Let’s Build: A Consultancy Website – Part 1

Today marks the beginning of a new series of which I’m titling “Let’s Build”. The idea is to build something new and screencast the process all while using new technologies so both you and I can learn along the way.

My hope is to document this with a variety of realistic projects so both you (the reader/watcher) and I, can learn in real time. Some of the content in mention will revolve around design, some around development, and some around both.

To kick things off I am starting with a consultancy website.

The Project Brief

Branding Consultancy Website

Purpose:

The true purpose of this series is to establish a new side venture for my partner Alyssa whom I work at Couple of Creatives with regularly. A new consultancy website with freshened branding is required to help Alyssa’s side project prosper. The services she offers today have since changed from years before. She wants a new home to showcase what she can bring to the table as a brand strategist/consultant rather than designer.

Overview/Backstory

Alyssa has another freelance business which she started long before her and I merged to create Couple of Creatives. The business was, and still, is known as Endlyss Designs. Starting out she specialized in providing graphic design services as well as general help with branding for businesses of all varieties. Her clients ranged from small businesses to corporations. She worked as a freelancer for about 5+ years and later decided to team up to work together with me (Andy Leverenz) so we could offer a one-stop shop type of solution to our clients. I myself, specialize in web design and development which is why I’m a part of this project.

This project is also an entity of Couple of Creatives. Assuming Alyssa gains clientele in need of branding, web design, web development, and more she can refer Couple of Creatives as the agency to help bring things to life.

Deliverables

Refreshed Branding

Alyssa’s currently logo is already in place. We may opt to continue use of it or propose another refined option. She designed her first logo. A known fact, for me at least, is that personal branding is a true challenge. Finding something you’re completely satisfied with almost never happens so with that in mind I may offer an alternative solution for a fresh take on her branding.

Responsive Website

These days responsiveness is a given but I wanted to make sure we didn’t forget about it. The website itself will be an inbound marketing site of which people can visit to learn more about Alyssa, her services, and ultimately get in touch with her.

Website style guide

Along with the website comes a style guide. I do this for a variety of reasons but most importantly: consistency. Establishing a systematic approach towards web elements lends yourself a hand as you can create repeatable elements with ease in many modern design applications.

With this approach, you can worry less about aesthetics when building out a solid user experience. The challenge is to build enough components to cover all the bases. I’ll get to this in a later episode.

Technologies

Any website will always have requirements in terms of languages used. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are a given these days. I’m hoping to explore a simpler way to manage content from Alyssa’s perspective.

CMS

I’d like Alyssa to be able to update all the content on her site without needing any special skills. One might think that WordPress is the best path to take here but I’m leaning against that approach. I’ve used WordPress for years and love it, but I also hate it for the poor security, slow load times, and PHP in general feels pretty messy to me (this is of course after working more with Ruby on Rails).

I may experiment with a static site generator of some sort to cover the security issues with WordPress. In doing so I need to keep in mind that Alyssa doesn’t have a lot of experience with writing in Markdown, committing changes with Git, and so on. That said I’ll need an interface to help handle that part.

Several tools come to mind but I think I’ll save that for another video.

Learn more about Alyssa

As I stated before, Alyssa and I both own and operate Couple of Creatives. Her new website/side project is going to be known as Endlyss Designs. You can follow her on all the social links below: