I worked full-time for Evergreen Outdoor Center for 6 years – from late 2007 until late 2013. It was an incredible job, and as much as I love NZ I miss the place a lot. The vibe there is fantastic and the experiences they offer their guests are perfectly tailored to their audiences.
Learning Web Design at Evergreen Outdoor Center
Early on I worked as a guide at Evergreen and in down time helped out in the office. Despite having very little computer experience until a couple of years earlier, I picked things up quickly and their web guy taught me the basics of how to update things. He had recently updated the site from a flash site to a static HTML one with WordPress blog add-ons in separate subdomains. The flash & HTML site was cool but it needed a spruce up.
The Evergreen Outdoor Center logo was more of a forest green, and I updated the site to reflect that. After updating the header code on a bunch of pages I thought, “surely there is a better way than this”, researched it, learnt php, and restructured the updated pages so that in future header, footer and so on updates would occur across the site. The various pages went through multiple revisions, updates, user experience tests, and do this & that requests from everyone who walked into the place, and came out somewhat usable at the end.
Though slow to begin with, smartphones swept Japan fast when they hit, and that combined with the tablet and smartphone carrying tourists from overseas saw Evergreen receiving nearly 40% of all visits from people on phones and tablets. The site wasn’t providing for them at all, and it was time to make a change.
Rebuilding the Evergreen Outdoor Center Website
As I had rebuilt the Evergreen site so many times, I knew how massive it was. I wasn’t surprised when Dave Enright, Director and Chief Guide, told me he’d had people offer to do the site, go away and have a go, and give up. I figured 100 pages of content over English & Japanese. Responsive site build, source and prepare images, write copy for pages, import old blogs into this database, tidy up content categories and tags, build multiple booking forms, have an integrated blog. The project was huge. I had no idea how to build a responsive site. I knew I wanted to use WordPress, as I was familiar with it and had seen how far it was coming along with shortcodes, visual editors and the like.
I never expected the X-Theme. That baby took care of everything. I bought X before Cornerstone was released, and started building the site with Visual Composer. I was about 5 pages in when the release happened, and after making 1 page with Cornerstone I was hooked, the other pages were redone, Visual Composer was removed and away I went.
We never looked back. Cornerstone was a pleasure to build with. It only gets better and better.
My clients love how easy it is for them to update their site, and I love that by not having to do the small edits I get to focus on more high-value work.Jade Barham, Flick Digital