This important question perhaps gets a little lost in amongst the adverts for companies such as Wix or Squarespace. It sounds easy, right? Understandably small businesses may not choose to allocate budget to the services of a professional graphic designer but there’s a lot more to consider than aesthetics alone. Below is an explanation of our work on a recent web design project for Margan Ltd.
Every company website has a unique message
Margan Limited is based in the heart of the Furniture Industry’s traditional home in Buckinghamshire and the Chilterns. Reflecting their long history in leatherwork, each of their upholstery projects delivers on the team’s unrivaled passion for craftsmanship. This commitment to quality and perfection formed the basis of our brief when we began to create their new website.
Communicating a point of difference
After an initial consultation and discussion, we received an outline of the client’s vision for their new website. They wanted to showcase the quality of their work and be able to create case studies. The brief predominately focussed on what could be found on competitor and partner websites. We delved a bit deeper, looking for ways to describe what it is that makes Margan standout from other premium upholsterers.
First, a wireframe of the site structure was prepared for the client’s approval and we put together some ideas for content. The next step was a visit to their premises in Princes Risborough – armed with a GoPro and DSLR camera our aim was to capture the essence of this family business. Managing Director Paul has a passion for E-Type Jaguars, classic trials motorcycles and loves the traditional tools of his trade. Jane Margan has a head for business and a keen eye for style and detail. Her practical and efficient approach is the perfect complement to Paul’s creativity.
Gathering a selection of original content
We came away with a suite of insightful macro images and working footage. The aim was to build up an invaluable collection of personalised content that could be applied to both web design and social channels.
Of course, we incorporated a selection of beautiful installation shots to showcase the finished leatherwork and expansive range of high-end upholstery projects. However, our candid images describe the Margan detail – unique only to them.
Building on Margan’s supplied text we wrote engaging call-to-actions, included testimonials and quotes. As the design developed we created a Margan-specific graphic language using their new logotype.
Building a WordPress website
Web technologies are progressing at lightning speed. Around the globe, web developers work as a collective of creators. WordPress is a platform used by millions of sites due to its excellent content management capabilities plus the availability of a vast selection of plug-ins, widgets and tools designed to save us all from ‘reinventing the wheel’.
What is a custom-built website?
We use WordPress as a base platform to build and manage a custom-designed WordPress theme unique to each client. For example, every graphical detail on Margan’s website has been designed specifically for them. This includes the layout and navigation, buttons, arrows, call-to-action, divider graphics, repeatable patterns, quotations, maps, diagrams and brand assets.
Google rewards mobile-friendly web design. This means that responsive layouts are essential and a website must adjust to accommodate different devices, from a small phone to a full-size iMac. We don’t just leave the automated layout to do its thing – we edit custom-styles to keep your web pages comfortable to read as the layouts adjust.
Most web designers offer pre-built templates ready to be populated. The customer’s logo can be dropped in, colours and fonts tweaked to suit. Typically the navigation will be something like this: Home • About us • Services • Contact. These sites can be aesthetically attractive, cheap to build and quick to deliver. However, they’re not unique, the content won’t stand out from the competition and there won’t be any truly customised SEO.
Initial set-up of social media channels with profile images, profile text and banner graphics. Creation of early posts to get the channel started, these examples are from Pinterest.
Why should a web designer go the extra mile?
There is a wealth of information that should be ‘under the hood’. Most customers are completely unaware of these vital missing ingredients because they can’t see them and web design can be a complex topic.
Every client has their own specific message to convey. Standardised navigation rarely fits the bill and unique, tailored content is essential for the reader and also for search engines.
Our web design services and deliverables
At Spyre, we write new body text or edit your supplied copy with the reader and SEO in mind. There are so many hidden assets that a good website needs to have implemented. We deliver the following as standard:
- Every image has a custom-written descriptive ALT tag.
- We write customised Search Engine Results Page (SERPS) text for every web page.
- Creation of social media cards to serve meaningful links and images on Facebook and Twitter – these also work in WhatsApp, Messenger, LinkedIn and other sharing platforms.
- Optimise and research long-tail key phrases to best capture your customer’s search queries.
- Favicon (the little icon saved in favourites).
- email sign-up integration.
- Google Analytics and Search Console integration.
- Submission of XML site maps.
We keep a keen eye on the budget for every project, Margan received a written estimate outlining what they would receive. The finished site was delivered on-budget despite additional elements and services provided.
Short brand-building video created for the Margan website