St. Louis Avian Rescue (STAR) (a nonprofit) needed a more dynamic site that would be easy for volunteers to keep updated with the latest news and events.

I was thrilled to have carte blanche in redesigning it. Usually, I like to get tons of specifics before I even start a website design, but in this case, I had been volunteering since 2009 and had a very clear vision.  I also wanted to add features that STAR didn’t think would ever be possible. Rather than sit around picking small details to shreds (which anyone can easily do), the focus was kept on functionality, user friendliness, and speed of launching it (they previous person gave only a month’s notice).

I am particularly proud of venturing into more advanced custom code, and creating the “ourbirds” module, which showcases adoptable birds and those which have been adopted.

This is my far the most complex website that I currently have online (STLCleanScene is no longer up). They signed a maintenance and hosting agreement, and I’ve committed to providing monthly code updates and improvements, training other volunteers, and generally keeping the site up and running smoothly. will be my ongoing project to showcase my best and most advanced work, including: WordPress implementation, graphic design, Search Engine Optimization, community development, and more. I am so excited!

Their site has the following features:

Inherit (native to WordPress with no mods or plugins):

    1. search engine friendly url structure
    2. site search
    3. article/news categories
    4. galleries on pages and posts
    5. ability to password protect pages or posts and to have pages not linked on menu
    6. ability to embed Youtube clips

Custom additional features:

  1. searchable, sortable, custom post types – “our birds” with subtypes “species” and “adoptable/adopted”
  2. board of directors/staff module
  3. events management with ability to RSVP
  4. fundraising module
  5. customer relationship management – to keep track of inventory, donors, volunteers, etc…
  6. project management to keep track of ongoing projects
  7. fully responsive and mobile accessible theme based on the iThemes Builder framework (an $80 value)
  8. automatic, weekly, backups (a $150 value)
  9. save contact forms to database/csv file
  10. newsletter (integrated with MailChimp)
  11. forums
    1. forum moderation
    2. private forums
    3. user profiles
  12. social sharing (to be added at launch)
  13. Search engine optimization features (to be added at launch):
    1. Search engine pinging when new content is published
    2. automatic sitemap generation
    3. search engine friendly URLs
    4. ..and other SEO tweaks
  14. Responsive rotating images/slideshow (you can make more than one and put it anywhere) – an $80 value
  15. related posts/birds/custom post type based on tags
  16. recent and/or random custom posts
  17. facebook integration and social sharing
  18. ability to login to and join forums from facebook and other social profiles (to be added at launch)
  19. site stats in back end
  20. auto image resizing & optimization
  21. caching and other best practices for website speed
  22. related posts
  23. spam protection (to be added at launch)
  24. training videos (to be added at launch)
  25. document and download controls

Don’t just look at the screenshots, go to and see the site!

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