New Web Design for Authors Web Site

Last week saw the release of a new book by one of our clients, Edward Bison. His book, Mr Bison’s Journal,  is a very funny collection of stories and observations and is a laugh out loud read. I was commissioned to not only illustrate each of the stories but also design the book cover.  It was a fun project and fingers crossed it will become one of the top humor books of 2012/2013.  It would make a great Christmas gift -see it on Amazon as a paperback and Kindle ebook

As part of the launch we updated his website moving it from a blogger powered blog, to the  all singing and dancing WordPress platform and giving the site a mini design overhaul.

The home page now features a prominent call to action to buy the book and a video clip of a sample chapter. The site navigation was revised to include such as his Facebook fan Page

mr bison website chicago

We also took the opportunity to re-code it as responsive website – I’ll fill you in on the ins and outs of that tomorrow.

Keeping a website fresh: Chicago web designer tip of the day

As well as designing websites from scratch one of the services we offer our clients is website maintenance.

This can involve anything from updating text, adding  pages for new services or updating a look and feel with new photos.

We have refreshed the look of The Lincolnshire Academy of Dance website today, updating  all the photographs with recent ones taken during their June recital.

chicago web designer

Keeping a web site fresh with new content,  photographs and news will keep you visitors engaged and more likely to pay you repeat visits. Search engines love fresh content too, so it is a win all round.

© 2012 Chicago Web Designer

Taking a St Louis Retirement Community Social

A good website is a “living” marketing tool that can evolve to accommodate different approaches to engage with it’s users.  Our long standing client, The Rockwood, a St Louis retirement community, understands this and recently asked us to revisit their site and make suggestions on how it could be improved.

The site has now been overhauled  so it performs better in the search engines and offers interactions with it’s users through social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.  We also built them a custom WordPress blog which was seamlessly integrated into the site.


Rockwood st louis retirement community

You can subscribe to their blog, become a Facebook Friend or Follow them on Twitter

© Chicago Web Designer

New Website for Chicago Home Remodeling Company

Launched today is a new website for Restore North Shore, a Chicago home remodeling company.

Chhicago Home website

We designed and built a custom WordPress template which incorporated not only a blog but pages for project galleries, client testimonials etc.

chicago home website

If you are in the Chicago area and are looking to update your kitchen, bathroom or even an entire house check out the project galleries

© 2012 Chicago Web Designer

New WordPress websites for Life Celebrant Ruth Hasser

Launched today are two new wordpress powered website for celebrant Ruth Hasser.

Ruth has two sides to her business, weddings and funerals, or life tributes. As you can imagine the target audience for each is very different.

A first generation site, designed and developed in  2009 for her wedding business,  served her well and really helped grow her client base as a lead generation tool.

“Last year at this time, pre-website, I had one wedding scheduled for 2009. By the end of the year I had done 25. Right now, I already have 17 weddings scheduled, and I have been receiving an average of one lead per day since the beginning of January- outstanding!”

But like all tools they need to be refined to offer maximum effectiveness, so this second generation site offers social media integration allowing her clients to connect with her via Facebook and YouTube and we took the opportunity to move the site to the more robust blogging platform WordPress.  This has the added advantage that Ruth now has full editorial control of the content of the the site. Ruth was happy with the look and feel of the first generation site so we kept the design the same but did increase the width to accommodate the most common  screen resolution.

wedding celebrant web site

A website dedicated to the funeral side of her business is a new endeavor. We kept the brand image the same as the wedding site but used different imagery and a more muted color palette.

life celebrant web site

Switching from Blogger to WordPress can be a little daunting for a client and there is definitely a learning curve. As well as training we also provided Ruth with a set of screen cast videos which outline how to do the most common updates such as publishing a new blog post and uploading photographs.

© 2012 Chicago Web Designer

New website for Lincolnshire Academy of Dance

Launched this week is a completely redesigned web site for the Lincolnshire Academy of Dance.

dance studio web site

The academy is about to move into a fabulous, brand new, custom built space and owner Brenda Didier also wanted to start things fresh with a new web site as well.

The site showcases a wealth of professionally taken photographs which capture the commitment of the students and the teaching ethics of the dance school,  they taken center stage in the the look and feel of the site. The content from the original site was reorganized into a more logical architecture and a clean and simple navigational tool allows users to easy move around the site.

For ease of client management the site has been built on the WordPress platform.

We have already heard very positive feedback on the site!

©: 2011 Chicago Web Designer

New website for Solon Gershman Inc

Launched today is a re-designed web site for Solon Gershman Inc, a St Louis commercial real estate company.

New web site for Solon Gershman

We completely reworked their old site, creating a fresh new professional look which is easier to use and consistent throughout. The home page features a slide show of properties with easy access to property search tools and the latest company news. The  site  integrates data from a 3rd party property listing service and offers the site visitors a seamless experience.

Solon Gershman website

Just in case you were wondering here is what the old site looked like.

©: 2011 Chicago web designer

The Three Fold Power of Referrals

A fair chunk of my projects come from client referrals.  One of  my latest projects, Spring Willows Farm, was a referral from children’s author,  Cynthia Reeg ( thanks so much Cindy!).  What’s not to love about referrals, they are a powerful   win-win-win for all concerned.

The New Client

Hiring a web designer can be a daunting task. Where do you begin. A simple Google search for “chicago web designer” yields a whopping 2,610,000 results. Even if you just evaluate companies on the first 3 or so pages that can take a lot of time and can you be sure the companies are a good fit for your project in terms of expertise, experience and even budget. For a new client, a referral, or even a number of referrals can be invaluable time saver and pre-screening process.

The Referring Client

When referring, personal reputation is on the line.  The referring client is placing their trust in you to do not only a good, but a great job. Their experience  working with you has obviously been excellent and they want the same experience for the “new client” A few years back a client sent me a number of referrals and at the end of each project I’d let them know they were complete. Their response was always  “you make us look great”. Mission accomplished.

The Web Designer

A referral is the greatest form of flattery a client can give and is the ultimate validation that you did a great job for them.  It is a good solid lead that more often than not will lead to a new project. More clients = more potential referrals.

So there you have it the three fold power of referrals.

©: 2010 Chicago Web Designer