Redesigning a real estate business website to enhance its quality content and introduce a modern look
This company needed a new website development and design to go with their recent change over ownership. The old site had been around for a few years, and was due for an upgrade.
The new modern, Vancouver website design would highlight three main cornerstone pages – these corresponded to the main services the client offered. We created web graphics for each of these. Together, shown in a row on the home page, we made it extra clear what this company offered, and what a user would find on the site.
Being in the real estate industry, a slider was used on the home page to showcase the interior design of the office centre with professional photography. The slider also included a customized map graphic with a photographic marker, to show the location of the building, and its exterior, in a clear way. These were major selling points of what the client had to offer, and would help to qualify new leads as much as possible.
The site had existing content that I had written and structured prior to the site relaunch. It was kept as-is, for the most part. The new typography, colours and design allowed the content to stand out in a readable way.
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A Vancouver business website design with thematic elements, a new colour scheme, and custom illustrations to go with it
When we set out to design this site, the client didn’t have much in the way of an existing visual brand. It was a successful business that relied on the value of its core services, which spoke for themselves, for the most part. Having worked with the company in the past, some of the brand, such as an initial logo, were things I had worked on. A few years later, the look needed a serious update.
The task then, was to produce a colour palette for the new website design. We stuck with the deep, royal blue, which gave off a ‘business-ey’ look. But then, the designer I hired also added in softer hues of blues, a light beige, and a strong, complementary, orange accent colour. The orange would be usable to catch attention and to add some variation to the design, so it would not look so monotone.
The typography was also updated, using a simple, clean yet modern sans-serif font from Google Fonts. The differing font weights and styles also added structure to pages, to make the text more readable.
Perhaps one of the coolest parts of the web design was the way that we incorporated textures of things that would normally be seen in a typical, traditional business office. So, the buttons had a ‘leathery’ speckled texture added to them. The site background used a fabric texture often seen on office dividers or walls (especially with regards to the actual design of this office centre). Other textures were also used.
Another way this Vancouver business web design added visual detail is with its hover states. A tinted overlay on photos was used, so that a new ‘pop’ of colour (or greyscale effect) would appear in some places. On the sidebar, for instance, the map button, which would lead to the contact page, would hover as a greyscale map, from initially being in full colour. A blue tint was used in other areas.
Of course, with a business that relies so much on how it looks, pictures were really important to the planning of this web design and development project. Normally, I wouldn’t use sliders (especially not at the top of a home page). In this case, since the ‘sale’ would depend a lot on visuals, it was ok to keep. We also planned for a gallery area, which would show photos of the interior office, and the location.
For the cornerstone images, representing the three core services this client offers, custom fields were set up for back-end input. This meant that the client wouldn’t need to do a lot of formatting to have these images displayed correctly on their respective pages. They could simply enter headlines and images using fields, in the WordPress dashboard.
The cornerstone images were also adapted and sized specifically to be used in three ways: as featured images in the Genesis Featured Page widget, the main page image, and a greyed-out background at the bottom of each cornerstone page, for more theming in the design.
The home page was widgetized, in true ‘Genesis Framework’ fashion. We custom designed widgets that would allow the client to update promotions from time to time. We also included a good amount of text on the home page, to allow for search engine optimization richness.
The ‘final touches’ of this website included detail such as matching icons, a customized form design and styling on tables, using the ever-popular, TablePress plugin. The tables would show comparisons and benefits to core services, so it was important they represented the company right, by matching the rest of the site design.
Features of this Vancouver business web design project:
- Custom web design based in the Genesis Framework, using WordPress as a content management system.
- Custom illustrations to represent core services, adapted for use in three parts of the site, for consistency.
- Custom fields integration for easy back-end content input where cornerstone images needed special formatting to appear correctly on the site’s design.
- Logo refining, typography scheme and colour palette set up for consistent branding across the site.
- Prominent inclusion of professional photography and galleries, using imagery supplied by the client.
- Button designs using seamless textures, hues and hover states.
- Background textures of various kinds used to ‘theme’ the design for ‘office’ and ‘business’ representation.
- Custom form design and table styling added for detail and thoroughness in the website design overall.
- Widgetized home page, to allow for flexible content inputs by the client, who would change promotions from time to time.
Accolades from the client
Joyce carried out a strong re-development of my company’s old website. Efficient, professional and creative, Joyce first and foremost listened to our interests and concepts for the new site and translated these into exactly what we were looking for stage by stage. We are very proud of the state of our new website as it now provides a great platform to market from. I would highly recommend Joyce as a web developer, programmer and WordPress expert.
Philip Heming, General Manager at Central Park Business Centre
Other work done for this client
This client hires me for ongoing maintenance and updates to their site. I wrote much of the content on the site during a brief employment period with the client, prior to making this new website.