MOTOBLOT is a celebration of motorcycle and hot rod culture, where the bikes, the builders, the fashion, and the music all come together.


Festival Website – WordPress

WordPress Developer

  • Theme Customization
  • Site Migration & Admin
  • Asset Creation & Management

My task was to consolidate work done by several developers over several years into a new, unified WordPress website.


MOTOBLOT is an annual motorcycle rally held in Chicago. It is the largest vintage motorcycle and scooter rally in the United States.

The first version of their website was created in 2014, and had been amended and updated by several different developers over the years. For 2020, the owner decided to start fresh with a new visual identity and a clean install of WordPress.

The event’s graphic designer was new to web design, so the project manager (PM) asked me to join the team because, in addition to having built dozens of WordPress sites, I also have a background in teaching web design.

Review & Migration

After setting up a Basecamp project to manage communication, the owner, PM, and I reviewed the existing assets, and I made backups of the legacy art and code.

I did a needs assessment, identified a more cost-efficient hosting plan on GoDaddy, and migrated the previous site to the new platform.

MOTOBLOT Holding Page

MOTOBLOT 2019 Holding Page

The Holding Page

As the designer began establishing the graphic standards for the project, I guided them through the thorny details of things like responsive websites and image optimization.

We locked down the master styles and the designer produced a PSD mockup of the Holding page. I quickly converted it into responsive, vanilla HTML/CSS, and we pushed it live in November 2019.

With the appetizer finished, we moved on to the main course.


MOTOBLOT 2020 Sitemap

The Full WordPress Experience

The PM and I reviewed event-oriented WordPress themes, and selected one with features that matched our needs. I used this to create a child theme, which would be customized to the event's graphic style.

Parallel to this, the designer began adapting the design of the Holding page into layouts that accommodated our theme. After a few rounds of review and revision, we had solid mockups that I converted into code.

Editing our child theme, I amended CSS to accommodate the mockups where possible, and created new PHP layouts as necessary. I then set up template posts and pages, which the PM used to add content.

Over the course of six weeks, events and participants were confirmed, and we filled out the site. As new pages were created, I added polish to them by editing layouts, optimizing graphics, and tweaking the theme.

In late April 2020, the PM declared the site complete, and we went live. Just in time for… March 2020! 😓


MOTOBLOT 2020 Home Page
on Mobile and Desktop

Pandemic, Pivot, and Updates

So… the pandemic hit, and suddenly all bets were off. We hoped the shutdown would be brief, but as reality set in, it became clear that if MOTOBLOT 2020 were to happen, it would be a much different event.

We quickly added a banner at the top of the home page acknowledging the situation, and updated it as new information came in. After a period of wait-and-see, the owner decided to scale down the event, and push it forward from June to August.

Site changes were minimal and easy to execute: update the banner on the Home page, and create a new page with details about the revised event, now called the MOTOBLOT Drive-In.

And with that done, we were set. The event went on as planned, and we took a well-earned rest.


MOTOBLOT Drive-In Announcement Page

2021 And Beyond

The lockdown gave us some rough seas, but from here forward — at least as far as the website is concerned — it’s nothing but blue skies.

The site can be updated for 2021 and beyond with minimal cost and effort. All that’s left to do is crack open a cold one and crank the Skynrd!

Left Quote

We had a lot of challenges in 2020, and Don came through on all of them. He continues to do an awesome job!

Right Quote

~ Larry Fletcher, Event Builder, MOTOBLOT