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Everything I Know About WordPress I Owe To My Mother-In-Law

Posted on August 16 by in Customer Spotlight | 14 comments

Everything I Know About WordPress I Owe To My Mother-In-Law

This post is part of our Customer Spotlight series. If you have an interesting story to tell and would like to share your experience with WordPress and Elegant Themes on our blog, please contact us!

My name is Eric Jochim and I’m the Director of Marketing for Dedola Global Logistics. I first dabbled in WordPress back in 2010 when my purple-haired mother-in-law needed a website for her beauty school. Having no experience in web development but fancying myself a bit of a DIYer, I thought – sure, I can do that.

Eric Jochim

Over the course of a couple spare weekends, I pieced together a basic website. After seeing the ease-of-use, flexibility and user community of WordPress first hand, I realized this was something I wanted to implement at Dedola Global Logistics.

We found a great local WordPress developer and launched a new site back in 2011 based on the Genesis Framework. This was a game changer. Rather than hiring a Cold Fusion programmer every time we needed a minor update, we could suddenly make major changes to our site internally. The DIYer in me rejoiced.

This led to a lot of experimentation and growth in our internet marketing. We saw our pay per click (PPC) conversion rates triple soon after our new landing pages went live. Also, we began focusing on SEO and turned our nearly nonexistent organic visitors into a steady stream of new traffic.

father daughter

About a year after launching the new site, my wife and I had our first child. As our daughter grew up, I was glued to my camera documenting every moment of her life. Although I’ve long had an interest in photography, she reawakened my passion. When sharing family pictures, I started getting regular requests for photo shoots. So, shortly before the birth of our second child and soon after discovering Divi, I started Jochim Foto as a creative outlet for my photography and a means of supporting my growing habit.

foto-screenshot

Building that site with Divi reminded me of my first experience with WordPress four years ago. It was intuitive, flexible and opened up a world of new possibilities.

Back at Dedola, we had been toying with the idea of a website refresh. Considering the success of our original migration to WordPress, we wanted the site to continue to evolve from a design and functionality standpoint. In particular, I knew that incorporating responsive design was a necessary part of improving our mobile visitor’s experience. Despite the control that we gained with the project, our custom Genesis theme began to feel limiting.

Embolden by my latest personal WordPress project, I began thinking of the possibilities for Divi at work. Prior to this, I hadn’t seriously considered the idea of developing a new site in-house. However, after spending an hour creating a concept site of dedola.com, my DIY juices really started to flow. Excited by the progress, I rushed to our COO, Stephen Dedola and showed him the demo. He immediately jumped on board. Our previous conversations about whether we needed a redesign turned into “how quickly can we get this live?”

As I moved into full development of the website, doubt would occasionally creep in as to whether I bit off more than I could chew. Thankfully, advice from our previous site’s developer and the extensive resources of the entire WordPress community kept me on track.

web-screenshot-homepage-2

We launched the new Divi-based dedola.com last week and I’m more motivated than ever to continue learning WordPress and evolving the site.

web-screenshot-homepage

So, I guess what I’m saying is that I have more than my beautiful wife to thank my mother-in-law for. Thanks Maria. Thanks for Sophia and thanks for WordPress (in that order).

14 Comments

  1. Great testimony Eric! Your website is just great and the design is very pure and clean. I’m trying to make my way on the Internet, but it is very hard in my environment. Experiences like yours help me to improve. I hope you can see my website and give me some suggestions.Greetings!

    • Gracias Paolo! I really like your site as well. The blue in your logo and accent color really pops against the black. I also especially like your PYME page and the “+” graphic at the bottom.

      One thing stands out to me on the first homepage slider. I think the purple/pink background clashes with your site a bit due to it’s size. I prefer the background colors of the second and third slider. Also, your social media profile links are missing from your “nosotros” page. I know how easy it is to miss stuff like that, so I hope that helps.

      I look forward to visiting your site again to see your new projects. Thanks again and good luck to Mice Designing.

  2. Love your photography site Eric – good to see that you’ve kept it plain and simple.

    Because you can add so much with Divi lots of designers tend to go over the top.

    • Thanks Keith, I really appreciate it.

      That’s a good point about simplicity. I think that I stumbled into that a bit with my photography site just because of time restraints. But you are right, with a tool like Divi, it’s easy to get carried away. I constantly have to be reminded to edit myself.

  3. Hi all.

    Nice to read about your experience with Divi. I had purchased the elegant themes subscription 2 months back but immediately went for a refund because most of the older themes I found at elegant themes were looking like web 2.0 appearance design elements. New ones were good but I was more “fascinated” by the themes at ThemeForest. To be honest, I liked avada, Jupiter and Basix from there but didn’t purchase them. I think what authors at ThemeForest provide is way more than we (me and other fellow bloggers) need and it is easy to get impressed but very hard to use all the design elements. Rather, we should just get a simple, fast, responsive and good looking theme and combine it with good plugins available like SEO by toast etc. and start writing content be it portfolio or blog or anything else. I have seen divi in action and it’s a really “elegant” theme. Hope I will re-join elegant themes club soon if they will allow.

    • I’m glad my post was helpful. I really don’t think you can go wrong with Elegant Themes.

  4. I have questions. Which plugin are you all using for the this social media share on the left side of the pages. Also Iove this blog and want to know on his pages projects how did he make his project page private for clients only.
    http://client.ericjochim.com/guestlogin/burdettchristmas/

    Do you all have tutorial for how he add the video on this page “We speak logistics Pages”

    Seriously, this the first blog that wow me! thanks for using this example

    • Thanks for the comment. For my client.ericjochim.com pages, I’m not using Divi. It’s a photography service called Pixiset and I’ve been very happy with it.

      Regarding the “Language of Logistics” video, this is actually just using YouTube’s standard iframe embed code in a Divi text module. Go to your Youtube video and click Share-Embed, select your settings and they’ll generate the code.

  5. Eric,

    Great story and two really nice sites with divi. I also liked the Rock N Roll Baby photos. They were very creative and I’m sure your family will treasure them forever. ROCK ON!

    Adam

    • Thank for the comment Adam. I have to say that your blog post from a couple months ago served as an impetus to submit my story.

      From one dad to another, thanks.

  6. I’m impressed with your load times on the dedola.com site what settings are you using with the W3 Total Cache plugin? Pingdom tools shows some connection errors with player.vimeo.com/video/ but straight up nice job and beautiful family.
    Cheers

    • Thanks Danzig.

      Yes, we are using W3 Total cache. The Pingdom tool is something that I used a lot to fine tune the settings. Most of the settings are fairly stock but I did have to look closely at the minify setup. It was causing problems with my conditional contact forms (Gravity Forms) before making a few changes.

      Google’s speed tool was also useful for benchmarking changes – https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights.

      Regarding overall speed, I think first and foremost, the host is important. For example, I’m using very similar W3 settings on ericjochim.com but the hosting is just not as fast. Also, going back to basics and reducing unnecessarily large file sizes like images helps a lot.

      For Dedola, the next step is to start using a CDN. The only reason we haven’t started this yet is that we are getting ready to launch a new customer tracking system and don’t want to deal with any additional DNS problems while we are still working the bugs out.

  7. Very nice use of Divi :)

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