I’d worked with Michelle in the past; after her web designer was taken ill, and helped her to get her garden design site online and keep it up to date. I’d also photographed her for my ‘Somerset at work’ editorial project. I was the first person they thought of when they decided to invest in a WordPress site with branding, which gave me a nice warm fuzzy feeling. It’s always great when I get the chance to start an exciting new creative project with an existing client – especially one who I enjoy working with.
I hooked them up with Debs for the logo and the design of the page layouts, and then I worked closely with her to make sure that we were all coming from the same place. They wanted an upmarket but homey feel, so we settled on a papery theme – a bit like when you go to a really high class shop and they wrap your purchase in homemade paper with bits of dried flowers in it…
In the end it resulted in (possibly) my favourite site design so far at the time. Michelle and Louise provided their own content but I advised them on what to write and edited the text. I incorporated an events calendar and set up a blog and an automated (but custom designed) projects area so that they could post their new workshops as they set the dates. It’s linked to the calendar so that people can see what’s going on at a glance.
They are using Eventbrite for their bookings at the moment, but there’s plenty of scope to add an ecommerce area in the future. That will mean their customers will be able to book and pay without leaving their website. That’s one of the great things about WordPress (which I admit, I’m a real evangelist for ) You can add areas and functionality so that your site can grow and change as your business does.
Michelle has a marketing background, so the site continues to rate highly on Google. I optimise all my sites technically during the build, (and in the copywriting if I’m responsible for that,) but ongoing marketing is the best way to get noticed in search engines into the future. She knows how to manage a WordPress site too, but I gave them both a training session anyway, as all sites are slightly different to use. I wanted to be absolutely sure that they could post their new events and discounts, operate their calendar and most importantly keep the site secure and up to date.
I’m always there on the phone for them if they have any technical questions, and can always slot them in to my schedule if any complex problems come up during updates or if they want to add functionality or new areas to the site. Because I built the site for them they get a discounted rate on all further development and troubleshooting for the life of the site, too.