Sneak peak today on a new web site I am working on for The Dance Workshop, a Connecticut dance company.
They contacted me after admiring another Dance company web site I’d created for Lincolnshire Dance Academy, right here in the suburbs of Chicago.
The site will be ready to go live in a few weeks.
I have to say I am not a great fan of the abundance of snow we have in Chicago but it does offer some great photo opportunities. So yesterday I bundled up and braved the coldest day of the season to flex my creative eye (and freeze my fingers and toes!) My hope is that it all melt this week!
Redesign projects are always particularly satisfying for me, giving an old dated website a new lease of live with better functionality, is very pleasing all round.
One of our St Louis clients, The Fountains of West County, approached us needing a revamp of both theirs and a sister web site.
The first of these went live this week.
We gave the site a fresh new look and took advantage in the redesign process to improve the site architecture making it easier for users to find exactly what were looking for easily. The site was built on WordPress and is mobile friendly.
And for a peep back in time because who does love a good before and after, here is the original site.
Little did I know when I started blogging on June 8th 2005, 10 years, 5 months and 3 days (or 3808 days) later, I would still be at it! I have written 651 posts organized into 37 categories…that’s a post about every 6 days.
For the last few years I certainly haven’t been posting with that frequency but when I first started blogging I posted nearly every other day. It really helped get me going, got the search engines interested and brought tremendous traffic to my site. Ultimately traffic led to sales so the time invested in writing was time well spent.
A blog is a Personal PR Machine for your small business. With it you can:
Use it to introduce new services, staff members or even a change of address
Showcase projects or products or even something that just inspires you
Engage with reader though comments
- Establish Authority
Validate your expertise within your industry
- Feed Social Media
Use posts as rich fodder for social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn
- Create leads.
Write clever keyword rich posts that the search engines will love
Won an award, got a great client testimonial…shout about it!
- Make money.
If your blog is receiving a decent amount of traffic, embedding Ads can generate revenue.
Who says raking leaves has to be boring… when you can take 30 seconds and create a beautiful leave design …only to have it blown away 30 seconds later!
As a graphic designer I have always been drawn to patterns and this fascination ultimately led to a fantastic job designing anti counterfeit patterns for currency. It was the ultimate in technical design – the patterns had to not only look good but offer serious anti counterfeit protection too. Working in the security printing industry opened my eyes to all the secrets a design could hide and a new fascination was born!
Over the years I have been dabbling in these “secrets”, albeit on a much larger scale that you would typically see on a bank note and have brought the first round together in a new web site – Secret Messages for Kids!
The site offers 4 types of secret message, all with easy to follow instructions and plenty of fun!
It has been designed to appeal to kids with bright colors and hand drawn cartoons.
Here is a fun little project you can make for Halloween…a pop up haunted house card
Full instruction, including a Free template are available at CreativeinChicago.com
As a web designer, one of my most satisfying projects are fixer uppers – sites that have usability issues, lack a professional feel or are missing out on creating that great first impression.
When David Cohen, a Chicago Addiction Therapist, contacted us, his site could definitely be classed as a fixer upper. It lacked that professional feel, made the user work too hard to understand his services and on top of that, was performing poorly in the search engines.
Time to work some magic!
My first objective was to improve the user engagement and I did this by completely reworking the content. On the home page I added a slide show with well defined call to actions, encouraging users to schedule an appointment. It was also really important that the home page offer a snap shot of the type of help David offers with substance addiction and copy was added to that effect.
The inner pages of the site were given a similar content and engagement make-over, including the News page…David is very active in the media and has regular mentions in the press.
And with all good make-overs or re-designs to is always interesting to take a look back to see what we started with.
If you have a website that needs improvements please don’t hesitate to contact us for a hassle free no obligation evaluation.
Launched today is a new website, Interior Designs 2GO – an online interior design service. The site is the brain child of HGTV kitchen Crashers designer, Suzanne Falk.
Users need only measure and photograph their space, answer a room specific questionnaire. A professional designer will interpret it all and create a new custom look for their room.
The design of the site was kept clean and simple and the process of purchasing the service, short and sweet.
The site was built on the WordPress platform and is mobile friendly.
I am honored that so many of my clients come back to me for repeat work, even moving from St Louis to Chicago 5 years ago ,did not destroy the relationships I have built up.
I have been working with Cynthia Reeg, a St Louis Children’s author, since 2007 and was delighted recently see an announcement that she had got a new book deal for a trilogy. It had been a while since her website had been updated and she contacted me looking to take her site to the next level. She wanted to not only update the content and promote her new book but to have the ability to self manage the entire site and develop a fan base which she could market to. The new site needed to be mobile friendly too
I am always up for a challenge and love it when a client comes to the table with a well thought out list of wants!
Her old site was static based but incorporated a Blogger blog. Moving forward with Blogger was not ideal so the decision was made to move to the WordPress platform as the content management capabilities are far superior. I built a custom responsive template based loosely on the look and feel of her old site (why change it when she was happy with it) and imported all the posts from blogger.
The pages were given a fresh more modern layout and a prominent call to action was include. It encourages readers to sign up for her blog and in return they receive a free writing lesson. The call to action is tied in with an email blast program so her fan list can be easily managed and marketed to.
Check out the updated site at cynthiareeg.com