So, there I was, sitting at home eating a chicken (Yes, a whole chicken). When my phone lights up with the fury of 1000 suns and there is a name bouncing at me, “Longfellows Cedar Shingles”. Excellent! I answer.
“Hellllooooooooooooooooo there.” I say.
“Jared, how are ya?” Jim replies.
“I’m still breathing, you know.”
“That’s always good to hear. Hey, I’m wondering if you can come over and help me out with some computer stuff.”
(In my usual response) “Jim, I would love nothing more.”
And we are off to the races.
I drive down the frost heave be laden roads of Maine over to Jim’s Cedar Shingles Mill. His mill is a beautiful thing. Men are working, giant dogs are running about, wood is being cut and exploded by saws and machines, everything good in the world is happening.
Just to explain, Jim owns a cedar shingle mill and ships cedar shingles all over the United States, he runs a fantastic business that makes quality products. It is also family owned and operated, incredible family too. I was actually told by a carpenter once that, “Jim’s shingles make a house look solid, they are thicker than other’s I’ve seen.” So, there you have it, thick shingles for a thick man.
Anyway, I roll up to his house, which is on the same property as the mill (family owned, remember?) and whip out my briefcase of tech tools and walk inside.
“Hey Jared, you want some breakfast?” Jim says, glancing over his shoulder, wearing his Bluetooth headphones (He’s probably on the phone as well).
“Pshhh, you better believe it.” I say.
So, Jim makes the most amazing breakfast potatoes I have ever seen, with some really well cooked home grown eggs, when asked about the potatoes and how he makes em so good Jim responds.
“It’s all about the butter.” To be fair, I was expecting a little more, but of course, isn’t everything about the butter?
Now, down to business. Jim explains to me that he hasn’t been able to log in to his Google account, and that he wants some pictures added to his web page. I snap open the locks of my briefcase and pull out my Surface Pro 4 (I can’t talk about this thing enough, it’s an amazing device) and go grab Jim’s Lenovo Yoga 13 incher to get to work. I find out that Jim has been opening a different browser that the passwords weren’t saved on. I figure out the password situation, get all the browsers on the same page and passwords saved, then we move on to getting the email working.
Jim wants certain emails (He uses Gmail) to be filtered under a specific tag, so he can browse everything related to shipping materials. I proceed to get that filter added in about 15 minutes and everything running smooth. Much honor and glory to my ancestors!
Now, on to the website. Jim says that he’d like a links page, pictures, and other addons to the website. I say, “Jim, we can just move this site over to a responsive theme, this will make it a bit better on search engines and help me, as the developer, to make future changes as well.”
“Do you think I need it?”
“Well, not really.” I say (I know, surprising).
We get talking a bit more, I say I’ll look into the process and see how it’ll work. I’ll get everything added one way or the other. I ask him if he’d be comfortable with a certain price for me to work, he gives me an estimated offer to figure this out.
I close my Pro 4, put his Lenovo back, snap shut my briefcase and head out the door. Time to get to work and see what we can do for the website.
After looking into how to port his Website over to WordPress I realize it won’t be all that difficult. His site isn’t super complicated and I can just layout everything in a standard way, and blam, done. So, I decide to port it over to WordPress.
I spin up our hosting account and get to work. I load up an install of WordPress and add in the DIVI theme from Elegant Themes (Also a great company, very helpful). After shuffling things around, and figuring out how to resize the logo (this took me a bit) I get it working. The website is now responsive and easier to edit! Hooray for WordPress!
To clarify, there are advantages to having a responsive website (which is what I did for Jim). One of these advantages is improved SEO. Google takes a look at websites and if they are mobile friendly (responsive) they are ranked higher than other sites that are not. This is to benefit the users who are on their phones and desktops to get the best experience possible.
So, I was able to get Jim’s website ported over pretty easily, add a whole new gallery that is easier to update and looks better (in my opinion). I’m able to add future updates to the website much quicker, which saves Jim money, and the overall feel of the site is a bit more modern. Always a plus, modernimity (it’s a word, I swear).
Also, for the future, if we want to start developing content on Jim’s website, such as a blog or current events, it will be much easier and simpler now that we are using a CMS like WordPress. It is a good move for any company, if you can afford it, to get everything moved over and keep it modern. The web is always changing, and if you aren’t busy living, your busy dying (Shawshank Redemption, anyone?).