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Hi Everyone,


I'm new here and hopefully this is going to be a forum I start coming to regularly!


I'm refreshing a site for an established local business in my area, it's a straight forward brochure site detailing their services, products and location. They are an upholstery firm.


On talking to the owner about the sort of look they want to go for they were keen for it to not look too 'designer', meaning full screen hero image, etc. They want to emphasise the fact they are local and friendly (and I guess that an expensive looking site would put off some of their customers due to their budgets). I'm struggling a little to be honest! Looking a lot of local business websites, they are either outdated or looking too 'designer'. I'm building this in Wordpress and potentially using a theme / parent theme.


Does anyone have any examples where the above has been done well? Would be great to hear from people :)



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What do they want the site to achieve?


Do they for example want to demonstrate their skills to potential clients?

Or do they want to tell the story of the business?

Or perhaps they just want to direct people to the shop?

Are they looking to improve their Google ranking?

Maybe they put all their effort into social media and the website becomes a feed.


No site should ever use a hero image - it's an awful design feature and has become ubiquitous but unnecessary.


What not just site them in front of google images and let them pick the theme they like.

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Hi Fisicx,


Yes, totally agree about hero images, I don't like them but I think they do work for some sites, then there's the problem of everyone wanting one just because that's what most sites have!

The site is trying to achieve all of the things you have said. They already have a FB business page and are going to focus on it with a little help (asking customers to leave reviews, etc) as it is perfect for their customer base. Main aims of the site are to publicise business as it has over 30 years experience, huge range of products / materials, and to showcase their work, which is something the site currently doesn't do. They have such loyal customers that they have offered to give testimonials / have photos taken without even being asked. Then it should also do the basics, like contact info, google map, etc.


I did show the owner some examples of themes, and we decided a basic style would be best, and I know what they don't want. I'm just looking for some inspiration really, without going for a fairly standard design (although this is what they would be happy with, but I want to offer them something more interesting too!)

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I love hero images.


I understand I think the concern that the site could be intimidating if over-designed but good design is good design. Make sure the images are authentic - real pictures of the real business and their work, and also that the text and titles are appropriate and true statements, expressed by real people and nothing will be intimidating. The site will ring true and the business will look approachable.


Honesty and transparency are recognised in very subtle ways I think, and pretension and affectation sets off bs alarms in people very quickly. Keep it real and it will work.

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This is a site I built a little while back: http://edinburghdriveway.co.uk/ It's a free theme.


The client liked it because it showcases his work on the homepage


This is theme I'm developing: https://onepage.aerin.co.uk/


It could work for you client as the can add their own background image and showcase their work in a page like this: https://onepage.aerin.co.uk/support-topics/


Or you just go for something really simple like this: https://aerin.co.uk/

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If they aren't going to be updating the site very much it may be better to just create a static site. It will be faster and lighter than wordpress. But if you do want to use wordpress, avoid all site builders, plugins and any other bloatware that people add to their sites.

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@@tim W, I should have thought about my statement about hero images, like I say, I think they work really well on some sites, finishes digging hole.

That is good advice about using more 'real' images, I have access to some professional photos from their fabric suppliers that I was going to use, but these are from show homes. So I'm going to have a change of tact and focus on getting some more real client photos. I am also going to do add an 'about us' page with photos of the staff as a personal touch. Yeah, hopefully the photos and testimonials will say everything needed and the design can be quite understated.


@@fisicx, thanks for sharing, I think the paving one is similar to what I'm looking for, lots of photos of real work.


If anyone else has any ideas that would be great, I'll keep you posted and hopefully have the finished site up soon!

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