The Connector

I have made a lot of websites recently for Suzanne Kendrick and The Connector, but her own website has languished – until now. For her new website Suzanne chose the responsive Flexform theme, which I heavily customised. Design and graphics were handled by Isla Osborne.

Flexform has a very sophisticated GUI in the back-end for easily creating complex page layouts. You click and drag pre-defined elements (text box, testimonial, slider etc), and adjust their widths from 1/4  up to full width. The downside of this, in addition to a slightly greater complexity for the end-user, is that if you want to do something more than what the pre-defined elements can handle, you have to write your own. (The files for the existing modules live six levels down in the directory structure in case you’re looking for them – flexform/includes/pagebuilder/composer/lib/shortcodes, though modified files can easily be included in a child theme with a simple include_once). Flexform also makes extensive use of the WordPress Theme Customizer to set colours and styles for various parts of the site, which results in an extra 275 lines of CSS added to the head of every page. To reduce the effect this has on page loading times I enabled gzip compression in the .htaccess file.

Among the modules I added to the page builder were a new layout for the Team Member page, and a sign-up button which used the Contact Form 7 Dynamic Text Extension to pre-populate the signup form with the name of the course. I also implemented a custom taxonomy to allow team members to be associated with the projects from the portfolio they had worked on.