The Mom’s Guide to San Diego

Website Renovations

“The Mom’s Guide to San Diego” is a website providing tips to parents for recommended things to do with their kids in the big Californian city. Although the website was originally made by someone else a long time ago, the owner hired me recently to do a variety of fixes, updates, enhancements, and additions to it, while also requesting to keep its visual style mostly the same.

The Old Site and Its Technical Problems

The old website of The Mom’s Guide was (and still is) powered by WordPress, which is an online system that makes it easy for website owners to write and edit content on pages without needing to code anything or manually upload files to servers.

There were several technical problems with the old Mom’s Guide site, causing a sub-par user experience. Most of these problems involved the custom-made WordPress theme (which I didn’t originally make). These were the biggest issues with the old site:

My Improvements

When the owner of The Mom’s Guide hired me to improve her website, I fixed all the problems mentioned above. I kept WordPress installed, but I removed or replaced depreciated or erroneous functions using the WordPress PHP function WP_DEBUG and the plugin Theme Check as aids (on an offline copy of the website).

I also made several extra enhancements to the site, many of which include the following:

Business directory in old theme Business directory in new theme
The page for the swim classes directory on the old theme (left) and the new one designed by me (right). The new theme includes “EDIT” buttons on every business box which are invisible to everyone except the site owner.
Old calendar New calendar
The original Local Events calendar (left) and the re-designed one by me (right). Both screenshots show the pop-up box that appears when the mouse pointer hovers over an event link.

I also occasionally gave some advice to the client. For example, she once requested me to put an extra space for advertisements in the rightmost sidebar on the home page. I cautioned her this could be a bad idea, because if visitors notice an ad in that sidebar, then they might incorrectly assume the important image-based links next to it are also ads, which may cause visitors to ignore them rather than to go click on them. Convinced, the client changed her mind, and instead we put ad spaces in more appropriate places on the site.