For the first two years of its existence, Small Arms Defense Journal’s web presence consisted entirely of a very simple HTML site (a glorified placeholder, really). In the summer of 2011, though, SADJ’s editors decided to build a totally new, fully-featured website that would feature every article ever published in the physical issues of SADJ for free. As Art Director, I was put in charge of the project.
There were some in the company who favored a completely custom-coded site, but I argued that for ease-of-updating and scalability, a WordPress-based solution would be better. Convinced that I was right, I installed MySQL, Apache and WordPress on my personal laptop and, using the Oxygen theme from AlienWP as a jumping-off point, built a functioning demo to show SADJ’s editors. This won them over.
The changes from the original theme are extensive; I widened the entire site significantly to allow for larger inline images on article pages (SADJ’s editors preferred this to centralized galleries) and completely re-built the site header and main navigation menu to better mirror the physical magazine’s visual identity.
The website launched in January of 2012 to coincide with SHOT Show 2012 in Las Vegas. Since then I have single-handedly maintained and updated the site, including the digitization and layout of nearly 500 articles originally appearing in Small Arms Defense Journal.
Click here to visit sadefensejournal.com (opens in new tab).