Client Spotlight – Vancouver Poetry House

We thought you might be interested in hearing a breakdown of one of our favourite projects we’ve worked on at SplitMango. Last year we worked with Vancouver Poetry House (VPH) to create a website that showcased their unique events and culture.

VPH Website Mockup

VPH’s irrevocable purpose “is to advance, federate, shelter & maintain poetry in Vancouver with equal respect for the literary and oral traditions.” They not only strive to advance the education of poetry, they have created a yearly poetry festival and established a dedicated permanent home for the poetic arts in Vancouver.

Through their work they encourage poetry and poetic lifestyle by:

  • Bringing forth poetry.
  • Bringing forth poetry from everyone.
  • Bringing forth poetry everywhere.
  • Bringing forth poetry in all its forms.

VPH approached us looking for four websites for the four divisions that are a part of the larger VPH organization. It was important for each of these websites to have their own look but a similar feel in general. Since VPH gives so much back to the community of Vancouver we used this opportunity to make their website a sponsorship project.

We sat down today with both the designer, Willie Li, and developer, Airrick Dunfield, who worked on this great project to get some feedback on how the project progressed from start to finish.

VPH Four websites in one

Split Mango: What inspired the Vancouver Poetry House Design?

Willie: Community and non-profit organization sites came to mind when designing for VPH. There are a few sites we looked at as design inspirations.

We used The Bloom Group to help us identify content importance that needed to be delieverd to community. We also studied Cornell University’s website to see what kind of design vibe a VPH vistor should experience.

Split Mango: What is the thought process behind user experience?

Willie: Since we were targeting a specific community, the site focuses on bringing in all of Vancouver’s poetry community news and events to the right people. We wanted to make sure local poetry enthusiasts felt fully involved with their community. They would get to know about featured poets and they could easily find upcoming poetry events to attend.

Split Mango: What Technologies did we use to build the site?

Airrick: To create a four-in-one website we used WordPress’ multisite feature. This was a fantastic way to incorporate flexibility within the theme we created. In addition, we chose to use Advanced Custom Fields (ACF), a well documented, popular tool that complements WordPress (WP) and allowed us to take full control of WP’s custom fields. Along with customized programming and the use of Tribe Events to control their event calendar, we were able to build a flexible and unique looking site that exceeded our client’s needs.

Split Mango: What’s our favorite part of the Vancouver Poetry House website?

Airrick: Our favourite feature of the VPH site was the use of WordPress’ multisite which enabled us to use one theme quite differently four times. The best part of this site was seeing the flexibility available by using multisite.

We’ve enjoyed working alongside VPH and continue to sponsor the events they feature all around Vancouver. Check out their site to find out more about upcoming events in your area.

We thought it would be appropriate to end this blog with a poem.

story written by Jacqui Janzen