Computer experimenter since Windows 95

In the beginning, there was GoDaddy 'Website Builder'


This project was my first official freelance job for implementing a website, and for full disclosure, Rob at Campro is my uncle, and did me a favor by letting me work through all the quirky details he had wanted for the website, from the choice of theme to the speed of the picture slides, and the naming of pages. I learned quite a lot, but mainly about the customer service that is required in building out a product for a client, as I had already known how to put together a WordPress installation from scratch, from setting up the database to installation, to setting up all the accounts for content editing, to installing plugins, and tweaking themes.

Gathering Requirements


At the onset of this project, Rob had, in a sense, a single-page website that really looked moreso like a pamphlet you'd get as a handout. It listed his machines and capabilities, but left out some important bits, like that Campro had weathered the financial crisis, maintaining self-ownership, and was in the process of certification to be able to pick up new tiers of machining work (most certifications which deal with selection and auditing of the upstream supply chain, aka. where the material had come from, for use on government parts).

Within the old website builder, offered by GoDaddy, Rob was unable to put the right 'shine' on things like his contact page, or even adequately add the 'mailto' syntax for an obvious email address within the footer of the page. Since most of his updates were mainly an expansion of the content he had on the site, to add the polish he'd been seeking, a simple solution he could navigate was the most important feature. He had to be able to update this website on his own if he needs to, or hand over the instructions to someone a bit more tech savvy, and they could do it with ease. CMS frameworks came to mind as easy-to-learn and Google about for this upkeep need.

Why Wordpress?


Wordpress has pretty decent documentation and a wide community for support, while I already had exposure to the tooling. It fit the requirements Rob had for a framework, and so it was chosen. Also to consider, Campro only had a month before the auditors came out for inspection, and the website needed to be on par with their expectations for a professional machine shop.

Also, Wordpress and its plugins have support for automatic updates, something I somewhat figured Campro and the website maintainer would forget about over time. If the website could receive patches automatically without Rob (or whoever's) intervention, he'd appreciate that feature about the site.

Conclusion and implementation notes


After completing the project in a little over 2 weeks, Rob had a site he could take his auditors to for consistency of his message about the quality of material Campro uses. The site met his criteria for being easy to navigate, including the verbiage and desired message he was trying to convey, while including contextual links and documents his previous site failed to deliver. Auditors and customers alike could now visit his website to get not only more information about his machines and tooling, but about his process, attitude, and relevant documentation had they wanted to do business with Campro.

Since then, Campro has had a good amount of steady work come in, so much so that Campro expanded their facility to double its size, in order to meet the order demands of their clients. While surely the quality end product is to praise for their success, their website too exudes a sense of tactful quality and functionality.

In an age where a 'website consultant' firm would have charged Rob and Campro double to maybe even triple what he and I settled on, I too felt good about the experience, being able to help Rob and Campro out.