Here’s the stuff we wrote about in our last incarnation. Some of the stuff is still valid. Some of it – not so much…

WordPress Website Design: SeattleWeddingOfficiants.com

Elaine Way at SeattleWeddingOfficiants.com needed a site to match her personality and her product. She had a first-page Google site, and while she knew she needed a better look, she didn’t want to harm her search engine placement.

That’s where we came in.

We set her up with a custom WordPress website using Woo Themes and a bunch of other tricks in our box. We cleaned everything up, trimmed a lot of fat and added some easier navigation plus clearer call-to-action.

The result? A good-looking, super functional and really fun site. Elaine can update everything, and she’s mentioned that her contacts have skyrocketed since the new site launched. Nice!

Check out SeattleWeddingOfficiants.com. We dig it, the client digs it, and we think you’ll dig it too!

Ecommerce Site Design: TastesDivineSweets.com

tastesdivineThe fine folks at Tastes Divine contacted us to discuss a design and development of a new ecommerce site for their cupcakes, cookies and corporate gifts. The site they had was – well – it wasn’t good. It also didn’t include a functional ecommerce system, and they needed to sell some goodies. So – we got to work…

The result? A beautiful, functional site built using WordPress (so they can keep it updated,) WooThemes (so it looks and functions great) and WooCommerce (so it sells their wares.) A custom design that is easy to maintain, and an ecommerce system that makes it easy to stock and for customers to buy from. Everyone wins!

Check ’em out here.

Our only complaint is that we have yet to receive a 300 pound box of goodies. We’re waiting…

A New Ecommerce Site in Asheville? Yes!

Garage 34 (downtown on South Lexington) has been a great client, and when they wanted to revamp their website and get rolling with ecommerce, we were super-happy to help ’em out. They’re a terrific group of people, and their product line is diverse and fun – plus they actually give back to the community. Super cool. Check out their store.

Now, since they’re using a point-of-sale system to track inventory, manage transactions and essentially run the store, we needed something that would interface with their system – but was also easy to use. So we built a site using Shopify.

With Shopify (attached to their POS, ShopKeep,) Garage 34 gets a few things:

  • Easy-to-manage and add products.
  • Full compatibility with their inventory and cash register.
  • Sweet looks!
  • Speed and security.
  • Easy updates of pages and their blog.
  • Easy sharing via Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
  • A lot more.

So – yes, we’re tooting our own horn here. It’s a good looking, slick-functioning site.

Oh – and we redesigned their logo to be a little more feminine. It’s stitchy! GO NOW and BUY!

The Cobbler’s Children Syndrome

Hey, folks! Long time, no blog. Sorry for that. There’s been a tremendous amount of work coming in the door lately – and that is great. But, at the same time, it’s kind of sucked, as I’ve been unable to keep up the blogging momentum. And, as I’ve stated before, momentum is what you need to build a successful blog/online business/social media empire. I want to take over the world with my website, but not at the expense of my clients.

So, while I’ve been hammering away on lots of stuff (Woo Theme based websites, logos for locals and all sorts of printed goods,) I’ve been negligent on this (and many other) blog.

The good news is that the work keeps flowing in, but I’ve also found a good schedule that allows for “spitball time” and for blogging and social media escapades. So – get ready.

One big piece of news – I’m in the process of launching a new website that features a more “business” image of my business. It’ll be a more corporate-styled site that should appeal a little more to the suit-and-tie types. DON’T WORRY -this site won’t change. This site is more “me,” but I’ve also heard from a few trusted business associates that I might want to have a more buttoned-down version. No – it won’t be lame. It’ll just be a little different. That will launch on Black Friday, and there will be an associated giveaway/deal there – so stay tuned. You’ll be reasonably happy that you did.

And in other news: it really is time for some new shoes, which is an ordeal around here. I know that I will eventually just buy another pair of Chucks, but I will have to try on at least 100 other types of shoes before I resign myself to buying the same old same old. The really bad part is that both my Chucks and my boots are both worn out, so this could turn in to 3 months of dragging the family around to every shoe store within a 100 mile radius to find shoes and boots. Then, I’ll just order the same thing I already have from Amazon. The classics, as they say, never die. Unfortunately, shoes do.

Image credit to these folks.

We’re Affiliated Woo Workers! (and why you should care…)

ninjaWe’ve been added to a fairly exclusive fraternity: Affiliated Woo Workers. What does that mean? Why should you care?

Well, see – WooThemes are great WordPress themes and a site frameworks that make really powerful, really flexible and (with our design chops) really beautiful websites.

Being named an Affiliated Woo Worker means we have a high level of understanding of these themes – and all their ins and outs. We know how to design around the framework and to take full advantage of the WooThemes features and products. Want an ecommerce site? Well – WooCommerce is a really great system – and we have a lot of experience building highly functional stores using WooThemes, WooCommerce and WordPress. Want a simple business site? WooThemes has that covered, too.

So – you should care because that means that we can build a beautiful, functional and downright kick-ass website for you – using WooThemes. But, really – even beyond that, we have a great deal of experience with WordPress, and we know how to get your project done right – regardless of the theme.

Want to learn more? Ready to get started? Well…

*Note: Not all our websites are designed and built using WooThemes and WordPress, but most of them are. We do plain HTML sites, Magento sites and everything in between. Let’s discuss…

Marketing? Why Not? (and squirrels.)

Funny-Squirrel-Picture-2-300x192The economy, by almost all measures, is in the crapper. Money is tight for consumers; as a result, money is tight for businesses. When money is tight, folks have a tendency to make more “informed” decisions when it comes spendin’ time. How do you get the consumer to spend that money on your service/business/cause/idea? You have to stand out from the crowd. You have to add more value. You have to position yourself as the expert. You have to make them salivate a little. How do you do that?

Marketing.

It’s a scary word to some. It’s a curse word to others. But – it’s 100% necessary, and it becomes even more necessary when folks have less to spend. The catch here is that when people (consumers) have less to spend, businesses have less to spend – and a lot of businesses panic, spending less on marketing and advertising. What they should be doing is precisely the opposite. The wise business ramps up their marketing investment when the economy is going down, because (effective*) marketing is going to get you in front of people and out ahead of the competition.

Marketing is almost always a wise investment – but only if it’s done right.*

See, if you spend a boatload of money (the money that, according the economy, you don’t have) on a direct mail piece and you hit the wrong audience, you fail. If you hit the right audience with the wrong message, you fail. Shoot out a sub-par design, you fail.

But, really – mostly – if you don’t invest in marketing, YOU FAIL.

Notice I didn’t say invest money. Marketing doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to be effective. It does require an investment. Some time, maybe. Some comfort, probably. Some thought, absolutely. I’ll get more into specifics in some follow-up posts I have planned, but what I’m saying here is that you have to market, and you have to plan for some investment.

And the investment you make needs to be planned – and planned well – or it’s going to just be an expense with no hope of real  return.

If you invest a lot of time in Facebook marketing but you don’t have a plan, you can waste a lot of time. If you don’t plan your next advertisement, you can wind up with really expensive birdcage liner – again, with no real return. If you go out somewhere and make an ass of yourself in a guerilla marketing campaign, you wind up with egg on your face and no new customers to help you wash it off – unless you plan it right.

So – what do you do? Build a strong, cohesive and coherent marketing PLAN. You don’t go hunting and just fire, indiscriminately, into the trees in hopes of bagging a squirrel. You walk around, see the environment, track the beast and plan your attack. Otherwise, you wind up popping off a lot of shells, making a giant ruckus and most likely go home hungry.

Don’t go ’round hungry. Get wise. Make a plan. Do some hunting. Ready. Aim. Fire.

*this is where we mention that we do marketing in asheville. we enjoy it, and we’re pretty damned good at it, if we do say so ourselves…