Mandy Ketcheson is a psychotherapist who specializes in dealing with creative artists and performers.
I was recommended to her by Steven Shehori of Sweat Equity Productions, a PR specialist who was helping Mandy launch her website in the entertainment community in Toronto. I met Steven and his brother Daniel when I took their famous seminar in DIY PR a couple of years ago.
Mandy already had a website, but as you can see from the picture above, it wasn’t very appealing visually. She actually described it as “lame” in her first email to me. Mandy wanted to keep things simple while updating the look and potential functionality of her site.
Mandy chose the Daily Notes template from Elegant Themes. With Steven’s help she came up with a mock-up of how she wanted the website to look. This was extremely helpful to me in putting the site together – with the images already chosen along with the layout it was a snap to build.
What wasn’t so easy was wrestling the domain name and hosting away from the company Mandy had engaged previously to revamp her website. They wanted to charge her nearly $3,000 to rebuild the site plus $100 per month hosting! Over four times what I charge for the website construction and nearly 7 times what I charge for hosting…..I see this sort of thing time and time again, sadly – if you haven’t already checked it out look at my friend Isabel’s familiar tale of getting charged ten times more for a website that isn’t half as capable or flexible as one of my websites. Thankfully Mandy was able to get a refund of her initial outlay with the other company and we were able to get to work.
It wasn’t all plain sailing, however – the functionality of the Daily Notes theme is a little different from some of the other Elegant Themes templates. Built to behave like a tumblr theme each thumbnail links to a preview of the post. This created an interim click or step in the process of reading the information on that post and we wanted to make the site as simple as possible.
I toyed with the idea of using the Feather theme which does not have the same tumblr-like functionality of Daily Notes. I even built a custom home page to look like the mock-up that Mandy had provided me with. However, she really didn’t like the Feather theme so I needed to find a solution to make the Daily Notes theme work for her.
I went onto the Elegant Themes support forum and found the solution. I edited the the coding of the stylesheet in the theme and removed that pesky preview. Now each thumbnail links directly to the post.
The finished article looks like a fancier version of the mock-up and is exactly what Mandy wanted. I’m very proud of this particular website – it took some finagling to make it work the way Mandy wanted – and it was totally worth the end result.