The last few weeks I have been working on a new website for a A-Yo Kitchen, a York PA recipe developer and food photographer. This startup business is the brain child of Alysha Yoder, who has such talent when it comes to preparing, styling and photographing food. I was literally slobbering as each photograph got uploaded to my dropbox.
Alysha wanted a very minimalist look to her web site, where her photographs have the staring role. She had actually picked out a WordPress template before we connected and had dabbled with it on WordPress.com. However as with a lot of templates and the limitations faced when running a website though WordPress.com, she was unable to make it do exactly she wanted to achieve her vision. It needed the magic touch from a professional web designer!
The first thing I did was to get it off WordPress.com and set it up as a self hosted site. If you need multiple plugins and are after a particular functionality it is actually more cost effective to take this route.
Working from Alysha’s sketches,
I brought the site to life. It is actually really useful when a client can provide sketches as it really helps clarify exactly what they are after.
Take a look at it at ayokitchen.com, it will have you slobbering too!
Having an outdated website can harm your business and potentially drive clients away, particularly if they are using a mobile device to visit a site that is not mobile friendly. Why go to all the effort of trying to read tiny text or battling with horizontal scroll bars when maybe your competitors offer a flawless mobile experience. Search engines like Google will always give preference to sites that are mobile friendly over those that are not, so search engines rankings and equity are also affected.
Many small business owners think that making a website mobile friendly requires a complete redesign and are put off by the costs of doing so. However with a careful “under the hood” re-code the look and feel of a site can often remain intact, with the coding giving it the functionality to respond to whatever device is being used to view it.
This is exactly the approach we took to updating the website for a Whytegate Farms, a Chicago based supplier of environmentally friendly cleaning supplies. They were perfectly happy with the look and feel of the site but were looking to make it mobile friendly
Here is the site before
Not mobile friendly – desktop view
Not mobile friendly – Mobile view with horizontal scroll bars
And here is the site after it was re coded so that is responds to what ever device being used to view it.
Mobile Friendly Website- Desktop and Mobile View
Mobile Friendly – Slideout menu
We had to make a few minor design tweaks but overall the look and feel of the site when viewed on a desk top or laptop is the same.
I have been working on a really interesting project over the last few weeks, the branding and marketing of a portable solar generator.
The project involved coming up with a name for their product, developing a brand image and a website.
Understanding the target audience and the unique attributes of the product were key parameters during the research of the name.
- Small portable generator
- Solar Powered
- Water resistant box
- Replaceable Batteries
- Silent power
- Rugged military style box
It was also important that a suitable domain name was available…no easy feat in this day and age where so many domain names are purchased and squat on. Product naming is fascinating and after a considerable groundwork I presented a list of possibilities to the client.
The one they selected was HELIOPACK Solar Generator. Helio originates from the Greek word for the sun – Helios, and pack has connotations of something that is portable and is outdoorsy. I think it fits the product perfectly!
The outdoorsy rugged look was also conveyed with the logo. A strong font was selected for the word HELIOPACK and a “power up” symbol incorporated with in it. The color choices reflect clean energy.
The website was kept simple and bold and there are future plans to add e-commerce. Check it out at HELIOPACKgenerator.com
Hands up if you like looking at before and after projects? Me!
Here is a mini redesign project I did for St Louis financial advisors, Mark and Jason. The site before
I added a new logo, tweaked the colors, reworked the header and used a more modern font for the copy.
The result a much cleaner and inviting site… mobile friendly too!