You've caught me mid development. I'm working on the site, so if you see something missing or broken, that's why.

Bell Blog

Launched 5 years ago

Role
Development
Technologies
  • CSS
  • HTML
  • mySQL
  • Javascript
  • PHP
Framework
Wordpress
Agency
Teehan+Lax
Creative Director
Jeremy Bell
Designer
Justin Aguilar
Back End Developers
Stephanie Emila
Project Manager
Alyssa Belova

About the Client

Bell is Canada's largest communications network, offering local, long distance and wireless telephone service, internet, and satellite.

The Bell Blog started out small and grew very quickly. We built a layout designed to adapt to a growing number of categories, subcategories and posts. As it was indeed a blog, using WordPress made sense at the time.

Our developer Steph built out a custom subscription plugin that allowed you to subscribe to specific categories, while I built out the rest of the site. It was a pretty smooth project for the most part, which had a lot to do with our decision to install two separate instances of WordPress – one for each language – rather than deal with the headache that comes with a single, multilingual instance. It’s worth noting that we explored the WPML and Polylang plugins, but both seemed to be a bit overkill for what we needed.

There are advantages and disadvantages to having both instances, but for the sake of simplicity and ease of management (as we would be expected to manage the site long term), we decided to isolate each.

5 Person Team
Wordpress
2 months
* The time spent on the project indicated above is the time it took to launch the project. Some projects are ongoing and some aren't. The time is generally accurate but in most cases it isn't exact. Most freelance projects were completed in the evenings and on weekends and most often not consecutively.

Code is Poetry

We had typically used a vanilla instance of Zend for our Bell sites at the time, so using Wordpress was a bit of a departure for the team, though I have always used it personally quite a bit. Having the familiar tools available while building out post types, post meta, categories, taxonomies and menus - all the typical components a blog normally has - proved to be very helpful.

Having launched way back in 2012, with the intention of growing, I'm happy to say the project is still alive and well.

What Was Learned

Translating a site in Wordpress is a pain and there's no way around it. Even just translating the static theme content using .po files is painful. But most of all, consolidating your content in a single Wordpress instance is the biggest burden. All of your application logic requesting posts and such needs to account for multiple languages, which adds significant development time. It's really important to asses the pros and cons of using a translation plugin vs. using two separate instances before choosing one direction or the other.

What Went Well

After the discovery phase, we knew we wanted to have two instances of Wordpress, one for English and one for French. After that it was smooth sailing. I'm pretty familiar with Wordpress, so I definitely in my comfort zone on this one. That being said, I'd like to think the way I develop themes has improved significantly since then.