Before we rang in 2011, Chef and Owner Dory Ford from AQUA TERRA met with me to talk about a new site that would match the evolution of his business - including new services and products. The old site was built piecemeal when AQUA TERRA was still coming together, so it began to burst at the seams from quick changes and workarounds.

We threw around some ideas over a fine homebrew from my friend Luke (great Hefe, Mr. Spence!) and left with some goals: Professional look, drive the audience to take action, easy to navigate... and my interest was to make it easy to maintain. If I could build in the option for Dory's staff to take the wheel at adding content, it would be even more valuable. We needed better SEO as well, given the future growth beyond the region and state.

The new site, formally announced today, grew from a powerful template that's layered on a blogging tool. We have the flexibility of feature banners that rotate on the front page, and highlights that can be used throughout the site. Perhaps the best feature is the weblog, which can be maintained by anyone on staff or myself, and has a special template for sharing their many recipes. Those posts then trickle down to Facebook and Twitter. Automatically.

Speaking of Facebook, we paired this site update with a new Facebook page that takes advantage of the FBML code, allowing us to create a custom tab "Who We Are". A great landing page for visitors - check it out.

Kudos AQUA TERRA, for bringing together this wider vision and all the necessary content! Check out their new website today.
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You don't need to hire someone to make a website.
Yep, I said it. In reality, so long as you can make a Powerpoint or a Word Document... so long as you understand basic layout and good design, YOU can make a website. Yes, there are all these fancy widgets and CSS, coding and other aspects to site development. But what if you just need a 3-page site that says what you do? Or maybe just a short portfolio while job-seeking? Maybe you've listed your house and want to advertise it online?

Weebly allows for FREE website creation. They offer new templates every year, so to keep your site looking fresh amongst the rest. The elements of a website, including photos - video - forms - menus and more, are all created by drag and drop. Give it a try!

So where does Alma St. Designs come in? There are some advanced features available in Weebly. For example, you can have your own domain for your site (the free sites look like this: http://name.weebly.com). Or, maybe you want to customize one of those templates? What about Google Analytics for your site, or really great Search Engine Optimization? How do you tie your site in with Facebook? These are the next steps for a site - and options that we can help you with. When it's time, send us a letter and we'll lend a hand.

In the meantime - Weebly might be all that you need.
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