[Case Study] SFDS: Website Redesign

Out of all the services I offer, websites tend to be my bread-and-butter, and I thought it would be fun to start a new blog series featuring website launches as they occur (and maybe do some retroactive highlights of past websites as well?) , and I am excited to announce the launch my biggest website build yet, and the crown jewel of my current web dev portfolio: SFDS.

SFDS is a small local business based in Brooklyn that custom fabricates for such brands as Instagram, CNN, Samsung, ESPN, The Simpsons, Lexus, Sephora, Target, Starbucks, and hundreds of others. They have been creating since 2005, and began documenting their projects in 2007. This project required me to manage a decade's worth of raw data (photos, information, videos, press, clients, etc) to organize/edit/format for site use.

SFDS: Before the Redesign

SFDS: Before the Redesign

Their old website had been hastily built by an unknown (to me) agency using Wordpress(.org).

When I was first brought on board in the capacity of handling their web needs, they were only in need of basic updates and maintenance, but after several database corruptions, viruses, and other back-end issues that are endemic to WP specifically, I decided that the site simply needed to be re-done from the bottom up, and to start over from scratch.

As opposed to just importing the old (and sometimes incorrect or unusable) info directly over, I chose (for the sake of clarity, quality, and time) to dive into their data archives and create a squeaky clean new site, and opted to build it on Squarespace. Not only did I discover dozens of projects that had been 'missed' over the years, but also a dearth of content that had never even seen the light of day on the internet.

Content aside, one of the advantages to doing this every so often is that you aren't "piggy-backing" on top of old technical problems that will continue to worsen over time. One of the reasons why I often choose other platforms over WP is that because WP basically an un-managed free-for-all with literally zero customer service (I am not claiming their CS is bad, just that it simply does not exist), and negligent developers who abandon support for their apps causing their use to "break" websites. It also has a steeper learning curve than other providers, in that in almost every case, you will very often need to rely on the help of an expensive developer to keep it running smoothly, whereas Squarespace's user-interface is easier to navigate and use for the lay-person (though it is not perfect...we are all still waiting for that platform!). Security certificates, SEO, amazing customer service, domain names, and automatic software upgrades & improvements are all built-in with no extra fees or programming required. I could go on all day, but I bet you would rather just let the work speak for itself.

In addition to the information and photos, I also added several new features that the old website lacked: a more comprehensive contact page that allowed potential clients to attach images, a careers page where job-seekers could apply for work and upload their resumes, several "service" pages that highlighted in detail the types of things the shop offered, a clients page, and a press page.

All of my technical jargon aside, let's take a look at this website already!
(click the image below to be taken to their website)

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