We are live and I am in love with our new website! This has been a labor of love since I decided our team would handle the redesigning of www.AnnaBelleEvents.com ...so I think it deserves a moment on the blog to recap our experience.
I'm one of those people that can close their eyes and envision how something will look. A beach vacation. Wedding Reception. Our New Website. I can see it, put myself in it and then make it happen. Comes in handy with my career!
This was the driving factor to take on our website ourselves. I couldn't wrap my head around a firm doing it - how would they get my vision and if they did how many endless emails would it take? I know I'm picky, maybe a bit high maintenance and as a client that all leads to more $$$. To affirm the decision was the fact that I know just enough about websites to get us started and to be dangerous, but as you can see we did it!
As a huge supporter of fellow small businesses I don't want our crazy endeavor of a D.I.Y. website to make it sound like anyone can do it. So let me tell you how it all went down.
Step 1: Buy Wine! I mean...prepare yourself this is a HUGE time commitment and you must start already knowing the basics of building a website and what you want.
I started at SquareSpace.com For some direction I looked at other vendors in the industry, finding what I loved, wanted to implement and what I disliked. All of that played a factor in selecting our theme, Bryant Hill.
Then I noted what we did and did not want from our old website. The big motivators for the change were to reorganize our services pages, be mobile friendly and get more image rich a.k.a. showcase the six years of our work.
Next was bringing in the team. I created the framework and color palette. From there Connie, Rockstar Assistant and now Website Wizard, went to town. We decided to copy all the old content to the new website. Then edit and trim in the new look. This worked great and kept us super organized.
The third gal in our our office on a daily basis is Nicole, Master of Website Details and Perfection. With her attention to detail and grammar she crossed all the t's and dotted all the i's.
The nearly last step was having an "outsider" take a look. This was actually way more helpful than I excepted and a little unplanned. Someone who isn't in a super creative job everyday and is not a client (but could be!). That led to one last round of tweaks and we were ready to launch.
There is when we hit our first and only major roadblock, how do we go live?!?! What about our backlinks? Pinterest links? What are these codes? HELP! So we called the ladies of Hoot Design Co. An afternoon of clicks, codes, numbers (I was lost) and champagne (you have my attention, again) and we went LIVE on July 13th!
When you look at our investment into our new website it was mainly time.
40 hours for me + 84 hours for Connie + an afternoon with Hoot Design Co. + countless moments of daydreaming and designing = worth it for me. In the real world it's worth thousands.
Looking back I wouldn't have us do it any other way! For anyone else I would say call a professional...like Hoot Design Co. (hint, hint). Unless you can close your eyes to see all the magic in place while at the same time handle the stress of a massive, huge, life changing project! No pressure just need to be as magical as Mickey!