Web Development

My Weekend at Seattle GiveCamp

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

I spent the last weekend attending Seattle GiveCamp on the Microsoft campus in Redmond. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a yearly event where designers, developers, and other technical & marketing folks get together and help out local not-for-profits for a weekend.

It’s about 48 hours from start to finish, beginning on Friday evening. There were long days and nights (some folks even slept over) and it was hard work but what a wonderful time! It’s not often I get up at 7am and I’m out until 10:30pm or later. Luckily the drive was off hours so it only took 25 minutes instead of … I don’t even want to think about it.

I met and worked with some really amazing people. Our team worked on a new WordPress website for fellow West Seattle-ites Southwest Youth & Family Services. (Big thanks to the folks from SWYFS – it was a true pleasure meeting & working with you!)

Here’s the before:

Southwest Youth and Family Services website before

SWYFS had an HTML site that they wanted to convert into a WordPress website so it was easier for them to update. Our designer, Sheyna, kept most of their design elements and spruced them up a bit. We added a slideshow to the home page, featured image banners (in place of the slider) on all the other pages, as well as updating the navigation and adding a News feed (blog).

I built the WordPress theme from scratch (not something I’ve ever done in less than 48 hours before and I don’t think I’ll be trying it again anytime soon – but it was worth it!). I started with the Boilerplate theme and used Sheyna’s design to create their custom theme. The slider is one I’ve worked with several times before, Advanced Slider (from CodeCanyon). I set up the banners so that everywhere but the home page, it uses the featured image if it’s set and uses a default image if not.

Here’s the after:

Southwest Youth and Family Services website after

If you have the chance to participate in a GiveCamp near you, please do. It’s a great way to give back and I think you’ll really enjoy yourself. You don’t have to be a designer or developer (or geek of any kind, for that matter). If you don’t have a particular technical skill you can help out as an administrative volunteer. It’s a good way to spend a weekend and help out those that help others in the process.