A local painter came to me asking for a simple website to showcase his services. He was a solopreneur for the most part, though he did have hires to help him with the business. He himself had been a painter for years and years. His old website was almost not a website – there was very little on it. The logo was dated too. This Vancouver painter’s website was straightforward: it needed to establish a family business on the Internet (almost for the first time). The only other ‘big picture’ task was to decide how we’d communicate the personality and expertise of this small business owner. Being that so little had been done in this area of marketing for the business, it was almost like working with a blank slate. And that made it fun! Along with a designer I hired, I got to create a web identity that would help a local business compete online.
Web design and development features made for this small business website:
- Genesis WordPress web development, with responsive code.
- Content architecture plan and strategy, with copywriting for the home page, along with keyword inclusions for SEO.
- Bottom static bar to display illustrated ‘paint buckets’ with logos of social media sites where users could review the company, or see testimonials. This was an important competitive feature discovered during the research phase of this project. This bar also included a call-to-action to “get an estimate”, next to a paint roller illustration.
- Home page intro in a hero section using a tinted overlay on the background photo, to keep the text readable, while still being able to include visual. A call-to-action button was included in the above-the-fold area, to encourage conversions.
- A plan for two ‘pathways’ so that site visitors can easily find information relevant to them. Big box features in the home page design lead to either residential painting or commercial painting pages. These each had animated hover states to ‘zoom in’ the background tinted photos.
- Home page long-copy section with an expand/collapse feature to introduce the company, without making the page too long. Finding a spot for extra text was important for SEO, which would be crucial for a business like this one.
- Room for visual photography to showcase the painter’s work on the home page. This was achieved in a ‘mosaic,’ without introducing a slider or gallery, which would otherwise affect site load time.
- Isolated paint buckets, brushes and colour cards were used in the design to help ‘theme’ the site and pull together the ‘painter’ design.
- Background textures to further reinforce the idea of a painter’s work, done well. The designer creatively incorporated a blue wood fence background, to maintain the blue being used in the old logo. She also used a stucco-style wall background for interior pages.
- Custom icon font creation to display illustrative elements of the design in scalable form, without losing quality on high density displays.
- Blockquote and pull quote design, to create variation on the pages, and to draw attention to specific features or testimonials.
- A custom logo was made for this client, and used as a high-density SVG in the middle of the main menu. It was creatively made, using a paint roller and the company name inside the ‘paint.’
- Full-width interior pages with large margins to keep typography readable.
- Custom form design to take customer inquiries.