Jeff Cottrill

Jeff Cottrill is a satirical writer, journalist, poet and storyteller.

A familiar face on the Toronto performance scene, Jeff has many strings to his bow and a few places of his own on the internet already. But what he really needed was a grown-up site that showcased his performance life.

Jeff took a look at websites that I have put together already and at the Elegant Themes website for an idea of what kind of structure and design would fit his new site.

The scrolling boxes were a bit too busy for Jeff

He rather liked the look of The Seahorse Shop, but instead of the scrolling top box with Random Posts, Comments and Lifestream plugin he wanted a Featured Articles slider.

The featured articles slider – a quieter alternative

This way Jeff has more control over the content his visitors see first “before the fold”.

The events calendar and sidebar widget

Another feature Jeff chose was the Calendar plugin which comes complete with an Upcoming Events sidebar widget. A great option for performers who want to let their visitors know when their next show, concert or gig is coming up.

Bad widget!

When I first installed the plugin I had a problem with the widget sitting nicely in the sidebar. The title bar was sticking out and I couldn’t figure out how to make it appear flush with the right-hand side of sidebar. Luckily one quick post on the Elegant Themes support forum was all it took to sort it out – within a couple of hours one of the moderators replied with a bit of code that fixed the problem right away. This is one of the reasons I recommend Elegant Themes to all of my clients – their themes are delicious and their support is second-to-none. I am able to tweak and adjust templates to suit my clients quickly and easily with the help of the technical geniuses at Elegant Themes.

WPAudio – a great little plugin

Being a spoken word artist Jeff needed to have examples of his work on the site and so he uploaded some mp3 files to the server. However, the links for the files opened up another page with a dull, grey player on it. I installed the plugin WPAudio MP3 Player which automatically creates cute little players in the page without opening up a new page.

I’m really pleased with the way Jeff’s page turned out. It draws all of his performance work into a professional-looking web presence where friends and fans can track his upcoming appearances.

Marilla Wex is the founder and owner of Wex Sites.