Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 4.16.09 PM

BOSS Website Redesign

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 4.16.09 PMThe BOSS (Bands of Santiago Sharks) just got a website redesign. BOSS consists of four concert bands, three big band jazz ensembles, a 220 piece marching band of musicians and a Color Guard. As time goes on, all websites need changing.  As such, the BOSS website needed some updating in both look and feel, information and images.  Few websites do not have to do some regular work, whether it’s a complete makeover or some updating and/or additions, i.e. social media integration.

I was fortunate enough to have spent the entire 2015-2016 season shooting photographs of all the BOSS events, including parades, Disneyland and concerts.  Thus, I had plenty of photographs to choose from.  Furthermore, the old site had most of the information already on it, although some needed updating.  The biggest challenge was organizing the large number of pages that the site contained.  At the time of writing this, we are still flushing this out.

Social Media

The other challenge that we are currently working on the BOSS website redesign is the integration of the website to social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Throughout the years multiple accounts have been set up on various platforms. We want to integrate them is such a way that current and future users can easily find BOSS.

In addition, BOSS started using Charms Office to communicate and manage all the students and parents within the program.  It is very important that these two platforms work in conjunction with one another.

eCommerce

There is also an online Spirit Wear store coming to the site, where parents and student can purchase shirts, sweatshirt, hats, etc. We are creating a seamless ecommerce store so ordering and fulfillment does not require additional work for the BOSS Boosters.

Finally, at the time this was published the BOSS website redesign is nearly completed.

For a FREE assessment of your website please contact us.

3PD-Stoll

Website Re Design

After

After

Stoll-before

Before

Website Re Design

is something that most businesses and organizations will find themselves facing during their lifetime.  That’s because standards, looks and technology changes over time.  At 3 Penguins Design, we not only design new websites but we also RE-design websites.  In actually, re-design a site is does not really involve the “RE” since we basically design the new site from scratch.

For this website AJ Design called us to collaborate on a new site.  The old site had served Stoll for quite some time but it was ready for a fresh new looked along with some added functionality such as a SEARCH and LOCATOR for their many distributors.

The client wanted a simple and clean front page design along with rotating images. Their individual products along with their search and locator page were the stars.

The status of this website is “Under Construction”. There are a few minor additions coming to this page before we make it LIVE.

UPDATE:  Stoll Trailers goes LIVE – http://www.stolltrailers.com

 

Stoll Trailers

Law Website Re Design

Front Page

Front Page

Again, I (3 Penguins Design) had the great pleasure of collaborating with Andy at AJ Design.

Typical Page

Typical Page

This time it was a law website re design for a law firm in South Carolina. This successful firm had a functional website but it was in need of a complete re-design.

Due to the number of attorneys on staff and the comprehensive areas of law practiced, they need an easily navigated website so potential clients could quickly find what they were looking for.  In doing this we created drop-down menus in various categories and cross-referenced pages on the site.

Despite being a rather large site, finding your way is quite easy.

Reef Systems – Web Design

Reef Systems - After

Reef Systems – After

Putting the final touches on a rebuild of Reef Systems, Inc web page.  When we were approached their current web site was fine, for the time period in which it was designed.  They were in need of a more updated look and a Responsive Web Design that would keep them as current as their clients.

ReefSystems-Before

Reef Systems – Before

This new website is fully functional with current web browsers as well as on smart phones and tablets.

We are also working with their staff in regards to optimizing future content that will increase their social media presence.

It was a pleasure working with Reef Systems and we look forward to the future.

Reef Systems Website

WordPress – the pancea for web design?

When WP (WordPress) first came on the scene it was blogging platform.  Today, powerful websites and being used using this framework.  As a seasoned web designer this has been both a blessing and a curse.  This is mainly due to the fact that clients are somewhat misinformed as to when WP is the right choice.

Allow me to use a strange analogy.  Since pharmaceutical companies are now allowed to advertise on television (yes, there was a day when hard alcohol could and pharmaceuticals couldn’t advertise on TV) doctors are being TOLD when medications to prescribe – by the patients.  If they don’t the patient will just change doctors until they get what they want.  Now, back to the topic, today, clients are coming to web designers and the WANT a WP site whether or not it’s the best choice.

So, who is the best candidate for a WP?

The most obvious is the blogger.  WP is relatively easy to set-up.  Customizing is much more difficult.

Since it’s a CMS (Content Management System), it utilizes databases to retrieve information.  Thus, it’s a good choice for fairly large websites, say 20 plus pages. But, this also presents a ton of issues and potential problems.

WP also has access to a lot of plug-ins so you can customize your site by simply installing one of these plug-ins.

WP affords access to a slew of Themes (pre-built designs).  Some are free, most are inexpensive, in the $15-$150 range.

Just these few points would make WP a grand-slam for anyone choosing what platform to choose.  And there are SO MANY people who would to tar and feather me if I said anything different.

PROS:

  • Easy to set-up. Some can do it without a web developer.
  • Tons of themes and plug-ins available for customization.
  • Good choice for large websites.
  • Most updates to the site you can do without having a real experience or training.

CONS

  • Customizing a WP site can get expensive really fast as you need to higher a web developer (not a web designer) to customize your site.  The interaction of CSS, PHP and Databases is not something a novice wants to tackle.
  • You will notice QUICKLY that WP, your Themes and Plug-ins will recommend that you UPDATE them quite regularly.  Your developer will probably tell you that this isn’t a problem BUT, it is.  I’ve seen, experienced and have heard thousands of stories of WP sites breaking due to upgrading one or more of these recommendations.  And when it does, you’ll spend a lot of money to have it fixed.
  • Back-up.  Backing up your WP site is not as easy as copying the site via FTP.  Since it interacts with a database, that too needs to be backed up – something many people either forget or don’t know to do until it’s too late.  Think about your 150 page WP online store going down and you having to rebuild it all because you forgot to backup the database.