Working with a local language school and other updates

It’s been a while since I wrote an update on what I have been working on, so I thought I’d make a little post recapping recent efforts.

I’ve recently had the pleasure to work with a local language school to create their presence online. The site is Hola Lola – Cours d’espagnol à Tours, and if you don’t read French, that’s a business supplying local students with lessons in Spanish. The site was built in WordPress – which is becoming increasingly annoying to work with if you ask me – I’ve been getting into Laravel for bigger projects and the Slim PHP framework for smaller stuff. Still, creating sites for non-technical users requires you to provide them with a backend where they can edit their content and WordPress is still the most user-friendly solution for this. We’re hosting the site for Hola Lola as well, and I wanted to test a new host I had heard about – Digital Ocean. At $5 for their cheapest ‘droplet’, it’s a pretty good deal. Their help section is easily one of the best in the industry and I was able to get PHP 5 + nginx setup and running smoothly in no time. Job done!

The Hola Lola site was built to be fully responsive to ensure a smooth experience on desktop and mobile alike. I designed the logo for the company as well, which was something I really enjoyed brainstorming with the client. I also designed business cards, flyers and posters for their offline marketing efforts, and will be helping with this going forward. Offline marketing is something I haven’t had much experience in, so this has been an interesting and challenging experience. Online, I’m also looking to work some schema data into their pages (I love structured data!) to help them be found better locally.

Progress on Proven Quality, our football blog has been going well since we launched in February. We’ve featured the work of 32 different writers so far, and the site has started to grow an audience interested in in-depth football writing, which is great. The site is now featured in Google News and the NewsNow aggregator amongst others, which allows us to get the stories out in front of new users everyday. With 246 articles published at the time of writing, there’s something for everyone. My focus has been on promotion of the site, getting the word out and keeping the standard of articles very high. I think that’s going well, and I’m lucky to have some extremely talented writers publishing their work through the site.

That’s all for now, I do have plans to re-work the mabujo site in future as it hasn’t really been touched since 2008! Have fun out there.