Meet GREAT Client, Slater Fletcher

Post written by Sarah Weeger

On the surface, Slater is an elite multi-sport athlete, tri-athlete, ultra marathoner, adventure racer, XTERRA regional champ, an IRONMAN…. I could go on, listing all the insane accomplishments this guy has accumulated over the past couple years alone but basically the guy is a freak. :) He’s a dream-crushing freak of all things sport, in the best, most inspiring way possible. He’s also one of the most hilarious, grounded, and driven people I know and I’m glad to be able to call him a good friend, too! Slater and his wife, Monique (Slamo, if you will) are awesome. Love them both!

The Task

Back in April at one of the many Weeger vs. Slamo BBQ Pizza Cook-Offs we’d have this year (my husband Ryan Weeger and Monique are both master BBQ pizza makers while Slater and I… well, we’re really good helpers), Slater and I got to talking about redesigning his old blog site. The goal quickly took shape: Completely redesign and revamp his current blog, hosted with Blogger, so that it would attract more sponsors, more readers, and just look a lot better/more appealing. :) He also wanted to have more than just a blog… He wanted a site with pages dedicated completely to his Sponsors most importantly, but also to links and resources that he’s found to be helpful himself that he could share with his readers. He thought his race schedule and results would also be a good addition to his site and I totally agreed.

A couple more BBQs, beers, and cook-offs later, the concept was finalized and we got to work!

The GREAT Process

We got started right away by setting up Slater’s new-and-improved personal blog site with WordPress and worked from a pre-designed theme that fit perfectly with what we had in mind. This theme both kept costs down and saved a lot of time in the process… score!

Exceeding Expectations

Each project is obviously different and no timeline is the same, but I was expecting the standard 1 to maybe 2 month-long timeline for a personal blog site. We quickly finalized the Website Outline and I got to work right away. So at the time, I honestly had no idea it would be the 5 – 6 month-long project it turned out to be!

During those few months though, I came to appreciate Slater and clients like him a TON and I couldn’t be more grateful for the time I got to spend working on his site. We were on the same page the entire time in terms of design style, which is always huge. I was reassured of this with every enthusiastic email Slater sent. My personal favorite from him, on seeing the designs for the first time: “OH SHEEIITTT!!!! That is awesome!!!!” haha love it…

Original design concept/suggested layout

Slater taking the time to put some great feedback together

Anyway, to explain the lengthier project timeline as well as my appreciation…. Slater usually trains between 20-30 hours a week so I totally appreciated his time spent on emails, feedback, attention to details, and his creative mindset – all of which were consistent throughout the entire process. Always GREATLY appreciated in a client!! So take all that, plus the typical amount of design revisions that come along with every custom website, and add one more, major piece to the mix: The whole focus of Slater’s website was changed midway through the process. Everything the design is typically based on, the primary message of the site, was changed and in my opinion, for the better.

This sort of change – shifting the focus of a website – is not one that happens often for me, but in this case I thought it was a really great move on Slater’s part, and one that said a lot about his character. I was even more grateful to be working on such a cool project for such a great client and friend, after I got his email explaining “the shift”:

“I do want to attract readers as much as I can offer something to help them. I believe in my sponsors so that fits if I can share what I know will be helpful to post. My goal for my blog would be to attract sponsors who I can work with (have some requirements for current and future sponsors now) to provide something useful for anyone who visits my blog. This should grow into areas such as racing, life pacing, food, etc.

I am not keen on trying to glorify ME and that is why I don’t like the SLATERFLETCHER “look at me” feel I get from it…but…maybe that is just me.

My point here is the opposite of my goals for my site would be to have a rant and chant about me. Besides, that is boring.”

I loved it. A breath of fresh air, for sure.

A lot of changes were made to the overall look and feel of things after this, but one of the most obvious changes we needed to make was redesigning his header- a major component of the design as it typically gives the first impression of the site and is branded on every page.

One of the “Pre-shift” concepts (see the rest in the gallery below)….

“Post-shift”, the winning design:

Side note: Why “LIVE Wide, Love Deep

From part of another great email from Slater:

“I just thought of this today too… Kind of like a life moto. I had the first part for a while now but I think it goes together well. Pretty “involved” with many areas of my life but simple.

I could go into some detail about it but basically to keep your eyes, ideas and goals wide and really REALLY love the things you love.

“Live Wide, Love Deep”

I was thinking about putting it somewhere near the top but I like how it has the “multisport athlete” under my name and the pictures on the right back that up! So cool! You Rock!!”

The Results

Slater was a champ throughout the entire process and I couldn’t have asked for a better client – focused on improvements, no matter how big or small or how long they would take, always took his time to communicate his ideas to me even when his work/training/racing/life schedule was insane, and always fired up about the progress being made, which I loved as his equally-passionate designer. And I definitely think his and our efforts have paid off here!

Best of luck Slater with the new site!! THANKS for the opportunity. And best of luck at the next pizza cook-off. The Weegers are coming to crush the competition. :)

Check out Slater Fletcher’s blog site here for upcoming races, race reports, and more.