ROD WordPress Redesign Project
To create a WordPress template to use as a base for all of the county ROD (Register of Deeds) websites that Courthouse Computer Systems provides hosting and web maintenance for. This template would be lightweight, versatile, intuitive, simple to import or export, and easy to customize. It would include a selected theme, page builder, and plugins.
Register of Deeds county government offices in both North Carolina and Kentucky.
The current websites were outdated and slow. Besides notification updates many of these websites hadn’t been fully updated up to years and some websites could take well up to a minute to load. This could be frustrating for both the county clients and users who needed to access their websites. Additionally, the current theme and webpage builder that were being used for these websites were both obsolete, meaning they were no longer being actively updated by the creators. They also both required an adequate knowledge of HTML and CSS. This made it difficult for client’s to update their website so they often relied on Courthouse Computer Systems to update even for simple tasks. This could cause delay when there was an immediate need for an update.
For a theme I selected Astra Pro because it is a well-known theme renowned for its reliability, unparalleled speed, and customization. For our page builder I selected Beaver Builder because it required little to no HTML or CSS knowledge, has a relatively short and manageable learning curve, and would allow users to easily access it and edit the pages live directly from the front end using a drag-and-drop interface. The free version is very lightweight while offering just the right amount of customization features for our needs without an increased risk of overwhelming our clients with too many unnecessary options. Additionally, this page builder provides useful tools like creating drafts or loading previous page saves. Finally, it produces clean code for our development team, and even if the plugin is ever uninstalled the code will remain intact and not break the website. I also selected other plugins to use for some of the websites common features such as the slideshows or notification banners on the homepages. This was to continue the goal of making everything easy to access and update without requiring coding knowledge. Plugins were also installed to address other needs such as providing website backups, optimizing the sites, etc. The final part of the project was creating a comprehensive training guide on WordPress familiarity to help clients successfully manage their newly implemented websites.
A few examples of the wireframe ideas for the template.