Mobile-Friendly: The McTwist
Oftentimes, a mobile site takes everything from the desktop site, and crams it into a smaller package. This makes sense for some projects, but when talking through the BSA site, we determined that not everything in the desktop website was needed in the mobile version.
We decided to streamline the content to make the site more mobile-friendly—we slimmed down the home page, and in place of the skatepark carousel, we inserted a skatepark finder. We felt mobile users would be more interested in locating a place to skate rather than swiping through some of the visual bling found on the desktop site.
WordPress to Craft CMS Backside 180
With the frontend done, it was time to talk backend. In other words, what content management system (CMS) to use? The initial decision was to go with WordPress. After all, BSA’s interim site was built with it, they already knew how to use it, it’s very popular, yada yada yada… We decided to take a different approach, though. Our idea was to use Craft CMS.
If you’re not familiar with Craft CMS, you could say it’s the skateboarding of the CMS world—progressive, appreciated, but not quite as popular as the mainstream. Seemed like a natural fit.
After giving our internal team a demonstration, everyone was on board and the recommendation was taken to the BSA. Again, the BSA trusted us to lead them in the right direction. They knew we’d done our homework and that we’ve been around the block a few times. The result was a win that allowed for easy and robust development, content flexibility, and a customized and user-friendly admin experience.
One of the more interesting parts of the site (but not yet active) is the skatepark’s "Feature" section. When activated, this will show a bird’s-eye image of the skatepark with interactive points of interest (POI) for highlighting items like ramps and rails.
With the help of Craft’s Live Preview, we were able to allow the admin to place the POIs without having to submit the entry or reload the website. Simply assign the marker a numerical value and watch the marker move into position. This feature makes building out the section faster and easier than what would have been possible in other CMS tools.
Skate or Die!
Admittedly, it’s been a long time since anyone at Oliver Russell has ridden a skateboard in a skillful way, but that didn’t take away from the fun we had in working on this project. I think most of us were able to connect on a level greater than just the average client/agency relationship. That connection helped foster trust and allowed us to spread our wings both creatively and technically. We look forward to taking what we learned on the BSA site and applying it to future projects.