Client: Sue Travels.
Client's profession: Professional travel blogger. She is in the top 100 most travelled people in the world.
Client's location: England, UK.
Client's needs: Logo, website design, website development, & business cards.
Client's goals: Sue wanted a website that she could monitise with affiliate links and email newsletter campaigns. She also wanted a stable, fast, and easy to use website.
Sue, unfortunately, came to me with a website that was built with plugins rather than code and built in a way that did not utilise native Wordpress features. This meant a lot more work for Sue to keep the website updated.
As a result, the website was bloated, slow and very difficult to use both for Sue and the user.
The original logo was made it photoshop and had a maximum width of 600px. As a result, the logo had zero possibilities to scale or edit efficiently.
The logo had to be completely redone and vectorised. I wanted to keep true to the original design. I introduced a slightly more positive colour theme, changed the name, and gave the critical areas more space to breathe.
Original logo on the left. New logo on the right.
The original colour palette from the previous website was not a bad combination at all and lent very well to the brand and content. I tweaked the colours to make them a little more vibrant.
My brief for the new website was to completely rebuild it. We did not have the budget for full custom designs, although naturally when rebuilding a website, a lot of restructuring occurred, which ultimately ended up with redesigns in quite a few places.
A major hurdle to tackle was how to convey and communicate over 400 posts and nearly 5,000 images.
I first added a submenu to differentiate the continents from the main pages. I consolidated 8 main pages from the previous website into 4. This instantly gave the user direction and diversity to chose. It also reduced needless information which clogged up the menu system.
I then put a lot more post snippets on all the major pages to showcase different posts and stories. I also split the posts into different 'unofficial' categories, like travel tips, featured, and most recent to break up the monotony of seeing so many posts.
Additionally, I wanted to give more room for her pictures to speak for themselves. Although not a photographer some of Sue's photos were extremely impressive and they needed to be showcased. Below is the new home page. Compared to the original (above), it is dominated with links to posts and vibrant images.
Probably the most impressive part of the website was the creation of a template for each country. On these pages, we had an edge to edge gallery showcasing the top pictures of the country and then below listing all the stories related to that country. It was a nice way to highlight and showcase her journey through so many countries.
Finally as a way to move the website forward to make money I created a newsletter sign up, which was prominent and added to every page. I also made a custom Gutenberg block that she could add on each post where ever she wanted.
Sue wanted to showcase some affiliate links for products she frequently used on her trips. So I made her a custom affiliate sidebar. She had the option to add her top featured travel items as well as specific items based on each post she created. That way she had the flexibility to target appropriate affiliate items to blog posts, whilst not showcasing any products should they be irrelevant.
I also gave Sue a much simpler solution for using images in her posts and showcased them in a way where they had more prominence.