Gillian McMillan, Rara-Avis




Gillian McMillan, Rara-Avis

I built Gillian McMillan’s site back in 2008. At that time WordPress was not a sophisticated site-builder, so the web pages were hand-coded in html and the portfolio in php. The site was not responsive, and a narrow width, as screens were only 800 pixels wide back in those days. In 2014 we set up a blog and, later on, brought her outdated gallery into WordPress.

Then, in late 2021, Gillian McMillan and I agreed it was time for an overhaul that would clean up and merge everything into one WordPress site. Another consideration for a rebuild was that Google FeedBurner had been phased out, so we needed to find a new RSS-to-email solution. Sending blog posts to her subscribers was an important consideration for Gillian.

Gillian and I liked the original colours and design concept from 2008. However, I wanted to modernize it and bring all the “working parts” up to date. The site needed to be wider, with larger pictures. I wanted it to have that “wow” effect as a visual showcase for her work.

The Solution

We rebuilt Gillian McMillan’s site from the ground up, using Elementor Pro and OceanWP framework in WordPress. We simplified the design, keeping true to the original concept and colours, while widening the layout and using larger images to display Gillian’s work. We rebuilt the portfolio using Elementor and made new blog post templates. It was important to keep the same URLs and blog post structure for SEO.

Project Scope

  • Complete redesign and rebuild
  • Import content from old html pages
  • Redesign and rebuild new portfolio
  • Redesign and rebuild new blog templates
  • Migrate development site back to live site
  • Ongoing website maintenance and support

You can read about Gillian’s feedback on her new site, in her January blog post:

More work