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How To
New, Free WordPress Theme for Ski Resort Websites

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GREGG
BLANCHARD
       

Three months ago to celebrate 3 months of SlopeFillers, I gave away a free website design to a deserving ski area. I asked for a few nominations and they poured in. There are dozens and dozens of smaller ski areas that just don’t have the budget for a new website. In my opinion, that needed to change. So, I sat down and began brainstorming a way to give every resort a chance to have a good looking website. My goals were:

  • Allow resort to create a semi-custom, attractive website that fits current design trends.
  • Build it in a way that they can update and customize on their own.
  • Make sure each required element is free.

I chose the WordPress platform because 1) its powerful, 2) its free, 3) its open source, 4) many hosts have one-click wordpress installation programs built in. Simply put, I’ve created a customizable WordPress theme. A simple file within the theme lets the user customize the following:

  • The Logo
  • Logo Position
  • Snow Report
  • Footer Color
  • Background Darkness
  • Background Image
  • Main Header Images
  • Headline
  • Subheader
  • Description
  • Keyword String for SEO
  • Links
  • Social Media Links
  • News/Alert Bar Color, Text and Link
  • and a couple other smaller items.

Plus, since it is built on WordPress, they have:

  • Easy WYSIWYG page creation (pages are automatically listed in navigation menu)
  • Easy WYSIWYG Blogging
  • A Widgetized Sidebar for Blog Posts
  • A Widgetized Sidebar for Pages
  • Access to WordPress plugin library
  • Custom URL settings (site.com/about/ instead of site.com/?p=123)
  • Multiple Admin / User Settings
  • and much, MUCH more.

What I need now is feedback. Feedback on the design, features, elements, etc. There is a live demo at:
http://www.slopefillers.com/wordpress/

If you’d like access to play around with the settings or would like to download the theme to test on your own WordPress blog, shoot me an email at:



  • Greg,

    You have once again gone above and beyond. WordPress may seem hard at first put with a little bit of research and homework it is the best platform I have found for creating, updating and maintaining the Mountain Weekly News website http://mtnweekly.com

    You should be getting a ton of holiday presents based on this site and especially taking the time to create a theme for ski areas. Well done!!

    • SlopeFillers – Gregg

      Thanks, Mike :) It was a fun project and will hopefully keep improving. Working on a visual / menu settings page now instead of a PHP settings file. That should help quite a bit. Any features you’d like to see added?

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