Dustland FairytalesStories from abroad by Malcolm Freberg
Having watched Malcolm play Survivor in 2 seasons back-to-back in 2012/2013 I was already a fan of his sense of humour, so when I stumbled across the first incarnation of his blog I laughed so hard at his posts I actually cried. Now Malcom is a talented writer, but his web development skills back then were pretty basic, I knew had to reach out.
So began my first collaboration with Malcolm on his personal blog Whiskey & Ninja Turtles where he shared ‘gilded nuggets of eternal wisdom’. But mainly he wrote about which Disney Princess was the best… I’ve never laughed so much and it was one of the most enjoyable few months I’ve ever experienced with a client.
So when Malcolm was selected for season 34 of Survivor:Game Changers we knew this was a golden opportunity to launch his newest venture DustlandFairytales, stories from his travels abroad. Malcolm was 100% involved in all decisions including layout styling, fonts, button styling and imagery.
Using the Divi Theme and the Anthem child theme by BeSuperfly, we created a strong About page, and a custom Post layout with a widgetized post footer area. The rest of the site uses the excellent Essential Grid plugin to create the customised full width grids with hover effects. Plus Taxonomy Layout Injector plugin allowed me to create Grid styled archives of posts.
“Yes, I take all the photos. No, I didn’t build the site – all credit for that goes to Amy at Wicked Website Designers, and she deserves a half dozen shiny medals for her patience with me.”
Project Feature: Custom Post Layout
Having spent the last few years honing his writing skills Malcolm had some very specific ‘asks’ for the post layout; full width parallax imagery, a really really big title, slightly off-centre body-text column, and the usual social and sharing features you’d find on a blog.
After researching the niche of major travel blogs and travel sites we added in the sub-header as a tease to read the full article. We also added a photo caption column (because Malcolm takes all his own photos on his travels), and stylised blockquotes to highlight notable sentences.
We installed and customised the styling for several of our favourite plugins including Sexy Author Bio, Social Share by Supsystic, Yuzo Related Posts, Click to Tweet, and the excellent Divi plugin AC Shortcodes to nest the comments module within a closed toggle module.
Once the post layout was finalised we saved it to the Divi Library for easy use on every post Malcolm writes. This is a massive time-saver and worth spending the time getting right from the beginning.