How One Smart Guy is Making Basketball Better for Kids
People come up with ideas all the time. But it’s rare for an idea to take shape and become reality. That’s why, when Stafford Card kicked off his project atlantabasketballacademy.com with MOJO Marketplace, we were inspired by his story. Stafford has organized and created a basketball academy for his community.
It took legwork, knowledge, and a lot of time spent learning WordPress to get this idea off the ground. But he did it, and found the means to create a website where parents can discover this resource for their kids.
Spotting a Change to Shoot For
Stafford came up with the idea for Atlanta Basketball Academy when he realized his community was lacking in facilities and programs for kids. “In my community, there are over 12 housing communities and over several hundred kids that love the game of basketball but don’t have a usable facility. Also, I realized my son and several of his friends lacked the fundamentals of basketball, so I wanted to provide that, as well as a safe place to play.”
As with any idea, it’s easier said than done. One of the biggest challenges is funding. Stafford knew he needed money for equipment and “a place that’s accessible, within walking distance.”
Part of why Stafford has seen success lies in his resourcefulness and willingness to learn. Instead of trying to fund it all himself, he found partnered with Fulton County School to host his classes. As for his website, he chose to do it himself, using WordPress.
Learning a New Tool
Stafford is a web designer, but he’d never used WordPress before. “I’m used to building websites from scratch, but I knew I was going to have an issue with building a database for the site. I’ve never done it, but I figured WordPress would make it easier and I would have help using WP Live.”
WP Live is a service we offer at MOJO Marketplace that gives you chat and/or phone access to WordPress experts.
When Stafford and I were discussing his site, he raved about how quickly he was able to learn the ropes of WordPress with experts guiding him through the process. The key is that WP Live didn’t do it for him. They showed him how to accomplish what he wanted, so he had the knowledge to do it himself. “Everyone I talked to was courteous, and I know they genuinely wanted to help me.”
Stafford also pointed out some challenges we face helping people build websites with WordPress.
He mentioned “there were some issues with WP Live, like the 25 minute maximum per call. But all you have to do is call back and the next representative will pick up where we left off.”
We took this feedback to heart, and offered to help in any way we could. We’re also focusing on creating WordPress education content, as an additional resource.
Creating a WordPress Site for Atlanta Basketball Academy
Atlantabasketballacademy.com was built with Highend, one of the most popular multipurpose premium WordPress themes on MOJO Marketplace. This theme is a great choice for someone like Stafford, who is already experienced with web design and will expect a variety of features.
But like other great multipurpose themes, Highend is accessible to beginners and offers pre-configured demos that can be imported. And at $59, it’s a small price to pay for all the features (a lot more than a free theme can offer).
However, even for a seasoned web designer, turning an idea into a website takes a lot of work. “I learned that everything has to be broken down just like every page on the site.”
Stafford had to outline his site and plan for each page and feature he’d need. And his home page does a great job of dispersing critical information. He tells you
- why it’s valuable
- the location
- how to contact him
- a snapshot of what he teaches
- and shows his accreditations
Solving Problems with WordPress Plugins
WordPress helps you find creative solutions with plugins. As Stafford said, “At first you may not know how to do it, but there are people out there who are willing to help you learn what is needed to move forward.”
Some of those people are plugin developers who create awesome software and share it with community of WordPress users.
He needed a way for parents to find the right program and submit their information. Where do you start?
Using a WordPress Plugin for Forms
Using the Formidable Forms WordPress plugin, Stafford was able to create a way for parents to enroll their kids. There are a number of program choices that, when clicked, lead you to this form.
This feature is valuable because it enables the parents to learn and sign up all in the same place. They don’t have to find time to enroll in-person. It also makes it easier for Stafford to manage the sign up process and plan his classes.
Stafford also used plugins to create login and payment systems, contact forms, twitter feeds, and image sliders. Each page of the site provides something useful for the business and customers.
Getting the Details Just Right
When you visit his website, you can tell Stafford put a lot of time into every aspect of it. In addition to thinking through all the business needs, he focused on making the site fun and engaging. Check out the animations below.
Subtle touches like this go a long way. The animations grab your attention and highlight the information. They add energy to the site that compliments the sport.
But the best part? These animations are easy to create in WordPress. The Visual Composer plugin from WP Bakery is a drag-n-drop page builder that comes with Highend and lets you apply animations and formatting to elements on your page without adding any code.
Even if you know web design like Stafford, little features like this save a lot of time. And you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
A Dream for the Future
Stafford has already come a long way. He’s made the leap from an idea to reality. A leap most ideas never make. And he’s learned valuable skills that save him time and money on maintaining and growing his business online, and on the court.
I also asked Stafford about his ultimate dream for Atlanta Basketball Academy.
My dream is to have my own gymnasium. I want to create programs for all kids–regardless of age. In time, once my program succeeds and parents understand why we’re doing it, then they will support the cause. And together we can achieve the dream of owning a gymnasium. Once we have that available in this area, I can have more activities, after school programs, tutoring sessions, basketball fundamentals, girls volleyball… the sky is the limit!
“P.S. Everything will happen in time. Wish us luck.” 😊