I met Craig Elias through his association with the VentureQuest Business Idea Competition, which is run through the Chiu School of Business. As the Entrepreneur in Residence, Craig runs the show and one day he found out I developed WordPress websites on the side.
Craig also runs SHiFT! Selling, and speaks and mentors companies on how they can convert prospects into customers using his Trigger Event Selling methods. In early December, Craig had purchased a new theme for his WordPress website and he approached me to see if I was interested in implementing it. The theme he had purchased was a parallax Genesis Theme, which I saw as an opportunity to learn about the Genesis framework, so I agreed to do it.
Each framework has its differences and Genesis was no different. With my experience with the Builder framework, I had a pretty good idea where settings would be located, but it still took a bit to get a good grasp of the landscape. Fortunately, there were a lot of pretty good resources that I was able to find on the web that helped me use the theme’s functionality to its fullest. Two of the nice built-in features were the customizable widget background options and the pricing tables that we were able to use to effectively portray the value of SHiFT! Selling. Craig had also purchased a premium plugin that was supposed to expand the theme’s options and make it easy to adjust areas like colour, margins, etc. with drag and drop settings. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work properly, so I had to manually edit the CSS, using the WordPress theme editor. This method is always a little slower when you don’t have the code line numbers to help match Firebug’s Inspect Element, but Craig was quite particular with the shades of orange and blue with his branding, so it had to be bang on.
Another unexpected bonus to this project was the fact I was exposed to WP Engine for the first time. WP Engine is a premium hosting company that focuses squarely on WordPress websites. They don’t even do email hosting. Just WordPress hosting. Not only is it one of the best and fastest hosting companies out there, but the support and ease of using a staging site was impressive. I had been used to creating a development site on a dedicating dev domain, then migrating it over to the real domain with BackupBuddy when it was ready to go live. This method has worked well for me. Having a built-in staging site made it super easy with only a couple of clicks to create the staging site and a couple of clicks to make it live. Pretty slick. It’s making me contemplate looking into hosting WP Engine in the future.
All in all, it was a fun little project, Craig was a great client to work with, and I learned exposed to the Genesis framework and WP Engine.