Carol Stambaugh has been building and maintaining WordPress websites for over a decade, and she’s also one of the leaders in the WordPress community in the Phoenix area. She’s been a leading organizer of WordCamp Phoenix as well as the Tempe area WordPress Meetup.
At a recent WordPress Meetup, Carol showcased how her agency RadiateWP began using Kadence & Kadence Blocks to build new WordPress websites. We asked Carol if she could share with the Kadence community why her team is switching new builds to Kadence.
Getting started with Kadence
“I was really just starting to dive into a site with Lifter LMS, and I wanted to find a theme that was going to easily integrate. There were quite a few people recommending Kadence, so we decided to give it a try. We didn’t have many expectations beyond that, and Kadence really delivered on integrating with Lifter LMS. But the more I used Kadence, the more I saw the potential for how it could help make other sites easier to build,” Carol noted.
Speeding up Club Ed Freelancers
The first project with Kadence at RadiateWP was Club Ed Freelancers. This learning management site needed a design update and some new functionality. Using LearnDash to provide online learning experiences for students, Club Ed Freelancers has a number of pages that are freely available to site visitors, with numerous pages only visible to logged-in students.
With the addition of online course functionality, the number of elements being served to site visitors grew. But with Kadence and Kadence Blocks, the RadiateWP team was able to create a site that was actually faster and a better user experience for site visitors than the previous site.
The page test results told the story of how highly performant, accessible, and user friendly the new site is.
Unlocking the power of Gutenberg
The team at RadiateWP used a number of different themes and page builders over the years, many of them with unique and powerful tools that allowed site builders to create beautiful sites. There was one thing missing however, and that was native Gutenberg support.
“As a long-time user of WordPress and a number of other page builders, I didn’t jump on the Gutenberg bandwagon early. In fact, I avoided it. I had hope for what Gutenberg might provide eventually, but it wasn’t there for us.”
“It wasn’t until I started using Kadence that I saw the potential with Gutenberg. It gave me what I was doing with page builders before, but natively within Gutenberg. It helped me see what the WordPress Core team is doing with block-based WordPress, and it showed me how brilliant they’ve been by taking it slower to get it right.”
“Ultimately, the more I used Kadence, my expectations of finding something that would just work easily transformed into excitement. I wanted to try Kadence with other sites, so I did. And the more I used it, the more I started having fun building sites with the block editor. Kadence just made Gutenberg more fun.”
Why Kadence is different from other themes
With so much experience using other themes and page builders, Carol sees the benefit of using Kadence natively with the WordPress block editor.
“Kadence let me get back to building with WordPress core. Our team can really get back to where WordPress is going as a whole, without sacrificing our efforts to create beautiful sites and functional layouts. And the page load speeds and performance really show that.”
“With other page builders and themes, it felt like they were always fighting against what WordPress was trying to do. Sure you have WordPress, but the heaviness of the page builder on top of WordPress. You had to choose the page builder or Gutenberg, there was nothing elegant about that choice at all.”
Now, with Kadence, the RadiateWP team is ready to start building fun, fast, and functional sites from a foundation of native WordPress blocks, and the future of WordPress site building.
Starting with Starter Templates
It was easy for Carol to get started building using some of the design tools with Kadence. After exploring a number of Kadence Starter Templates, the Kadence Design Library gave a framework that was easily customizable for the needs of the Club Ed Freelancer site.
Adding some colorful brand-supportive design elements to the blocks available in the Design Library helped the RadiateWP team quickly make Club Ed Freelancer unique and gorgeous.
“We were able to not only use some of the wireframe elements and customize them for our needs, we used a number of Design Library Section elements as well.”
“Adding content from the Design Library was so easy. We were able to add new content areas and customize them for the site needs quickly and efficiently. The biggest helper we found was to to wrap design blocks into a Kadence Blocks Row Layout and then use list view to access settings for each block. It made it so easy to jump from various blocks to ensure everything was set the way we needed.”
We also used the new Kadence Conversions to add a slide in for both the cookie acceptance notice as well as a mailing list signup. “With the timing elements in Kadence Conversions, we were able to set up both notices so that they didn’t overwhelm site visitors, but were displayed at just the right time,” Carol said.
Using Kadence Elements Templates
Because the site had content specific for logged in visitors, the team used Kadence Elements Templates for logged in users. While LearnDash offers different header and navigation for students, the team at RadiateWP further customized LearnDash with custom post title (course title) banners. With this Kadence exclusive customization, all of the Club Ed Freelancers courses have their own special post title banner that is different than any other post.
Kadence makes building sites fun, fast and easy
With a decade of experience building sites with WordPress, the RadiateWP team is excited about what they can do with Kadence. Kadence brought the Club Ed Freelancers project new life, speed, accessibility, and made the process fun and easy for the team at RadiateWP. “We’re truly excited about what we’re doing with Kadence,” Carol says. “Kadence opened new potential for building WordPress sites that prepares our business for the future.”