We are beyond excited to showcase this most recent website design! Wanda Brunstetter is a well-known author of Amish fiction with a large online following and over 100 published books. For years, her website has been a place where readers could follow along with Wanda’s upcoming events and book signings, new releases, Amish facts and recipes, and more. However, as technology changed and Wanda’s site aged, the twelve-year-old website no longer met industry standards and did not offer a mobile-friendly experience. Combined with the complex changes in WordPress, themes, and plugins in that timeframe, Wanda’s site was in dire need of an update.
This project is nearly a year in the making and required a significant amount of planning and research by our team. We worked with Wanda and her publisher to perform a thorough audit of her previous website and user behaviors and develop a plan for the redesign, to ensure visitors’ expectations were properly met and we maintained all existing SEO rankings. While the overall design and functionality of the website needed a refresh, it was important to Wanda to keep the peaceful, simple ambience surrounding the Amish community ever present in the design. Our team worked tirelessly to accomplish both the technical and visual milestones by taking years of wonderful content and streamlining it into an easy-to-navigate site that will transport visitors right into one of Wanda’s stories.
About This Recent Project
Updated Website Design
We absolutely loved incorporating some of Wanda’s and her husband Richard’s personal photographs of the Amish country in the website design. Many of the ten different page header designs stemmed from one of these personal photos. We applied warm filters to the banners to reflect the same warm illustrative style of Wanda’s book covers, creating brand consistency across platforms.
Due to the size of the website sitemap, using lightweight tools to display all of Wanda’s published books and series was imperative. We simplified the custom code and page layouts present in her previous site and removed excess bulk from the site and database by incorporating native WordPress tools like the Kadence theme and the Block Editor. We made all of Wanda’s book covers, descriptions, and links as uniform as possible and utilized the existing category and tag structure to keep the series displays organized, attractive, and user-friendly.
Wanda and Richard opted to remove the old eCommerce setup for his beautiful Amish photography, which again helped to lighten the load of the website. It was important to us to still give Richard a unique space to showcase his work and allow visitors to easily order photographs from him, which we accomplished through a page header design branded to him along with the various galleries of photos using a lightbox feature to provide an easy way for visitors to scroll through each one.
At the request of the Barbour Publishing team, we created an updated “media resources” page for Wanda that included resources for event planners along with her upcoming event schedule. Our goal for this page was to provide a wealth of easy-to-access information to help make coordinating events and appearances a bit more efficient for both Wanda and her marketing team.
Overall, we could not be more pleased with the end result. Designed around the beautiful landscapes in the Amish countryside in which Wanda sets her popular novels, this new site is as easy to use as it is beautiful.
What Wanda had to say…
“The new website is beautiful and with lots of interesting content that I am sure my readers will enjoy. Thanks again for all the hard work you and your team put in to make my site everything that it is.”
Services Included in this Project
- SEO and Website Audit and Strategy
- Custom WordPress Website Design and Development
- Sitemap Reorganization and Cleanup
- Redesign of all Book and Series Graphics
- Branded (PDF) Downloads
- SEO Optimization
- Managed WordPress Hosting and Site Care
Team Members Involved
Find out more about these ladies and the rest of the team here at MRM: Meet the Team