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Bret is an old friend from college. I don’t even remember how we ended up reconnecting, but we did, and he asked if I was interested in creating a website for his new counseling business. We met in his eclectic office one day and he began describing his vision of what the site would look like and the content that it would contain. When discussing the look and feel of the site, he asked if I had ever seen The Lord of the Rings? I’m sure I gave a puzzled glance in return. He continued by explaining that “The Shire” is what he thought of when he told about the website – “lush, green” he said. Bret then reached across his desk and picked up an ancient-looking mug and went back to his seat. After looking down at the mug for several seconds, he looked up and held it towards me, “this mug for example, it’s weathered, tarnished, this is another thing that comes to mind when I think about the site.” We met for a little longer and I left.

The focus for Bret’s site:

  1. Use graphics and imagery to give the site setting
  2. Keep it very simple and information easy to find
  3. Use a CMS to that Bret and his team could keep it updated

The CMS used was originally Joomla!, and it served us well initially. But, as with many other Joomla! sites, it was eventually moved to WordPress, and ultimately to for ease of maintenance for his team. Imagery including a lush forest with a leaf-covered path traversing the center, a tree surrounded by words that are meaningful to the counseling center, and favorite quotes on parchment paper were used to help capture the desired feeling. And a very simple menu structure provides quick and easy access to the information needed by his clients.