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Originally Launched In April 2019

Custom Gutenberg Blocks

After taking our WordPress and SEO classes, the marketing manager at BLVDWAY Communities came to us for site improvements. Although they had just launched their new custom WordPress theme created by a different agency, it was not Gutenberg compatible. In addition, the new theme was Ajax based making it hard to evaluate visitor metrics with Google Analytics.

Custom Post Type Problems

The BLVDWAY community pages are multifaceted and offer floorplans, site plans, galleries and community details. Each community had these elements available within tabs that were populated via WordPress custom post type metadata. Custom post types are a wonderful feature of WordPress. But you can overuse them, especially given the new possibilities of the Gutenberg editor. They are also a bit abstract and store data in many places making it hard to manage.

Gutenberg Blocks Solution

To solve the problem, we created some custom Gutenberg blocks to utilize the new editor. Not only do the blocks use the new editor, they keep the data all in one place. It also helps make the site easier to manage and maintain over time.

The largest custom block we made was for the floor plans. The floor plan page displays the various dwelling types and plans available in a community as well as pricing, square footage and galleries. We also added new fields to accommodate videos and interactive modules to help users explore their options. In addition, we created custom blocks to add community navigation menus and, community branding and contact info reusable blocks to place in the footer of each community page.

BLVDWay Communities Iron Works Village Community Page Screenshot
BLVDWAY Communities Custom Gutenberg Community Block
A custom Gutenberg block to record the various metadata for a community organizing all the details in a single location.

Google Analytics Event Tracking

BLVDWAY Communities Google Analytic Event Tracking Results

While eliminating some Ajax to separate individual page content for easier tacking, we didn’t get rid of it altogether. In order to track user interaction and gauge interest in floor plan types, we created a goal in Google Analytics. With a little custom JavaScript we can feed event actions to the goal so the client can easily determine which floor plan is most popular. In addition, they can quickly determine the value of each type of metadata from galleries, videos and interactive plugins.

WordPress Hosting & Maintenance

In addition to modernizing their existing site, BLVDWAY Communties has entrusted us with their website hosting, maintenance, and security. By doing so, they quickly experienced a faster page loading experience for their users. Because our servers are optimized for WordPress and offer the latest version of PHP, it is not unusual for our clients to cut their page load speed in half.

We also work to keep the site secure and prevent hacking attacks. On a daily basis we update any plugins, themes or WordPress core files if available. By analyzing user passwords we make recommendations for stronger passwords. With always up-to-date software and strong user passwords, the client can eliminate most hacker entry points. But in the case one does get through, we maintain off-site backups to restore the site quickly with minimal interruption.

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Technologies Used

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