narsing Rao Bongurala for helping us through this journey of re-building this website. He is highly potential graphic and web designer. What we found great about him is his willingness to explore technologies and fix any complex problem. We highly recommend him to anyone who may need such services. Thanks again, Narsing.

More things to come into website in the days to come.

BySrinivasu Chakravarthula

Srinivasu Chakravarthula is an accessibility evangelist for 12+ years. Accessibility is not just his profession but something that is very close to his heart. Srinivasu believes that technology plays an important role to make lives of people with disabilities independent. Srinivasu is recipient of Yahoo! Ratna and NCPEDP MphasiS Universal Design Award. Srinivasu is Certified Web Accessibility Specialist by International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP). Srinivasu is also an individual Professional member of IAAP. Visit his personal website to learn more.

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