Blog: Case Study: Using WordPress as an Online Platform for a Corporate Website

29 Mar 2013 Alex Grechanowski Web
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“We wanted to give our website a fresh look and feel that better reflects what we stand for, presents our services and is user-friendly for our clients and visitors.“ ~ Dmitry Balin, DB Best Co-founder and CEO

New DBBest.com: Our Objectives

The general look of the company website (dbbest.com) has been updated back in 2011 and was in desperate need of a facelift and revitalization.

As our team started working on the new look-and-feel, we already had several primary goals in mind that had to be implemented in the new design.

First and foremost, we wanted to provide clear answers to what people are looking for when they visit our website. To understand what customers want, we heavily relied on Google Analytics, our internal analytics systems, and feedback from our support and sales teams across the globe.

We also wanted as few distractions as possible around our key services and offerings – Data Management, Modernization, Custom Development (Web, Mobile, Database Products).

New Elements and Modules We Introduced with the Re-launch

  • Responsive web design: flexible layouts and visual aesthetics
  • New website copy (with conversion in mind) and content organization: easy to navigate page payout with elegant combination of text, calls to action, graphics, and video
  • Landing page module that allows our marketing crew to create and promote new pages
  • On-site SEO best practices
  • Ecommerce module for our database products
  • Newsletters modules integrated with contact forms

WordPress Plugins We Used for the New Site

  • WP e-Commerce – a Shopping Cart Plugin that lets customers buy products, services and digital downloads online, using PayPal Payments, Google Checkout, Authorize.net and other payment gateways.
  • WordPress SEO – possible the best SEO plugin on the market.
  • Breadcrumb NavXT – adds breadcrumb navigation showing the visitor’s path to their current location.
  • Better WordPress reCAPTCHA – the plugin utilizes reCAPTCHA (with support for Akismet) to help your blog stay clear of spams.
  • WP Video Lightbox – displays YouTube and Vimeo videos in an elegant lightbox overlay.

Our Redesign Methodology

“The big point is to keep iterating, keep working on it in the “live” environment as best as you can.” ~ Chris Brogan.

When it comes to redesigning a website, we use our iterative approach to changing things, right in sync with our Web Development Best Practices. DBBest.com is a WordPress website which means it’s super fun and easy for our web developers and designers to re-launch the entire ecosystem making all the changes in incremental steps.

The Process

1. The entire redesign process started with website structure and sitemap creation:

2. Our focus on providing fast answers helped us create a clean and simple primary navigation:

DBBEST.com - Primary Navigation Menu

3. We came up with a new design of our homepage with a road-map to our products and services:

 

Old-DBBEST-website NEW-DBBEST-website

 

DBBEST.com’s new home page: before and after 

4. We also wanted to brighten up the website using lighter color theme and vivid images that highlight what we do and how we do it:

Custom Development

5. With the new website structure, we have significantly increased the number of pages. Our marketing and technical writers created the whole new content that ideally fits the new layout and graphics:

Website Graphics and Content

Such professionally written content is great for search engines and helpful for people:

Content Development

6. While wireframing on a napkin, we thought it might be a good idea to tell stories about our team, products and services and make the website more interactive. And sometimes putting only words is not enough to tell people what we do best. So we decided to spice up our new page layouts with videos from our popular YouTube channel:

WordPress Video Integration

7. Another great idea was to place our full Custom Development Portfolio under one umbrella making the Portfolio section more usable for all types of website visitors:

Portfolio

Moreover, from now on, every project in our portfolio comes with a more detailed description and several media files: screenshots and a video overview.

iOS Portfolio - Simply Declare

8. For DBAs and everyone who would like to buy our Database Compare Suite or T-SQL Analyzer, as well as the rest of our database products it became much easier to make a purchase with the “new and improved” checkout process in one convenient place.

Database Products

9. To create the new online presence, from designing a responsive WordPress theme to working on on-page SEO, we set up a website testing environment. Upon the completion of all the steps , as well as throughout the development process, our Quality Assurance team have rigorously tested the website performance, every new plugin, design and code elements, page speed, and even every new chunk of text.

10. Once we all were satisfied with the results, we released it to the live “production” server: dbbest.com – check it out!

Take the Next Step

Customers often ask, “what would it take to redesign a website?” From our experience it’s a combination of several factors: clear vision as to what you would like to change and why, a professional and well-coordinated team of developers, and a flexible CMS or framework. Luckily, we had it all.

So what do all of you think about our new look? Love the new design? Or hate it? Let us know by leaving your comments below, sharing or liking the post.

PS We agree: Code is Poetry