The Challenge: Author Anita Sanchez had an “off-the-shelf” website from webs.com and a wordpress.com blog (unmowed.com), and little other online presence. While she liked her blog, the website was not terribly interesting to look at or functional. She felt that together the blog and website were not adequately expressing her love of nature and interest in the “unmowed corners” of the world. And there was a little confusion owing to the different URLs.
The Solution: After discussion with us, she decided to combine the two into a single self-hosted website at anitasanchez.com. We developed a handsome looking WordPress site using a premium theme from Elegant Themes. The theme is responsive to screen size, and features her blog, her books, and her speaking engagements. With our guidance, she picked beautiful royalty free, available images from flickr to spice up the site, as well as got permission from a photographer friend to use some stunning photographs of nature.
Her blog at wordpress.com still exists, but it redirects the visitor to anitasanchez.com. We needed to ensure that the permalinks on the new site matched the old so that visitors to the old site (such as those finding it via search engines) would seamlessly be moved to the new site. Like the old blog, the old website also redirects to the correct pages on the new site. We conducted online searches to find any stray pages from the old site that needed redirection, which is handled with a plugin on the site. Eventually search engines will catch up, and realize that all the content exists at anitasanchez.com.
The site contains requisite security and performance software, of course, minimizing the risk of hacking, and boosting the speed of the site for visitors. We also optimized the site for search engines. Our summer graphic artist intern, Jacqueline Gaul, designed a snappy logo.
We also helped Anita to create a new author’s profile on GoodReads, carried out some editing on her Amazon.com author profile and, importantly, made it very easy for visitors to learn how to buy Anita’s books, including at nearby independent booksellers. There is still some work to be done. Her new Twitter and Google+ profiles need to be expanded, and a Facebook page dedicated to her passion authoring books needs to be created. But we couldn’t feel better about how far her online presence has come.
It helps that Anita is a very nice, thoughtful person who focuses on issues that we care a lot about, too. If you haven’t checked out her blog or bought one of Anita’s books yet, go do it today!