By Bruce Sachs
Clients often ask Enrich for help with refreshing their existing websites or creating something new. Each dialogue typically starts with the same requests. They need a site that’s easy to update themselves, and they are working within a tight budget. So, we ask, “Have you considered an online website builder?”
Website builders provide easy-to-use design templates with built-in tools and support. This eliminates the need to code the website from scratch and generally simplifies the process. Because there are many platforms, choosing the right one is key to the success of the website.
Squarespace offers the fewest website templates, but has the best design options. It’s very easy to use and results in a slick, professional site. Because Squarespace only gives the user so much control, it’s hard to mess up the design. Unfortunately, the limited control also makes it harder to customize sometimes.
Wix presents a lot more templates to choose from and allows more flexibility in the design. This added flexibility requires an increased need to control the design. Without a good design sense, it’s easy to create an unattractive site in Wix.
Wordpress is robust and considered the go-to for many organizations. It started as tool for blogging, but as evolved into a fully-customizable content management platform. The many features in WordPress can be overwhelming. So unless you have some programming knowledge, building a beautiful WordPress site often requires the help of a web developer or the use of a premium theme. Elegant Themes simplifies the process by offering a collection of themes to use in WordPress — including Divi, the most popular premium WordPress theme in the world.
We recently helped three organizations update their online presence using website builders. Each project was unique so we chose the best fit based on their needs.
David Lowe started the Whole Conference to make a positive impact on the health of the people in his community. The one-day annual event features speakers, presentations and cooking demonstrations to inspire attendees and educate them on the health benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet. After meeting David at PBNHC, he asked us for help in improving the conference website and increasing event attendance.
Squarespace’s easy-to-use templates provided the perfect solution for the conference website. We developed a clean design with bold headlines to convey the conference’s mission. The website layout was streamlined, making it easier for visitors to navigate the site and find information. To drive additional traffic to the website for registration, we designed flyers and posters to promote the event.
The collaboration has been a success — the Whole Conference sold out this year and has plans to expand to a larger venue next year.
Having survived a serious heart attack, John Tanner has become an advocate for the whole food, plant-based approach that reversed his heart disease and pre-diabetic conditions. He founded TannerCare to provide programs that help people prevent and reverse chronic diseases caused by poor diet and lifestyle. Tanner Care’s director, Rich Lamb, reached out to Enrich for help promoting the new business, communicating its mission more effectively and encouraging patients to sign up for sessions.
TannerCare’s existing Wix website served as the starting point for the design. The Wix platform gave us the ability to customize the design to achieve the look we wanted. We began by editing the copy to reduce repetition, differentiate between the offerings and make the services easier to understand. The organization’s four key programs became the focus of the home page design and are featured in a slideshow that contains jumping off points for each one.
Each new program page showcases how Tanner Care helps, offers a summary of the program and a list of included components. John’s personal story resonates throughout the site, encouraging prospective participants to learn more and take charge of their own health.
Rochester Lifestyle Medicine
Rochester Lifestyle Medicine (RLM) is a team of over 40 medical professionals who are dedicated to spreading well-being and happiness by teaching the principles of a healthy lifestyle. Led by Ted Barnett, RLM wants to be a model for other practices that are using the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) curriculum for lifestyle intervention. Ted wanted the RLM website to more effectively communicate their mission and purpose to the visitor, so he reached out for help.
The RLM website contained a lot of good content and resources, but a long, text-heavy home page made it hard for visitors to find key information. We began by streamlining the copy, and developing a sitemap that allowed each type of content to have its own page.
Since Ted was already familiar with updating WordPress and using the Divi theme, we needed to stay with the platform. We were able to customize the design, incorporate new photography and add much needed hierarchy to the site.
And because of his familiarity with the platform, Ted continues to update RLM’s website on an ongoing basis.
If you need a complex site with custom features, an experienced web programmer can help you achieve your goals. Website builders are a great tool to help simplify the development process. Online templates provide a great starting point, but there are still a lot of things to consider as you build a new site—colors, theme, messaging, fonts, photography, layout, etc. It still helps to collaborate with a designer so that your new website matches your brand.