The Mom’s Guide to San Diego

WordPress website renovations
The home page of the Mom's Guide to San Diego
The home page of The Mom’s Guide. (Click to view image in a larger size.)

The Mom’s Guide to San Diego” is a website providing tips to parents for things to do with their kids in the big Californian city. Although the site was originally developed by someone else a long time ago, the owner recently hired me to do a variety of repairs, 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:

The web page for the Mom’s Guide swim classes directory as seen on the old theme (1st image) and on the new one that I made (2nd image). The new theme includes “EDIT” buttons on every business box, which are invisible to everyone except the site owner.
The original Local Events calendar (1st image) and the redesigned one by me (2nd image). 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.

Client’s Testimonial

There is absolutely nothing that I can say that Damian did not excel at. He has great communication and accomplished everything I was looking for in my customized WordPress theme. I really enjoyed working with him and love my new site! — Jenny Humora