We have made our love of WordPress Page Builders known.  Due to the beauty of versatile features, we’ve been able to utilize them for various types of projects and clients.  Here, we highlight three distinct examples: Greater Chicago Together, University of Chicago Trust in India, and Cook County Office of the Public Guardian.  Despite the varying needs of each project, this tool worked every time.  And here’s how.

First Things First: Let’s Talk Specifics

For context, we should start by explaining the specific set up utilized for all three projects.

The “Salient” theme is a popular, multi-purpose WordPress theme known for its flexibility, aesthetics, and extensive features.  It is designed to cater to various types of websites, such as portfolios, business websites, creative agencies, and more.  The theme’s standout feature is its integration with the WPBakery Page Builder (formerly known as Visual Composer), which empowers users to create custom page layouts without the need to write code.

Here are some key features of the Salient theme with the WPBakery Page Builder:

WPBakery Page Builder Integration: WPBakery Page Builder is a powerful drag-and-drop visual page builder that allows you to create complex page layouts with ease.  The Salient theme seamlessly integrates with this plugin, offering an enhanced user experience and greater customization capabilities.

Customizable Demos and Layouts: Salient comes with a variety of pre-designed website demos and layouts.  These demos cover a wide range of niches and styles, giving you a head start in building your website.  You can import the demo content with just a few clicks and then customize it to suit your brand and content.

Responsive Design: The Salient theme is built to be fully responsive, meaning your website will adapt and look great on various devices, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones.  This responsiveness is crucial for providing a seamless user experience across different platforms.

Advanced Typography Options: Salient offers a comprehensive set of typography options, allowing you to customize font styles, sizes, and colors to match your brand and design preferences.

Multiple Header and Footer Styles: The theme provides various header and footer styles, giving you the flexibility to choose the one that best fits your website’s aesthetics and navigation needs.

Portfolio and Gallery Support: Salient is well-suited for showcasing portfolios and image galleries. It provides different gallery styles and portfolio layouts to display your work in a visually appealing manner.

To sum it up, Salient is the UI: the theming layer that lets us set up global items in a configuration screen – font families and sizes, global primary and accent colors.  WPBakery is the UX: it provides the template/components – image, text, buttons, icons, accordions.

Now that we have covered the tools, let’s discuss how we used them.

Our Approach

The small scale of these three sites is more advanced than the brochure-ware sites of yesteryear but did not require much advanced programming, code overhead, or plug-in integrations.  This allowed us to join the quick out-of-the-box WordPress functionality of the WPBakery Page Builder and Salient theme, utilizing many of the pre-set structures mentioned that offer the ability to make adjustments such as spacing, colors, animations, and an established icon library.

The efficiency afforded to us by this simplicity was seen in all aspects of each project – the code repository that holds the code for the look and feel of the website is usually a few folders of files, but for these sites, it was only one configuration file.

Example 1: Greater Chicago Together

Project Background

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was enacted on March 11, 2021.  It provided resources and support to Americans, namely small business owners, rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic in the form of emergency grants, lending, and investment.  On February 4, 2022, the City of Chicago, Cook County, and the State of Illinois convened a joint summit to inform community organizations, nonprofits, and small businesses about what it takes to be ready to apply for grants and contracts funded by ARPA and other economic recovery funding streams.

Greater Chicago Together is a central hub for local organizations and small businesses in Chicagoland and Cook County to learn about and connect to grant opportunities available through the ARPA.

Clarity was engaged due to our work on behalf of these public sector entities.  We needed to quickly build a website for users looking for information regarding these grants.

The Development

The WordPress site was launched with four pages, with the client adding additional pages over time.  The page builder components allowed for consistent site-wide formatting with the option of easily adding additional photography or new sections in alternating colors to bring vibrancy to the design.  The WordPress framework at the core of the site allows for additional specialized functionality to be added as the need arises, and it is all thanks to the 20+ of WordPress development.

The Impact

This site will remain useful for the grant programs that, for now, run through 2025 as part of the Inflation Reduction Act.

Example 2: University of Chicago Trust in India

Project Background

The University of Chicago had established a Trust in India, a legally independent entity which receives and manages funds from local donors as well as incoming funds from foreign grant agencies for faculty conducting research in India.  Due to updates regarding the legal guidelines governing the Trust, it was required that a standalone web presence be established that clearly identified it as an independent legal entity and to house basic descriptive information, details about key programs, and instructions for giving to the Trust.  Clarity was engaged to build the site on behalf of University of Chicago.

The Development

The new site was developed quickly and launched with the plan to eventually add enhancements post-launch.  Using the Salient WordPress Page Builder, we were able to establish a website that is mobile-friendly and accessible, including:

  • Simplified graphics and images, with assistance in the selection of stock photography
  • On-site search
  • SEO support via relevant tools and plugins
  • Google analytics tracking
  • CMS training

The Impact

The site was established within the expedited timeline needed by the University of Chicago in order to be compliant to the updated legal guidelines.  It also provides a hub for the University of Chicago to continue supporting multiple programs that promote the betterment of India by engaging on critical social challenges with local stakeholders and providing scholarships to students in India to study at the University of Chicago.

Example 3: Cook County Public Guardian

Project Background

In the spring of 2022, Clarity completed and launched a website redesign on behalf of the Office of the Cook County Public Guardian, a governmental office devoted to championing the rights of children and adults routinely neglected by society.

The Development

With the use of the Salient theme with the WPBakery Page Builder, we launched the site in less than a month, including updated functionality, administrative control, and a foundation for future enhancements.  Read more details regarding this approach in this case study highlighting our work on behalf of the Guardian.

The Impact

The constraints of a small budget and need for a quick turnaround were solved by the use of the page builder.  The Guardian is now better equipped to help those seeking out the resources this organization provides.

All Hail the WordPress Page Builder

Regardless of the challenges each project presented, we could solve for them through the use of a WordPress Page Builder and the beauty of versatile features that this solution provides.  In the future, we will continue to utilize this tool whenever possible.