Santa Barbara Maritime Museum Sets Sail With a New WordPress Website
We recently designed and launched a new cutting-edge WordPress website for the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, and by all accounts, the client and team are delighted. Their previous site was over a dozen years old and badly needed replacement.
First, we submitted a creative brief to the client to better understand their goals, priorities, likes, and dislikes. Once the team reviewed and responded to the document, we created a series of design mockups to set the creative tone and style of the website. After some back and forth with the Museum team, we reached a creative and functional consensus, then started building the site using WordPress and the Beaver Builder page builder. The entire process, from start to finish, took about three months. You can see the new Santa Barbara Maritime Museum website here.
The previous website was over twelve years old and relied upon many outdated features and associated plugins that were no longer supported. This resulted in a funky website that was difficult to manage and susceptible to security breaches. There was also a tremendous amount of orphaned, outdated material that had to be weeded out in the interest of efficiency and sanity. With thousands of pages, events, and blog posts going back twelve-plus years, some triage was required to make the website less overwhelming and more manageable for the team.
The Benefits of Beaver Builder
One of the key benefits of the new website and using Beaver Builder was making the website much more intuitive and easy to manage for the Maritime Museum. Whereas the previous website relied upon a Ph.D. in bimolecular physics to manage, the new site was built with the entry-level layperson in mind. The new Santa Barbara Maritime Museum website is now far easier to manage with drag-and-drop functionality, allowing the client to easily manage most of the site’s content without our assistance. We’re still needed for more technical issues and whatnot, but the client can now easily manage most of the day-to-day website functions, and they have far more creative control than ever before…which is not always a good thing 🙂
Search Engine Optimization
In addition to building the website, we performed extensive search engine optimization, including all new optimized URLs, page titles, meta descriptions, 301 redirects, and so much more. With all of the triage and consolidation required for the new website, we had to be mindful of SEO, not only to maintain rankings on Google, but to improve on them. The website just launched a week ago, so we’re still in the early innings, but I’m confident that all of the SEO we performed under the hood will pay off handsomely with more traffic and revenue in the long run.
A Great Team to Work With
At first, I had some concerns about all of the cooks in the kitchen and the people involved with the project. There was the immediate team, of course, consisting of a half-dozen or so Maritime Museum staff, but we also had to report to the Marketing Committee, Website Subcommittee, and Board of Directors. All in all, there were perhaps thirty people involved to some degree, which is typically a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, we were able to work directly with just a few of the key people, who acted as our gatekeepers and filtered out a lot of the noise and subjective comments upstream from us. The end result was that the project went much more smoothly than expected. My point here is to have a central point of contact on the client side whenever possible to reduce noise and streamline communications.
Do What You Love, Sorta’
Finally, I’d like to say that I’ve been around boats and the ocean most of my life. I’m passionate about all things nautical, including sailing, cruising, marine life, and maritime history. In a perfect world, I would live aboard a majestic sailing yacht, exploring the world’s oceans full-time. Since I can’t realistically do that, given my various obligations and financial limitations, I’ve made a conscious decision to align myself with more like-minded organizations, including sailing schools, charter companies, marinas, boating clubs, and more. As a result of this nautical alignment, I tend to have a lot more fun these days, and I’m much more passionate about our work, which results in a greater outcome for everyone.