Development for an existing membership site run on WordPress/MemberPress to make it easier to update and maintain, including creation and integration of several new custom post types.
- Custom Post Types (hand-coded)
Custom Code Written
- 4 custom plugins
- 1 custom theme
- 3200+ lines of PHP/HTML
- 3200+ lines of SASS
Shaina Longstreet of Your Ampersand Studio
for Laura Smith of I Heart Planners
Visit Sweet Life Planner Club
Laura, the entrepreneur behind the I Heart Planners blog empire, was feeling stifled and frustrated by the existing site for her membership, the Sweet Life Planner Club. She and her team couldn’t update the site easily, and when they tried, something always seemed to go wrong. Members also had a hard time navigating the site’s massive content library, resulting in more user turnover than expected.
It was time to expand into something more custom; more feature-filled and user-friendly. Laura wanted to make it easy for her and her team members to add or update site content. And, more importantly, she needed the extensive library of content that the Club housed to be effortlessly searchable and browsable for Club members.
That’s where I came in!
The biggest challenge in this build was working with an existing, very active membership site: I didn’t want to cause any data loss or affect active memberships. The sheer size of the project was another factor: all the new features we were adding meant there was LOTS of custom coding to be done, and all of us wanted to hit our deadlines for launch day.
I knew right from the start that this was going to be a big build with lots of custom components that needed creating, so I started by mapping out a “plan of attack.” Once I got that all outlined, all I had to do was stick to the tasks and deadlines I had laid out up front. Easier said than done though, right? ?
Once I had the printables knocked out, I was able to use that component as a “base” from which to create the remaining custom post types and archives: bootcamps, bonuses, and FAQ items.
After revisions, testing, and QA on the SLPC staging server, it was time to take the new site live. I made sure to take a full backup before beginning—I wanted to be able to mitigate any data loss if something unexpected happened!—and then carefully migrated the site from staging to live, utilizing some custom scripts to swap old data into the new custom post types automatically.
The launch went really well! No major incidents came up during the migration.
It’s much easier for Laura and her team members to update the site on their own, meaning they can devote more time to actually creating content instead of fighting with the membership site. Laura is still using the new-and-improved SLPC website over two years later, in fact!
The client's opinion
Laura Smith, I Heart Planners
Were you skeptical at all before starting the project? If yes, what about?
“Yes, I was skeptical about whether the things I wanted for my site were do-able.”
What went into choosing the developer you would work with?
“I wanted someone who would really work together with me and take ownership of all the pieces to really make the vision happen. And I also wanted someone with a lot of experience with membership sites.”
What was the one most positive thing about working with me?
“The results - the site is exactly what we want, and is a huge improvement!! Megan was also really helpful in answering all our questions thoroughly.”
What specific results did you get from this project?
“Our club looks much better and has drastically improved functionality. We also now have more control ourselves, and we have a good framework set up for the content to grow. Also, members can find what they're looking for so much more easily. In the end, I really believe it will improve member retention.”
Would you recommend me to someone else? Why or why not?
“Yes, definitely. I loved how you took what I had mocked up and made it happen. I also love that it felt like you were committed to getting everything working ideally.”