Articles about web design, search engine optimization, content management systems, and all things web and tech.

Client Spotlight: On N Up Coaching Website | Header graphic | Jenn Wells Design

The Client: On N Up Coaching

If I had to do an elevator pitch for Paul, I would say, “Running a business, working with a team, and finding a new job are all drastically different segments of professional life. But they have one thing in common: transition. Business owners, coworkers, and job seekers all need to be able to adapt to change. If they want to make the most of their lives, they need to take it a step further and optimize change. Paul helps professional people to do just that – adapt to and optimize times of transition in their lives.”

In other words, Paul is a business coach. And he needed his coaching website to reflect the reassurance and encouragement his clients seek from him.

Initial Concepts: Website Redesign

I’m already kicking myself for not taking a screenshot of Paul’s previous site. Since I didn’t I’ll have to describe it and hope you get the picture. Aesthetically, the old site wasn’t bad, but it had some issues with mobile responsiveness and the navigation was unclear. A big part of Paul’s social strategy involves blogging and his blog posts weren’t emphasized, nor were they easy to access. Stylistically, I decided to stick with the color and style since they matched Pauls’ logo and the company feel he wanted, but we decided to modernize it a bit and really overhaul the user experience.

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ETOS Consultant Branding | Design process for a business consultant logo and website | Jenn Wells Design

The Client: ETOS Consulting

I met Olivier, the founder of ETOS Consulting, at a networking event a little while back. (See? Networking does pay off!) This relationship has been amazing for me, because without even intending to, Olivier has given me ideas for better structuring and organizing my business from day 1.

Also from the beginning, Olivier was very clear and consistent about what he wanted: a clean, modern design for his consulting brand. Professional but unique enough to be eye-catching. Quite frequently professionalism is associated with the tried-and-true, so we had to toe a fine line between creative and traditional.

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When You Don't Need a Website | Most businesses need a website. Learn about the exceptions here! | Jenn Wells Design

I wrote before about why you need a website. But… honesty compels me to write this follow up and confess. There are a few, very, very occasional situations in which I would NOT recommend someone create a website. Gasp!

Diving right in.

You Don’t Need a Website If…

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What Should You Put On Your Website | How to decide which pages your website needs and what content to write on each | Jenn Wells Design

Your website is being built, everything is going smoothly, the design is beautiful but… What on earth should you put on it?

It can be overwhelming to stare at a blank page (or screen) and try to dredge content from the recesses of your brain. For yeeeears, my website had just 5 pages and most of them were practically blank. But in the past year, I’ve been really working on building and refining my business and now I’m up to 9, not including the blog. What’s more important, those pages have information on them that is useful for my readers and helps to guide them through my service list and consultation process. Plus my SEO is much better!

Yup, content = search engine optimization. But it has to be meaningful, which is why we’re going to talk about what makes sense for your site content.

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Why You Need a Website | Websites are fast becoming a requirement. You need a website to build community, credibility, advertise, and provide information to your clients | Jenn Wells Design

This is a difficult post to write because it seems so intuitive to me. But I realize not everyone thinks or uses technology or even runs a business the same way. So let’s talk about the value of websites.

1. Websites Give You Credibility

I hate that this is my number one reason but it really is. It’s not compelling, it’s not a promise of guaranteed clients, or even guaranteed interaction from potential customers. But you still need to look like a legitimate business. And, these days, that involves a website and at least one social media page – preferably Facebook.

Speaking as a customer and not a designer, the first thing I do when I hear a business recommendation from a friend is to look it up online. If they don’t have a website, oftentimes I won’t go there. This is both because I’m looking for one central place to find the answers to my questions (location, hours, services, etc) and because not having a website makes it feel like that business doesn’t know what its doing.

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How I Reached the 2nd Page of Search Results | The basics of SEO, and some easy-to-implement tips for your own website or blog | Jenn Wells Design

After years of hanging out on the relative obscurity of page 5, I’ve finally bumped my search rankings up to page 2! Obviously, there’s more to do. I’m still working to attain that desirable first page spot, and to achieve it for a wider range of keywords. But I thought I’d take this opportunity to celebrate and to tell you which SEO techniques worked for me.

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Mosho Investigative Group Website Design Process | The design process for a private investigator website from initial concepts to final site development | Jenn Wells Design

The Client: Mosho Investigative Group

Mosho Investigative Group needed a new website design. The old one was outdated and incomplete, and MIG’s owner was looking for something that would better showcase his services. He was also looking for a more professional feel, the ability to handle future maintenance on his own, and a method to create password-protected pages.

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Maria's Italian Restaurant | Restaurant branding design process from initial website concepts to final site | Jenn Wells Design

The Client: Maria’s Italian Restaurant

Maria came to me looking for a website design that would accomplish several needs:

  • Improved usability
  • Modern design
  • Responsive for mobile

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I tend to be a bit overzealous when it comes to bookmarking anything that might possibly prove useful at some point in the future. What that results in is a huge stockpile of resources, most of which I never look at again! Instead of sharing all those with you, I’m going to share the tried and true. Most of these resources I don’t even need to have bookmarked because I know the urls by heart.

Here’s my top tools for graphic and web design!

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Deanna Zions's Art | The website design process for an artist's online portfolio from initial concepts to final site | Jenn Wells Design

The Client: Deanna Zions

At the risk of sounding cheesy, I am very excited to share this website with you! Deanna is a local Delaware artist and does some absolutely gorgeous things with antiques, cameos, and shadowboxes. Being lucky enough to know her personally, I had a head start with the project. For example: the color scheme was never anything but red, black and cream.

Artist Website Design Process

1. Design Options

Contrary to my typical approach, I was hesitant to make a logo, because I know Deanna has business cards, and a couple other branding pieces that I wouldn’t get to redo that have her name with different fonts and styles. So while I wanted to use fun, artsy fonts, I didn’t want anything that would obviously be a mismatch if, say, a different script font were used elsewhere.

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