The Challenge

The theme used on a WordPress website can produce both positive and negative effects on site performance and user experience. Roots of Change contacted Wodu when the loading speed of their website seemed to be slowing and occasional time-outs along with other glitches were showing up. The site clearly needed performance-enhancing optimizations.

The non-profit organization also wanted to update their site to present a more attractive, intuitive user interface in an effort to increase user engagement, boost stickiness, and attract more support to their cause of healthy, sustainable food production. Design requirements included a simple layout that would showcase rather than distract from high-quality photo work, and position interactive elements like videos and podcasts to most effectively capture eyes and clicks. On the backend, improved SEO performance and greater ease of administration were primary objectives.

The Solution

Wodu has a reputation built on their dedication to listening and responding to clients’ needs. In this case our developers collaborated with web administrators, media and content specialists, and other stakeholders from Roots of Change to sketch out design possibilities around the organization’s mission, vision, and practical requirements.

This stage ended in arrival at a potential custom theme design that would capture ROC’s unique identity while striking the balance between aesthetic appeal, functionality, and optimization that is crucial for ensuring a positive impact on both website performance and user experience

Working by the principles of performance-centric design, Wodu developers meticulously crafted a beta-version theme while focusing on lightweight design, minimizing unnecessary elements, and prioritizing essential features. The ROC site leverages the captivating appeal of photographs; on a graphics-heavy site like this, it is essential to implement image optimization techniques including lazy loading and responsive images in order to ensure fast loading times across various devices.

Our experienced development team is well aware that poorly coded or resource-heavy themes may negatively impact website performance, resulting in slow loading times and frustrating user experiences. Bloated themes can also affect SEO, causing search engines to penalize the site. As always, our team adhered to best coding practices and WordPress standards to create a clean and efficient codebase. Unnecessary plugins and scripts were minimized to streamline the theme and reduce server load.

SEO-friendly markup and meta tags were incorporated into the theme, ensuring that the website maintains high visibility in search engine results while adhering to performance standards. Schema markup and other structured data were utilized to enhance search engine understanding of the site’s content.

Security was prioritized throughout the theme development process. Secure coding practices were followed, with adherence to WordPress security best practices implemented to minimize vulnerabilities, and a schedule of regular updates planned to ensure ongoing protection.

Wodu focused on creating an intuitive and user-friendly interface to enhance the overall user experience. Carefully selected and optimized fonts and color schemes contributed to a visually appealing yet efficient design. Fast and seamless navigation coupled with strategically placed calls-to-action is aimed at improving visitor engagement and conversion rates. The custom theme also employs mobile-first design principles and is fully responsive to provide for optimal viewing and interaction across a wide range of devices from desktops to tablets and smartphones.

Integrated performance monitoring tools and analytics allow ROC web administrators to track key metrics, while the continuous monitoring featured with Wodu hosting solutions allows for proactive identification and resolution of any performance bottlenecks. The finished theme also supports adaptation to the organization’s future needs and preferences through use of intuitive customization options within the WordPress Customizer, allowing ROC administrators to modify key elements without compromising performance.

Finally, successful testing and evaluation led up to the live launch of ROC’s new custom WordPress theme, and their site administrators received comprehensive documentation that enables them to understand and utilize the theme’s features effectively. As is standard, Wodu also offers ongoing support and maintenance services to aid in addressing any issues and ensure continued optimal website performance.

The Results

The creation of a custom WordPress theme is as much a work of creativity as it is a technical undertaking. In this case, following a design ethic of less is more captured the approval of our clients. More importantly, it resulted in a website that highlights rather than distracts from the work Roots of Change does, their message, and the faces and voices of their community.

The site is attractive and engaging, hosting rich, high-definition photography, podcasts, and video resources along with subscription and donation pages, all while still loading cleanly and crisply. Lower bounce rates and increased page view counts indicate that the new custom WordPress theme is boosting visitor engagement and empowering the ROC organization with a web presence that helps to expand their circle of influence and more effectively support and promote their mission.

$0 Monthly Software Cost
25 Days To Launch
20% Increase in donations
0% Bounce Rate