WordPress websites is booming industry and our company is the one that deals with the WordPress ecosystem on regular basis. Developing wordpress websites and plugins for our customers was one of the key service which we were offering to our clients.
And its common thing that every once in a while a developer or a company faces a challenge that tests the limits of their skills. This time we encountered similar such challenge and in this article we will describe how we faced and tackled the challenge.
Developing two WordPress Websites – The Intro
The challenge was to developed two wordpress websites in two different languages and it all started when the client approached us in a hurry asking for a website to be developed and in a week. Our client was “NGO” (Non Governmental Organization) or a “Trust” called Kokan Gram Vikas Mandal, whose aim was to work for the people of Kokan (कोकण) region and promote trade and tourism all over India. And they were working from the past 21 years since its inception.
With their background, one thing was clear, that we were going to developed two websites, i.e one for the native people of the Kokan Region using the native Marathi language and other one in English language. Why in English language? this was because the trust or the NGO can approach more broader range of people who don’t speak the native Marathi language. So this made it easy for us to figure out what our client wants. However, if you thought that this made the work easy, then you’re wrong because the real challenge lies ahead.
Knowing the client’s need
As we mentioned earlier that from our client’s background and their working area it was clear that we need two websites in two different languages, but here arises one question!.
Why didn’t we used a direct google translate option instead of developing two different websites in different languages, thus making it a single multilingual website? The reason for that is quite simple! there are some type of content which won’t get translated properly. And if you are going to develop a multilingual website, then this improper translation poses a huge problem. To solve this there is no other choice but to type the content manually. Hence the approach of developing two websites is right choice for that issue.
Now coming towards the needs of the client.
With a brief meeting with our client it was confirmed what our client wanted from us.
- A Multilingual Website in both English and Marathi Language.
- A Unique presentable custom design.
- A Backend interface through which they can update their website.
- A responsive design which can adjust to the display size of multiple devices.
All this in a short time period of one week. In the development industry, knowing what customer need from us makes the job easy, however, that’s not true, the custom design, and on top of it choosing the custom colour scheme made the work difficult yet a challenging work.
Our Approach towards Difficulty and Challenge
The first thing we did is minimize the workload, originally or any web application development and website development, we work using the core programming languages instead of using ready made content management system, thus developing front-end and back-end manually. But for this project due to short work window, we chose to work with WordPress.
This allowed to work with only front-end theme part and along with that it allowed us to develop extra backend functionalities using the in-built theme customizer for WordPress which were catered to our client’s need. Also, for the Marathi version we decided to use the same theme we developed for the English version of website, thus minimizing the overall workload.
Simplifying the designing process
We always keep skeleton themes ready in case we get such emergency projects, these skeleton themes are custom designed and incorporates all basic functionalities of WordPress CMS. Using this skeleton theme as a base we made five basic samples consisting of different colour scheme.
The challenge was to develop two wordpress websites in a period of one week, so we didn’t spend time on perfecting the samples, instead we made them presentable enough to let our client decide how their website will look with the particular colour scheme. It took one day for us to finish the samples.
With a briefing session of 2 hours the colour scheme was decided on Yellow, Dark Gray, Black and White. Now this made design and development process simple. For the renaming 6 days we were going to work on the design and development process, and in our team-meeting session it was unanimously decided that we will give them Material Design based theme which will have home page with 4 sections and each section will cover the size of entire screen thus making it look unique and presentable.
Simplifying the development process
First we developed the part of website that needs the same type of CSS coding, over the course of developing various kinds of project, we know that designing is much tougher than developing a functionality. Hence, here we decided that website which requires same CSS coding should be designed first rather than approaching a complicated part of website which needs to go through a careful designing process.
Because the more complicated the part is the more problematic it becomes to make it adjustable to various different screen sizes using “Media Queries”. So we decided to work with simple part first and then work with the complicated part of the websites. Thus we made the overall design and development process simple with this approach. Also with this approach we were able to complete the design and development process in 4 days.
Wrapping up the work
Also read – Optimizing the WordPress Website Database.