A 7-year-old website? Might not seem that old, but web development has evolved quite a bit in the last 7 years, something Happy Hollow Farm realized this year when they wanted to do some major updates to their site we built in 2010.
Happy Hollow Farm is a USDA certified organic farm nestled among the rolling hills along the Missouri River. They grow healthy, flavorful produce for Central Missouri residents using a combination of highly managed cover cropping techniques and processes. Their produce benefits from the beautiful silt loam soil provided by the Little Splice Creek bottom that supports the primary growing fields. They also offer local memberships to the community, inviting them to help support and share in the risks and rewards of local food production.
Recently, they invited us to help and support them in updating their aging website to avoid the risks of outdated programming and be rewarded with a more modern and functional site!
The website’s structure was inhibiting our ability to make it work the way they needed it to, regardless of the effort we all put in over the years to maintain and update the website. Like a good client would, Happy Hollow Farm kept their website software, plugins and functionality updated. And like any good web developer would, we managed and performed these updates and added new features to the site to spruce it up, like a recipe search, photo galleries and customer sign-up forms. When all was said and done, it was time to face facts: the website was old. And Happy Hollow wanted it to do more.
Our goal with the original Happy Hollow Farm website was to capture the grandness of what Happy Hollow Farm does, but browser capabilities and monitor sizes limited design options in 2010 (i.e. page widths, image sizes, font types and navigation styles), so while the site was super stylish in 2010, now, in 2016, it was sporting mom jeans and needed a style refresh.
A lot’s changed since then, so with this revamp we were able to use larger, easier-to-read fonts and bigger images to emphasize Happy Hollow Farm’s brand and style. We also widened the website pages to a width more commonly used in site design now-a-days and adjusted the navigation from a sidebar to a horizontal bar across the top of each page, where most newer sites choose to place their navigation.
Last but not least we made the site completely adaptive. Now it adjusts to display nicely to accommodate all device types, especially mobile phones.
Happy Hollow introduced online signup forms quite a few years back. Over the years they’ve added more options and products and the forms were updated to include them. What was once a cool online signup form had grown into a bit of a confusing situation that was overwhelming to visitors (and the rest of us too!). For starters, each form had a ton of options and packages to comb through on one long page, and in the end they also had a hard time understanding the estimated total cost and what it included.
We remedied the problem by restructuring the signup forms into a manageable step-by-step style with itemized totals that calculate as selections are made. The “Next” and “Previous” buttons displayed at the bottom of each step allow visitors to easily digest and change requested information while filling out form sections. And now they’re less confused about the costs of membership because an itemized list and overall total is displayed through each step, like a grocery store receipt.
The Happy Hollow Farm photo gallery was so outdated, it just wasn’t functioning properly anymore, so they stopped using it altogether–a real shame for an organization that takes such an image-based approach to their branding style! We installed the PRO version of their photo gallery plugin and reformatted the gallery images to be larger and better organized for easy navigation to fix the problem. Now they’re back in the photo sharing game.
Happy Hollow Farm grows gorgeous flowers too! And far be it from us to deprive the flower-loving population of fresh, high-quality bouquets. We plucked the flower information and options, buried in the Membership Q&A page on the original website, and gave it its own place to live on the updated site so anyone interested in flowers could find Happy Hollow Farm more easily when searching online. The added bonus here is this page brings flower people into the website where they can read related blog posts and learn about other services Happy Hollow Farm offers that they didn’t know about before.
Does your website need step-by-step forms with itemized totals, or do you just need a website in general? Contact the team at MayeCreate Design. We believe websites work when good design meets solid functionality. Our web designs always aim for ease of use and clear communication. Check out our portfolio for a look at our other projects and to get your pride on…today.
Katie is a Designer & Content Developer at MayeCreate Design. Her responsibilities and experience include content development for websites and online marketing, blogging, general website maintenance, graphic design, ad campaign management, project management, office management, bookkeeping, and customer service. As a wife, mom, twin, seasoned karaoke singer and amateur rock climber, she’s seen the world from many perspectives and thrives to bring an open mind and clear vision to her position here at MayeCreate.
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