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The Vibe Mothersite

Thursday, 11 December 2014, Written by  Chris Hood

Welcome to the brand spanking new Vibe Website Blog: Our Latest Websites!

Since this is intended to be a write-up of all our latest websites, updated live as they enter the world, we would be remiss if we didn't start with our very latest website: Vibe Websites (or as we call it, The Vibe Mothersite, to avoid confusion).

We don't dig hypocrisy; this website was built using the same techniques, skills and resources that we would apply to our customers' sites, namely our CMS Expert package. Correct - this website is actually one of our own products.

What is it for?

Vibe are here to do business, and in a rare moment of transparency for this industry, we are going to share our exact purpose with you. Vibe Pay Monthly Websites are a successful product of The Good IT Company. They exist to make The Good IT Company money. The way they do that is a little unique - being non-contract, they have to be great for our customers, or they will leave. So in order to make us money, they have to make you money. In any case, they are product which we have to sell.

Therefore, this website exists to sell as many excellent websites as possible. It's our primary form of advertising, so let's not beat around terms like "online showcase" or "web presence" - this is our online money-getter. It needs to impress, reassure, and most importantly, sell sell sell. With that in mind, we can go about designing our site.

The Design

We started the design at the beginning, with a colour scheme and a logo. We have a dark grey (#333333) for body text, and a lime green (#DFF34B or "Chartreuse Bloom) and orange (#FF9900 or "Orange"). A few things we know from the getgo: dark grey works well with any modern font and is generally far more appealing on tablets than black text, lime green text does not look good on a white background, and orange looks great with everything apart from pink - to let's avoid pink.

We decided to use the lime green in large blocks for a main feature colour, and the orange sparsely as an accent and heading font. We also threw a blue in there for extra contrasting accents, because we are hooligans.

The Philosophy

We set out knowing our strongest selling points are our prices, our no-contract or upfront fee policy, and the quality of our existing websites. So visually, we wanted this site to present as many images of our websites at the reader as possible, along with impressive complementary imagery.

We also wanted to make sure that our prices were clearly visible and unmistakable, and that the reader is always aware that they are no-contract, with no upfront fee. While we don't advocate style over function, this is a web design website, so it had to look brilliant, with every detail absolutely spot on.


The Function

In order to achieve the aim of selling websites, this site has to pull visitors in, intrigue them, and drive home exactly why they want a Vibe Pay Monthly Website. It then had to make the process of buying one as easy as possible. It had to alienate no-one; a common flaw of many over-designed websites is that the visitor feels overwhelmed, old fashioned or belittled in comparison. "Look how cool we are syndrome" is the biggest mistake that any web provider can make, and the majority are guilty of it.

For this to be achieved, we had to make information about our sites easily available, which means making text jump off the page, and using techniques like tab boxes for fast browsing, and complete navigation from the main menu. We also had to optimise the website for speed to make browsing it a pleasure. Our light-speed Vibe server (aka The Millennium Falcon) took care of that largely, but we also had to be careful about our use of images and their quality, and the amount of script-heavy gizmos we loaded onto the site, in order to keep browsing quick and easy.

As with any advanced site we build (other than Ecommerce), we opted for our most powerful platform available: Joomla K2 with all of our bespoke, juicy Vibe functions at our disposal. The next part of the story gets very technical and suitable only for those with a specific interest or far too much time on their hands, and we'll be covering all of that in our Web Developer's blog.

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