Blog Dog Tipis website was a freelance project I worked on. Their previous website had been built more than 10 years ago meaning it was not responsive, it had very poor SEO and the other design language was very dated. I was asked to design and develop an entirely new website that give the business a more attractive online presence and show up on the first page of Google when searing the companies name.
Freelance web designer and developer
A modern and responsive website built on WordPress that now organically shows as the first result on Google.
As this was a solo project it meant I was fully responsibile for every step in both the design and development process. This differs to other projects I’ve worked on where I have been part of a team. Additionally depending on the deliverable whether it is a website, app, protoype, branding or other type of design my process differs.
The main focus for my research was discussing with the client what they were looking for in their new website. By doing this I could figure out the problems and goals for the project. This led to me finding the following:
- Outdated look and feel
- Not responsive so is not easy to use on mobile
- The focus of the business and the website do not allign
- Very poor SEO so does not appear organically on Google even when searching “Black Dog Tipis”
- Pricing is unclear
- Redesign site with a modern look and feel
- Make the website responsive
- Give more of a focus to events and hire
- Get the business organically to the top of Google when searching”Black Dog Tipis”
- Add product tables that clearly state the price and what is included in the purchase
In addition to this I also did an audit of the existing website and conducted competitor anylsis of similar business’ websites to see what was working and not working for others.
The ideation and design phases were completed using Adobe XD. I created low fidelity wireframes, a design system and high fidelity wireframes that could be referenced when developing the website.
I kept the goals in mind throughout the design process to ensure good responsive design, a focus on events and hire and product tables that made the pricing clear to the customer.
The Black Dog Tipis website looks great on all breakpoints. Careful thought and testing went into the design for all devices so wherever the customers are browsing they are getting the best experience.
Events and Hire Focused
To bring more attention to events and hire I made the first 2 items on the homepage the upcoming events for the year and a promo for the hire page. Additionally I made the first two navigation items Events and Hire.
On the legacy website all pricing were either in text lists or tables. This made it very hard for customers to both find the pricing and then understand what they are getting for the pricing. To solve this on the new website I added large pricing tables that had a big emphasis on the price, the optional add ons and what is included with all products.
After completing the design phase I presented the mockups to the client and went back and forth a few times to ensure that the designs met their needs. I then started developing the website, I used WordPress, the default theme and my own custom style sheet to do this. I also took advantage of a number of plugins for elements such as the pricing table.
WordPress is a platform I am very familiar with having been using it to create client websites since I was 13. Although I am starting to venture out and using other platforms such as Webflow now I still use WordPress for most of my websites, including this portfolio.
Although user testing was not completed on this website before launch I did test a number of things
1. Client feedback
This was done by simply allowing the client access to the preview site and asking for them to explore it and become familiar with it. This led to a number of ammendments.
Using Google Lighthouse I completed an audit of the website performance, as you can see from the screenshot below the website performs very well. Before I published the website there were some tweaks needed to receive this high score by optimizing images and style sheets.
As you can see from the Google Lighthouse score above, the website receives a perfect score for its SEO. This it means when searching “Black Dog Tipis” on Google the new website built is the first result. This allows for the business to stop paying for Google Ads as they now appear organically which wasn’t the case for the legacy website.