Te Rito Wellington Family Violence Network

Size: WordPress website, approx 40 pages of content at launch, plus logo design

My professional status: independent web designer/developer

Website client: Te Rito Wellington Family Violence Network

Dates: May - August 2012, with ongoing support until March 2017

Categories: Scoping/pitching/quoting, Client liaison, Project manager, IA & UX, Website designer, Front-end developer, Writing for the web, Content-loader, CSS-based layout, CSS3, jQuery/JavaScript, WordPress, Small sites

Brief: to build a website in WordPress for Te Rito Wellington Family Violence Network, a diverse group of 25 government and non-government organisations working in family violence prevention and service provision.

The primary purpose of the website was to showcase the range of organisations within the Network, and to provide each organisation with a page where they could describe the work they do in the area of family violence prevention, with a link to their own website where visitors could go for further information.

The website also acted as a complimentary online presence for the Network's new poster and billboard campaign featuring various Wellington personalities including the Mayor, community leaders, entertainers and sportspeople.


  • Enabled Te Rito Wellington to have a web presence that as a charity they could never otherwise have afforded, by starting with an existing WordPress theme and adapting it for their needs
  • Helped the website owner to successfully launch the site by taking over responsibility for the content and finishing everything off in the week before go-live, enabling her to concentrate on organising the launch event itself, together with associated publicity.

My responsibilities included:

  • Designing a logo for Te Rito Wellington Family Violence Network, as they didn't have one
  • Writing the pitch for the website fixed-price contract
  • Putting together an original concept for the new website, together with the creation and refinement of the information architecture and site schematics, including a set of template wireframes and a sitemap, created using Balsamiq.
  • Project management and ongoing liaison with the Te Rito team in order to achieve all their aims for the site, and to work through a range of technical and implementation issues with them
  • Selection of a suitable WordPress theme, Simplicity by Woo Themes, in order to keep the price down and achieve all the functionality we required for the website; and then building the initial site skeleton in WordPress
  • Selection of a suitable webhost, and ensuring that the site worked properly on the new hosting platform
  • Restyling the website to incorporate the Network's logo, brand colours and fonts
  • Writing the content for a range of pages on the site, including all the blog posts, the slide text, and the "hide my visit" page
  • Liaising with Janet Bagshaw at Te Rito to ensure that the pages and content I was creating were appropriate for the website
  • Incorporating a number of CSS3 techniques including box-shadow, border-radius, and text-shadow
  • Using jQuery to replace and re-style elements inserted automatically by the CMS
  • Wrangling various bits of the PHP in order to get the website to function exactly as I needed it to
  • Collating all the logos from the 25 network organisations featured on the website, and optimising these for use on the website
  • Extensive testing of the WordPress site at all stages of the development process, ensuring consistency across the following browsers and platforms - an interesting challenge as the original Simplicity theme isn't optimised for IE6 or IE7:
    • PC: Internet Explorer IE6, IE7, IE8, IE9; Chrome, Firefox
    • Mac: Chrome, Firefox, Safari
  • Training Te Rito staff and volunteers how to use WordPress, so that they could add the content text for each of the network organisations
  • Editing, proof-reading and tidying up all the pages once the content had been added
  • Keeping a running record of elements still required for completion of the website, passing this info back to Janet at Te Rito, and taking over whatever tasks I could in the final week as it became clear that she had enough on her plate organising the launch without having to do more bits and pieces for the website
  • Ensuring that the website was ready for launch, and showing it to many of the 80+ guests at the offical lauch in Wellington Town Hall.

I first met Janet a few years ago when I was doing some work for the Women's Refuge website, and it was great to hear from her again. Janet's now the co-ordinator of Te Rito, and the poster campaign was her idea. The website is a perfect compliment to the campaign, and we're all really proud of it - and it's quite a thrill to see my little logo in print as well.

As the Network is a charity with limited resources, we decided to use a WordPress theme to keep the price down. The trick is to find a theme that works for your project in terms of functionality, as it's much easier to change the design via CSS styling than it is to change the functionality.

The website has two main areas of focus - the artwork for the billboard campaign, and the individual organisations that make up the Network. I was able to showcase the campaign artwork on the homepage slider, linked to individual blog posts about each billboard design; and I used the theme's portfolio functionality to create each of the individual Network pages, linked from organisation logos displayed on the homepage. I also used the homepage testimonials functionality to highlight the slogans/messages from the billboard campaign.

I'm really pleased with the end result. A nice simple website, that does everything we needed it to do, and which is easy for the clients to update in the future. I ended up spending quite a lot of my own time on this project, because even though their budget hadn't really allowed for the amount of work I needed to put in, I couldn't possibly have allowed it to be launched in any state less than perfection - and it's nice to be able to make a contribution to such a worthy cause.

Media coverage

Refugees welcome Wellington campaign against family violence

A new campaign against family violence has been welcomed by ChangeMakers Refugee Forum. The campaign will be launched tomorrow and features two representatives from Wellington's refugee-background community. "We need to educate and we can't wait" says Faduma Moallin, leader of the Somali community and who features in campaign posters... Read more

Scoop, 9 August 2012