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Having an outdated website can harm your business and potentially drive clients away, particularly if they are using a mobile device to visit a site that is not mobile friendly.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!
Yikes, I have not posted anything on this blog for ages! The reason is simple, I have been inundated with work and have not had time. It’s a good reason don’t you think? I will try and make some time to update with all the web, graphic design and internet marketing projects I have been working on soon.
I thought I’d break my blog dry spell with a short little post today and share with you a new logo I have designed for a Lancaster roofing contractor, Graystone Roofing & Siding. This project was the result of a company name change – previously Spicher Home Improvements. Business owner Brain Spicher decided to change the name of his business to reflect the core service he offers to Lancaster homeowners..namely roof replacement and siding installation.
Here the logo is on their web site which has undergone some redesign tweaks and a major SEO overhaul. A post for another day!
Google rolled out version 62 of the Chrome browser last month and with it came the promised “Not Secure” warning on pages of websites that have input fields and are not protected by a SSL certificate. These fields can be as innocent as a comments box on a blog or a simple contact form.
The warning is not as “in your face” as many imagined, the “Not Secure” warning only appears in the address bar when a user starts to type in an input field. However it is the first step of Google Chromes bigger plan to discourage the use of HTTP and encourage all web sites to be protected with a SSL certificate and use HTTPS.
Eventually Google Chrome will label all non HTTPS pages with a red NOT SECURE warning even if there are no input fields.
With Chrome now dominating the browser market with a 44% share, the implications of these warnings are obvious. The last thing you want is to scare any site visitors away by thinking your site is unsafe.The only solution to this problem is to install a SSL certificate and get the coveted green padlock and secure message in your browser window.
Need help getting a SSL certificate installed and configured for your web site? Gives us a call at 636.795 7988
I market myself as “A Creative Partner for your Small Business” and if your small business website is built using Wix, I can help by making it not only look wonderful but perform seamlessly too.
The Wix platform offers a drag and drop interface and is described on their site as “easy for any person to create websites – no design skills needed”. While it certainly offers plenty of tools to make a site look pretty, you really do need an understanding of how best to present your content to engage your users and encourage them down certain paths. This is where tapping in on the experience of a professional web designer can help take your Wix website to the next level.
This was exactly what Malorie Blake,a registered dietitian based in York PA, was looking for her website Wholesome365.com
The re-working of her Wix site involved re branding with her new logo and complimentary color palette and font choices.
- Reorganized navigation for better content flow and usability and built out footer elements
- Re-worked home page for improved information and call to action. e.g. Detailing major services and lead generation via a free phone consultation
- Improved the design and added better call to action on inner pages of site e.g. Booking appointments or purchasing packages
- Ensured design elements were consistent throughout site
- Optimized pages and file names for SEO purposes
Here is the finished home page
Compared to where we started from
As you can see the site is now far more focused on the user and how they can be directed to specific areas easily without having to think. The eye is effortlessly drawn in to the Call to actions
If you need help with a Wix website I am here to help. Give me a call at 636 795 7988 or contact me via email
I have said it before, redesign projects are hugely satisfying, call it a weird graphic designer thing!
We were hired recently to update a logo for a York PA dietitian, Wholesome Nutrition 365. They wanted a fresh new look that encompassed a feeling of vitality, healing and change.
After going through our time tested design process, with plenty of opportunity for client collaboration we hit on the winning design.
and just as a little reflection here is their original logo
The new logo certainly imparts a feeling of vigor and gives an immediate impression of the nature of the business.
I have been in business a long time and have built hundreds of websites. Websites come and go, they get redesigned or disappear altogether but a site I built for Labor Advertising Network in 2005 was still in use. As you can imagine it was looking rather dated and lacked modern day functionality.
I have kept in contact with the client and last month got a call from them saying they were ready to bring their website to present day standards but were on a very tight budget. They wanted it converted to a WordPress website so they would be able to edit it themselves and also ensure the new site offered mobile friendliness to their users.
Recognizing their budget considerations, the most cost effective approach for them was to use a ready made WordPress template.
After installing and configuring WordPress on their server I selected the Twenty Seventeen template to customize. It is a very clean template, lends itself to small uncomplicated sites and is of course, beautifully mobile friendly.
The Labor Advertising Network is a network is designed to help advertisers get their story across to the Labor community. This distribution network is conveyed in three custom designed graphics which feature in the huge banner area on the home page. Each banner features a different professional and they are randomized so a different one displays each time the home page is visited.
Here is the home page in action
and the inner pages of the site were configured to display a custom header
A few lines of custom CSS added a color to the navigation bar and footer.
It’s always fun to take a look back, here is the old static site.
Their new site certainly brings them up to date.
Getting your message across and helping customers understand your product, can be a challenge particularly when you are marketing something unusual. I am currently working on an SEO project for OPERATIONHEATJAC and their product certainly falls into this unusual category. They have developed a novel “personal radiator” garment which was originally designed for medical staff to wear in freezing cold operating rooms but is a practical solution to staying warm in any cold situation.
To create product awareness the current marketing approach is to focus on all those cold situations where the product is useful – not just in the O.R.
For social media use (Pinterest, Facebook and LinkedIn) I have created a set of graphics which simply explains the product.