Best of NJ called us with a vision of turning their editorial feature and events listing site into a directory of everything happening in their home state of New Jersey. Phase 1 has just launched with their high quality features and events, with a Phase 2 launch of locations and directories coming very soon.
Robert Nienhuis of Nien Studios created a custom, full-width site design that makes Best of NJ’s wide breadth of content easy to navigate. His extremely modern user interface is visually stunning, making it appeal strongly to users, subscribers, and advertisers alike.
Anyone can list an event on bestofnj.com, but members get added perks like nicer page layouts designed by Nien Studios. We modified Events Manager to handle submissions of events from the general public and for members. Once logged in, the submission process determines the user’s membership tier and creates an event using the appropriate page template.
Best of NJ’s editorial team sorts their content into categories, each of which gets its own landing page modeled after the homepage with a vertically scrolling slider that reveals a grid of featured articles, events, and locations/directories (coming soon!).
We expanded WordPress’ native search function to create a way for a user may find any article or event near them that fits the desired keyword. Each content type is displayed on a single page, to which we will soon add directories and locations. The search filters results to within 25 miles within the user’s ZIP code by default, but a filter interface on the search results page allows the user to easily refine or expand the search criteria.
Membership has its benefits anywhere you go, and Best of NJ is no exception. WBusiness owners will have the ability to become members of the site by purchasing a membership at any time via eCommerce. With 3 paid tiers to choose from (each with a stunning design by Nien Studios for the location’s profile page), New Jersey businesses can choose how they’d like to be featured on the site.
We incorporated Factual‘s API into the site to import all locations in the state of New Jersey in certain categories. These locations become custom posts in WordPress that Best of NJ staff may edit and grant additional display privileges based on their membership level. We plan to add locations on an ongoing basis using the API, though we also have a manual entry process in case Best of NJ staff needs it.
These paged directories make it easy to surface the best businesses in NJ by category. Top tier member locations are featured in a full-width section across the page, with all other locations appearing below it. Listed businesses in that category default to within a radius of the user’s ZIP code so the user is only seeing the results that are most relevant to them.
We’re proud to have worked with Best of NJ on their newly launched website.