Regional Home-Start off the shelf website
If you are a local Home-Start organisation and are either looking at putting yourselves on the web, or have had someone helping you and the work is either incomplete or taking too long I may be able to help you. If you have a old site that would benefit from some new clothes and a rework, I can port an old site over to one of the Home-Start templates I have available and build the new site within a WordPress framework. There are three templates available to you as off the shelf packages that do not require a lot of development time to build. The latest template which is based on the premium Divi template from Elegant Themes is described below and immediately available for new sites. I can transfer old sites to a new updated framework, or start with an off the shelf package which includes content as well as the template and graphic.
Home-Start Divi Template
A new template which provides many premium features based on the popular Divi (Elegant themes) template is available from August 2016. This template has been developed to provide a cleaner and uncluttered more corporate feel. It is likely to be of interest to county-wide Home-Start consortium’s as well as regional offices.
Based on my previous experience there are generally one of three approaches taken for a website. Which one is right for you is dependent on whether you already have a site and are looking to refresh it, or whether you are starting out with nothing more than a desire to have a new site.
Porting an older site to WordPress
If you have an older site and still value the content on the site and wish to retain it and just change the look and feel of the site then I can move your old content into a new framework. If you want to do this, then it is also worth critically looking at your old site and figuring out what parts are worth retaining, what parts need to be dropped, and what additional content you might need. Costs start at £200 and are dependent on the page count as each page is developed separately. Contact me for more details.
Starting with an off the shelf solution
If you do not have a website currently, then the simplest and lowest cost approach is to start with an off the shelf website. I have examples of these that I can install which includes the branding for the parent organisation, the services that the majority of Home-Start’s offer and a standard set of supporting pages. I localise this for your entity. What you end up with is your version of a site that describes the services you provide to the local community. Any of the content can be edited by you, or by me while I am putting the site together. You do not have to accept the words that are in the content. But it is the most efficient way to start with a website if you are new to this. You can continue to develop the platform (add more content and pages) as your needs evolve. Costs start at £200 for a fully featured Home-Start site based on my Home-Start Lite (V2) most recent design which is fully responsive (mobile friendly). Contact me for more details.
Here we start with the framework, which in this case is based on the Divi theme which is highly customisable in terms of layout, and the elements you choose to place in the layout. We agree a page count and structure. You provide me with the content and I build the site for you. Because each site is unique in this case this is a more expensive way of getting on the web, however it is tailored to your needs. The best way to think about this approach is I get you started, and from there you can add or edit the site as you see fit. But in this case your content is highly specific to you and your organisation.
Benefits of the Home-Start Divi template
Unlike the previous templates I have used Divi offers a visual version of the layout in the editor. It means you can insert columns and rows into your layout, and then make subtle changes to these elements to suit your requirements. The level of flexibility and the range of elements available to you (many of which are animated) are not present in other lower cost solutions such as the Home-Start Lite version. If you wanted each page layout to be completely different it is possible, even to the extent of having a different layout per page depending on whether a desktop, tablet of smart phone is accessing the site.
In March 2016 I started to use stock images on website. Up until that time I have used free images, in the Home-Start case, these have been sourced from the Home-Start parent organisation by the regional office. There has recently been a trend that suggests that some people want more edgy images, or images that are based on reality rather than the clean studio approach. I understand that Home-Start also has a portfolio of non studio images now. Some of the newer sites have stock images built into them. Stock images are provided from a variety of sources. You effectively purchase the right (licence) to use the images for your entity. They are all high resolution, so suitable for print as well as the web. If you require stock images for your site then I can source them for you. They can make a difference to how your site appears on the web. These are an additional cost on top of the cost of developing the website.
There are currently four example websites you can review. I will add more here as I develop them.
This site is for a county wide initiative and is aimed at seeking funding on behalf of the Home-Start’s in Surrey and promoting county wide activities. You can visit the site by following this link: Home-Start Surrey website
Home-Start Tower Hamlets
This is a regional Home-Start based in East London. This was the first example of a site customised for Home-Start and uses a number of standard features built into the template. You can visit the site by following this link: Home-Start Tower Hamlets
This site is the parent site for a consortium of Home-Start regional offices in Essex. At the moment (January 2017) the site is in it’s initial configuration, this is expected to change during 1Q 2017 when the new organisation starts to operate. You can find the site here: Home-Start Essex. Find out more about Home-Start consortium at the county level.
Home-Start Barnet is one of the larger Home-Starts in London. This site is a rebuild of their former site which had been developing organically over several years. We looked at the size and structure of the former site and consolidated it. We placed a structure around the content to group similar content together and redesigned the menu system. This site uses several of the features that are available within the Divi template which make the site particularly mobile friendly. You can find the site here: Home-Start Barnet
The latest Home-Start site that uses the Divi template is Home-Start Watford. This site features filtered news feeds as well. The aggregated news is available on the news page, a summary of the last six items is on the Home page, and there are filtered news views showing just Fundraising or just Events for those respective pages. The site can be located here: http://home-startwatford.org.uk
I still have the original Home-Start Lite package which is available from £160. This is a more traditional layout, it is not as flexible as the new template, but if it is more in alignment for your needs I can work with this as well. You can find out more about Home-Start Lite on this page. Services include porting an old site to the Home-Start Lite template, or applying the template to an existing website. A new Home-Start Lite template is also available; version 2. This starts at £200.
Next: Home-Start Lite