Site Showcase: SH Digital Co.
Oh y'all. A few things I cannot wait to show you about miss Sarah's new website she is sharing with us. First, I want to say make sure you read her post. Her last note on the bottom is one of my absolute favorite things to teach my clients when they want colored backgrounds in pages! No custom css required.
The other thing to note is that Sarah has done some great custom work in her header. With a little CSS knowledge you can transform your Pacific website from center only header to left justified! See how good a little css is to have in your life!
Template Chosen: Pacific
Why did you choose that template?: The flexibility when it comes to index pages is my favorite part of the Pacific template. Although for blogging purposes there is no sidebar, I really liked the ability to create another page to give it the blog/sidebar feel and still have a full-width blog post. As a self-taught designer and developer, I find myself rarely satisfied with my own personal website so you might notice that my home page is updated frequently! At least it keeps it fresh. ;)
What was the Client's Objective?: To educate small businesses and entrepreneurs on navigating the digital world, along with promoting my digital, social and virtual assistant services.
Tell us a bit about the design process?: After researching each Squarespace template, it’s features and finding my fit I took to Pinterest and other websites for design elements, I wanted to mix in the ‘agency’ feel with a small business/entrepreneur vibe. The home page was the biggest challenge, as I wanted to showcase everything up front but keep it simple enough for users to navigate to other pages.
How did you help the client differentiate their business through design?: Treating yourself and business as a client is tough, so after researching multiple sites that were doing similar things, I really wanted to keep my services and business simple, but highlight the resources, blog and client portal side of my website.
Is there custom development? What about custom added CSS? Can you tell us why you did or did not use these edits?: The bulk of custom CSS was added to the header, the blog page, the summary blocks and a few snippets of styling for boxes and type/photo overlays. I used these edits to change the color and typestyle of metadata, along with the ability to keep the Pacific template styles but bring in features of the Five template that I liked so much!
What are the top three creative features you used in the design?: At first, I wanted to make my resources page a Shop. But after researching the checkout process, I felt like turning a blog post into resources posts and having the downloadable button to access the PDF's was the best option! That took a lot of trial and error but from a user experience standpoint, it's the fastest way for them to get their downloads and not have to go through a checkout process for free items!
Another feature I liked was being able to use the markdown block to make the text areas a bit more fun and to give the blog sidebar a more common look with the borders!
Anything else you want us to know about the site?: A little tip for those using the Pacific template! If the alternating color blocks aren't working for you, try uploading a blank, solid colored background to your index pages to get the look you want! I did this on a couple of sections that were by default gray, but with a banner of a color, I achieved the look I was going for. :)
Vendors used?: Portrait photography was done by Claire Rodahaver: