Websites and e-commerce sites
Custom web design and development
We design and develop websites and e-commerce sites to meet your specific needs and solve your specific problems. Do you have unusual product configurations? Do you need to import or export data to a CRM or inventory management system?
No problem. At the start of a project, we sit down with you to make sure we understand your goals, your customers, and your internal workflow.
Web design: a focus on user experience
As web designers we believe every website should be beautiful and engaging, but we also know that web design is as much product design as it is graphic design.
An effective website will have a great “user experience,” as we call a person’s interaction with it. It is similar to the experience someone has when they visit your store or office. If it looks nice, but the service is poor, they probably won’t come back. Your website is simply another way you connect with your customers. The website should be easy for them to use and navigate, and to accomplish whatever they came to do.
User experience goes for you and your colleagues, too. We will ask a lot about your needs around updating and editing content, or integrating with other software you use inside your organization — so we can create a website that uses the power of automation to save you time and effort.
Mobile friendly (or “responsive design”)
It’s more likely than not that a person first visits your website on a phone. This is not universally true, but the internet is increasingly mobile. So your site’s appearance and functionality on a phone is among our foremost concerns. It’s not an afterthought, and it’s not even secondary to desktop.
About 60 percent of Google searches now happen via mobile device (2022 data). Depending on the nature of your organization it’s likely that 60 to 70 percent of your page views are from a mobile device.
Reinforce your brand
Visually, we work to strike the right tone. Walking into law office is not the same as walking into a brew pub, and the visual tone of the site should reinforce your brand, which in turn should reflect what you are all about.
If your brand is well established, we respect that as we build. But we are happy to start from scratch too and help you create a new brand first.
A fast site is a happy site
Who wants to visit a slow website? People tend not to wait too long for a website to load, especially on a phone.
As web developers, we build our websites to be as fast and lean as possible. With our hand-crafted approach to web development, your website isn’t a maze of bolted-on plugins and frameworks that add every design trend out there, but that bog down page load. There are trade-offs to consider between speed, ease of use, and glitziness. We will discuss these things with you to make sure we strike the appropriate balance.
We’re not the only ones that love fast websites — search engines prefer them too!
E-commerce that fits you
For e-commerce sites, we normally use WordPress with Woocommerce, a powerful and easy-to-use framework that is endlessly customizable. We have worked with other platforms, including Shopify, and find that Woocommerce is far more flexible to handle unusual situations and meet your specific needs. And you own 100% of your data and everything else, not always the case with larger do-it-all platforms.
Worried about scalability? That’s a great problem to have. We’ve got experience with small e-commerce sites that sell one product. And we have a client with more than 5,000 products. Another client has sold close to $2 million per year through their website.
Website hosting & ongoing maintenance
Websites need somewhere to live, and like most things they need some ongoing care. But you don’t need to “relaunch” your website every three or five years because it starts looking dated or you need to add a feature. Moreover, if you are concerned about “SEO” (search engine optimization) you should know it is not a one-time thing; it’s ongoing work and a “long game.”
For most clients we recommend a plan of ongoing care and development to make sure that we’re always adapting and keeping things up to date and working smoothly, even as your organization changes. We can arrange a fixed monthly retainer to do the following:
- Monthly check-in meetings to focus on what’s needed for the next month. What’s working? Where is there an ongoing issue that could stand improvement? What might be changing in your organization that the website should reflect?
- Hosting fees — that is, the cost to run the web server is included.
- All technology, plugins, security, etc. is kept up to date.
- Automated tools to make sure nothing goes wrong, or if it does, we know about it right away and can fix it.
- Real people checking in on your site regularly to make sure it’s all looking sharp and working properly. We’ll test a purchase if it’s an e-commerce site, check that all is well with a contact form, and anything else that involves user interaction.
- Track your performance on search terms that are important to you, and make ongoing tweaks to content and site structure to improve SEO.
- Send you a monthly reports on your website performance, related to speed, overall health, and search rankings.
- Retainer-based hours to enhance features and adapt with your organization as things change, and keep on a constant polish so things are and working looking great.
Typically a monthly retainer is between $600 and $2,000 monthly, depending on the resources requited to host the site and how much ongoing work is appropriate.
Web development: our capabilities
WordPress is often our first choice for simple business sites and for e-commerce sites. But we also work with Laravel, React, and other newer frameworks. It all depends on what you are trying to do.