The team at Merlin Tuttle’s Bat Conservation is passionate and highly active with it’s mission of bat conservation. The wildlife photography of the eponymous Merlin Tuttle has amassed a bevy of ardent supporters who follow his work, and the work of the MTBC team through their site. The team uses the site to publish photographs, communicate with supporters, collect emails for a mailing list, and publish articles on conservation.
They wanted their site to showcase the photography which is MTBC’s biggest strength. However, their old website wasn’t cutting it. The homepage failed at showcasing the photography since it was too slow to load high res-pictures. Additionally, the homepage was very text heavy and distracting. It was also not responsive and didn’t look correct on most devices.
In the admin area, the home page was creating a lot of publishing bottlenecks for the photo gallery, since it required knowledge of html, and short-codes to edit.
Additionally they had recently started an email campaign and had difficulties getting people subscribed. Before I started on their project, the marketing manager was manually adding each subscriber.
So their web master Danielle Brancazio teamed up with me to develop a new theme based on her designs.
The new theme is optimized to display images well and significantly reduces load times. It also has a responsive design, and looks good on any device. Additionally the homepage template puts the photos front and center by hiding away photo descriptions in an overlay.
It also solved their publishing bottleneck with easy to use point and click fields for the content, with no html or short-codes required.
Additionally, the new site solved the subscriber issue for mailing lists by including Contact Form 7 with the MailChimp extension and a custom extension for their business logic. What was once a manual process was shortened into one that took seconds and worked without them even noticing it.