Showcasing ExpressionEngine websites from all over the web
Bethel Heights Vineyard
Give us some background on some of the members of your team and the company that you work for.
Six Pony Hitch specializes in website design and development, graphic design, and Brand Diagnostics and Impact Assessments. We have years of experience in the field, are passionate about the work that we do, and have a reputation for providing strong strategy and distinctive creative. From New York to Portland, Oregon, to Montana, our team members have worked for agencies big and small and have helped build local, national, and even international brands. Our work reflects the rigorous fact-finding and strategic thinking that we do at the beginning of each project, and we pride ourselves on our ability to fully represent our clients and their communication needs.
Tell us about the site. What vision were you trying to fill for the client?
Bethel Heights Vineyard is an established, family-owned and operated winery that has led the way in sustainable growing in the Willamette Valley. They produce superb, intentional, consistent, and highly desired wine that is especially reflective of its place of origin.
They asked us to create a website and graphic materials that are representative of their wines and their vineyard. The story of the original, own-rooted Pinot noir vines that they have spent years cultivating is reflective of the entire history and brand of the vineyard. Despite all that has gone on around them, they have stayed true to their purpose, dug deeper and become more involved with the land they call home, and, thus, consistently provided the fruit that has made Bethel Heights Vineyard wine so special and desired throughout the country.
Six Pony Hitch worked closely with Bethel Heights Vineyard to create a site where they could sell wine directly to consumers and drive visitation to the winery while also providing a site that showcased the vineyard and the brand.
Was there a specific reason why EE was chosen for this project? Why?
ExpressionEngine is our preferred CMS. We like ExpressionEngine because it gives us the freedom to build sites with no limitations on design, structure, or content. We focus on creating simple and flexible channels for clients that allow them to easily manage their sites on their own.
EE was a perfect fit for the Bethel Heights site. We utilized EE’s flexible channels to manage tons of content types like team member profiles, blog posts, events, e-commerce products, distributors, recipes, and more. The endless professional modules and plugins were also a huge factor in the decision to use EE. These add-ons either simplify content management for clients or are required functionality for projects like e-commerce.
What add-ons were used? and why?
BrilliantRetail - E-commerce was a requirement of the Bethel Heights site and we love using BrillianRetail. It has a simple user interface for clients, installs fast, integrates into EE, and has tons of great tags for creating EE templates. We are taking advantage of the BrilliantRetail fieldtype for featuring products on specific channels too.
Structure - We prefer Structure over Pages or other navigation solutions. We feel it is the easiest way for our clients to manage entries in EE. We are also using the built-in html sitemaps and xml sitemaps.
Structure Entries - A great complementary add-on to Structure. We are utilizing this add-on to create customized unordered lists for sub-navigation menus.
Zoo Triggers - We are using Zoo Triggers to filter blog posts by categories since Structure doesn’t work with categories. It is another great complementary add-on to Structure.
Blueprints - One of our favorite add-ons. We are using Blueprints to create advanced publish layouts based on templates, show thumbnail previews when choosing templates, restricting templates based on channels, and a couple of other great features. It’s a great tool for making EE even easier for clients.
CP Tabs - A simple add-on that allows you to set custom control panel tabs for users. It is a great way to set shortcuts to modules or other hard to find features. We like to link to Structure, Freeform, Comments, and other important modules.
Solspace Calendar, Solspace Freeform, Matrix, Wygwam, Playa, SEO Lite, CP Analytics, Freebie.
What difficulties did you encounter? How did you address them? Was there a particular add-on that got you out of a bind?
We had to create our first add-on during this project. The add-on works with BrilliantRetail and creates new template tags. For instance, one tag creates drop down menus with products but this wasn’t available in BrilliantRetail. We found it pretty easy to code EE add-ons thanks to a mixture of good documentation and articles. We also have experience using CodeIgniter and loved that you could tap into its powerful framework. Overall the project went very smoothly. It was a combination of good planning and an excellent client.
SEO-Lite, MX Google Maps, Zoo Triggers, CP Analytics, Blueprints, CP Default Tabs and Freebie
Company: Six Pony Hitch