WordPress for Business Case Study: a Neglected Blog Makeover to Full Website

Dr. Ann Pike is a licensed psychologist in Georgia who is part of a larger practice.  She wanted her own small website that would showcase her individual approach to psychology, where she could offer articles and a detailed list of resources  people could refer to for their own reading.

The Problem

Dr. Pike already had a WordPress blog, but it was a bit neglected:  she hadn’t written anything on it in years and the look was outdated.  Did she need to start all over with a new website and just abandon the blog?  She wasn’t sure.

She was also busy with a full patient calendar and an active social life, so she didn’t want the responsibility of keeping up a weekly blog.

Here is what Dr. Pike’s blog looked like before:

Dr. Pike's blog before working with Maria

Dr. Pike’s blog before working with Maria

The text is far too small to be legible, its navigation is difficult to identify, the calendar on the sidebar serves no purpose and is taking up valuable real estate.  This blog wasn’t what Dr. Pike envisioned:  she wanted a full website that looked professional, but she didn’t want the responsibility of writing a blog post every week.  Did she need to start over or could she work with what she already had?

The Solution

That’s when Dr. Pike met with me.  I assured her that she could, indeed, stay with her WordPress blog, and with a few changes, we could transform it into a website she could be proud of and that would generate business for her.

This is what her website looks like now.  Remember this is the same blog, turned into a clean, functional website:

Dr. Pike's blog after working with Maria

Dr. Pike’s blog turned into a full-fledged website

Here’s what we did:

Kept it simple

Notice how minimalist the website is?  I presented Dr. Pike with several themes to choose from (a theme gives a blog its look & feel) and she chose the standard WordPress theme that comes with the blog.  Wise choice.  The simple design puts the focus on the content and makes it super simple for people to navigate.

Put up a static Home page

A WordPress blog, by default, has a Home page of your blog posts, listed in descending order starting with the most recent.  In Dr. Pike’s case, her most recent blog post was from 2010.  Not good.  No one wants to read an outdated blog.

Also, she wanted a website front page that put her most important information up front.  Here’s what her new Home page offers:

  1. Her telephone number is at the very top of the website.  No scrolling necessary to get in touch with Dr. Pike.
  2. A menu of important items for any business:  About, Articles, Resources, Offices, and Contact.  Articles was our solution to a blog.  It’s still a blog, but we’re not calling it that.  There’s an expectation with a blog that it’s updated frequently.  Dr. Pike knew she wouldn’t be able to do that, so instead we called her blog posts Articles.
  3. A photo of Dr. Pike.  Putting her photo on the front page gives the viewer an immediate personal connection with her.  We make it easy for people to feel comfortable with Dr. Pike and get in touch with her.
  4. A personal message from Dr. Pike
  5. A snippet of About information directly on the Home page.  The About page offers more detail, but putting Dr. Pike’s credentials on the home page give her instant credibility.
  6. A list of articles makes it simple for people to find the one they’re interested in.

Ultimately, we made her website super simple to find out who Dr. Pike is, what her credentials are, how to get in touch, and read more, all from her Home page.

Here’s the new website again with each of these features identified:

Crucial elements on improved Home Page

Crucial elements on improved Home Page

Give ‘Em a Map

The Offices page, as well as the sidebar, offers a Google map to both of Dr. Pike’s locations, so people can click on the location closest to them and get directions, directly from her website.

Give ‘Em More

Dr. Pike is especially interested in brain research and conducts lectures on the topic.  She offers a rich resource page of hyperlinked articles in case people want to read more on the subject.  It’s a robust page that showcases the depth of Dr. Pike’s interest in the topic:

Google Maps in sidebar and hyperlinked resource articles on brain research

Google Maps in sidebar and hyperlinked resource articles on brain research

Notice what a simple & elegant solution this is? No complicated website design, no fancy graphics, just a functional website.

Creating a WordPress website doesn’t have to take months or be complicated.  You really can build your own website without being a developer or a geek.

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