Trade Development Alliance site redesign/rebuild

Trade Alliance site redesign


Made in: Dreamweaver CS3 for Windows, Coda for Mac,

Runs on: MySQL and PHP on a Windows server (IIS), with a WordPress install

When I was hired at the Trade Alliance, a significant part of my job was to redesign and rebuild their website. The website they were using had been built in 2008, and had, in a sense, not ever been entirely completed; the site ran on PHP, but the contractors had not built a database that would run the site, so there was a great deal of reliance on converting Access to XML and uploading that to the site. There were also issues with presentation and design - the font size was deliberately small, in contravention to modern standards, for example.

In the redesign, the goal was to overall modernise the site's appearance and functions, create a MySQL database that could be accessed by staff and used both as the office database and the site's database, and make key refinements to navigation and presentation, even on top of the fact they wanted a completely new look.

The new site was a soup-to-nuts rebuild. The design was modernized to increase white space and to add more photos, while the text was completely rewritten to better be readable on computer screens. A MySQL database was incorporated into the site with a link to the Access database the staff used, so changes were updated quite quickly, and bulky update processes were eliminated. The new site also featured a custom-themed WordPress install; while the previous site had also used WordPress to manage frequently updated parts of the site, such as the addition of new events, the theme was not exactly that of the overall site. This fit in with the PHP pages much more seamlessly. The overall site also took style direction from the new suite of marketing materials I was developing for the organization.