This project was a redesign for CASA of Jackson County. They needed to bring their website into alignment with the updated branding guidelines from CASA National. The project also included a rebranding because CASA of Jackson County has recently expanded their reach into George and Greene Counties under their new name: CASA of Southeast MS.
Project Type: Redesign
Start: February 2023
Launch: March 2023
Client: CASA of Southeast MS
CASA of Southeast Mississippi Inc., formerly known as CASA of Jackson County.
I have been working with the friendly folks at CASA since 2018. This is technically the 3rd redesign, and 2nd major redesign I’ve done for them. It often surprises me how fast sites begin to show their age! CASA approached me to do the updates while they were in the middle of a rebranding and expansion from CASA of Jackson County to CASA of Southeast Mississippi.
The first thing we knew the site needed was “brightening up”. Compared to other CASA websites, the old site looked pretty drab. Next we needed to freshen up some of the imagery and fonts to the latest guidelines provided by National CASA. Last, I proposed making some changes to improve usability, SEO and focus attention on a single call to action which for them is the prompt to volunteer.
- Ensure alignment with CASA National brand guidelines
- Update colors, fonts
- Utilize CASA National video, imagery resources
- Create a singular Call-to-Action
- Improve Readability
- Improve SEO
For this project I chose to use the Astra Theme. It was my first time working with a premium theme, and I was so very please with the experience. As usual I spent some time laying out my ideas on paper. Then installed WordPress on Local to start working out the finer details.
When the site all came together, I spent a weekend applying the updates to the site and then switched the site title and pointed the new domain: casasoutheastms.org. We also decided to keep the old domain (jccasa.net) pointed at the site until visitors become accustomed to the new name and domain name.
Mississippi County Map
My favorite detail is the Mississippi map. Going into this redesign project, I would not have been able to point to Greene County on a map of Mississippi. This gave me the idea to put a map on the home page so visitors would instantly have a visual indicator of the areas CASA of Southeast MS serves.
Because of the commonalities of county names across the US, I have found if I Google “CASA of _____ County” I often get results for a county with the same name in another state. The Mississippi map makes it clear where this CASA chapter is located, without having to read any text. I found MapChart to be a great resource for creating this type of graphic.
CASA of Southeast MS Blog
One of the main updates to assist with SEO was the addition of a blog. Though the previous site had a blog, it wasn’t really put to use. I suggested reusing articles from the monthly newsletter that goes out to supporters and volunteers. This provided more opportunities for ranking in Google.
This was actually my first time digging into the the (relatively) new Query Loop block. It took a few tries to figure out how to work with it. But eventually I got something I was pleased with.
I was originally picturing an arrangement with columns, but there was already a lot of vertical breaks on the home page. In the end, I settled on 3 single-column rows.
A Fresh Start
CASA of Southeast MS now has a fresh new website so they can continue to recruit amazing volunteers, and serve the children and families in Jackson, George and Greene counties.
Congrats CASA! Keep up the good work!