Summer 2023

Copywriter, Graphic Designer and Website Developer

Four Paws Barkery inspiration and imagery.
Four Paws Barkery brand colors.

For this website design, my goal was to create a beautiful, functional and profitable website for a fictional store using WordPress.

The task was simple. Pick a WordPress theme. Next, use images, text, plugins and custom CSS to create a commerce site and a content site. My aim for this project was to utilize all the knowledge gained during the semester, including custom CSS, HTML code, Bootstrap, and WordPress to create an engaging customer experience for Four Paws Barkery.

The site would include a Home page, Commerce page, Content page article/blog posts, Checkout page, Cart, and My account page. I built out the Content page with six articles and the Commerce page using the plugin WooCommerce with six to eight items for purchase, as well as customer testimonials.

Brainstorming the requirements, functionality and design of the Four Paws Barkery commerce site.

For this website design, I chose the theme Storefront. First, I did some online research to check out who Four Paws Bakery’s competitors are and what their customers are looking for. I decided to design a logo and website that was playful, colorful, and full of personality, just like the dogs my brand attracts. I wanted the site to feel welcoming, inclusive of all dog breeds and owners, and relevant to the interests and concerns of dog owners. The products for sale include a combination of homemade all-natural dog treats and toys dogs are sure to love. For the content site, the articles ranged from pet health to dog safety to dog treats; with the aim of engaging and informing Four Paws Bakery’s customers.

This was my first-time using WordPress. This was a great opportunity to utilize the power of WordPress to develop a unique commerce and content site. Though WordPress is much easier to use than Bootstrap, with hundreds of themes, plugins and widgets to choose from, there’s a lot to learn. It was exciting to have the opportunity to learn WordPress, one of the top content management systems out there.

While WordPress is more drop-and-drag, I discovered that each of them comes with a different set of challenges. Storefront allows some layout customization within the theme, but it was limited. For example, the navigation bar was static and the placement and customization of the sidebar options was limited. The challenge became, how to overcome my inexperience with WordPress and the limitations of a theme to actualize a website design that is functional and reflects the essence of Four Paws Barkery’s brand?

Four Paws Barkery custom CSS.

To create the Four Paws Barkery site, I first explored the Storefront theme as much as possible to gain a full understanding of what it could do in order to determine how best to design the site. I also made note of what limitations existed, so that I could find good design solutions within those limitations.

What worked well? Creating the WooCommerce site was simple and easy to use. It was incredibly easy to set up the custom color palette, product information, images, and pricing. The result with the Storefront theme was beautiful and easy for a customer to navigate.

The content site was also very simple to create. Though the style options were limited to, posting articles’, the result was a clean, modern design with custom categories that made it easy for customers to search for articles of interest to them. I used the plugin “Real Testimonials” to create an interactive testimonial section with custom colors to enhance and promote the Four Paws Barkery brand. I utilized custom CSS to include custom fonts and custom brand colors in the typography and design elements. Overall, WordPress is a fantastic tool that is easy to learn and fun to use.

The theme limitations created some challenges. For example, the navigation bar was static. To overcome this limitation, I added a navigation menu to the footer. The Storefront theme also offered a sidebar option. While customizing the sidebar design was not possible, I was able to add a search bar, Product categories and Content Post topic categories to make the site more functional and make it easy for customers to search for items or articles by topic.

I think WordPress is a powerful tool that offers a vast array of options for customization, flexible functionality, and creativity. I’m proud of the website that I created for Four Paws Barkery. Furthermore, I think it evolved into a beautiful website that dog lovers will want to shop at and also enjoy visiting to learn more about how they can help their dogs live a happy and full life. If I could change anything, it would only be to continue to explore what plugin options exist that could enhance the customer experience even more. I’m excited to continue to explore WordPress’s functionality further and advance my knowledge of web development to grow my coding and design skills.