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full service web design

Web design
Your own little slice of the internet
Web development
Add a dynamic element to your site, or get a full blown web application
Domain registration/renewal
We'll help you pick a name for your site, and make sure your rights to it stay current
Web hosting
Somewhere to put your site so people can find it

Where do I begin?

A lot of business owners are aware, at least on some level, that it would be a good idea to have a website for their business. But we've found that a lot of people aren't really sure what that entails, or how to go about getting a website - let alone one that gets the results they're after.

We get it. When you're running a business you have a lot on your plate already, and you probably don't have time to add Web Designer, Developer, and Copywriter to your resume. That's where we come in. We'll sit down with you for a free consultation, and help you decide on the best course of action for your needs and budget. Maybe (hopefully) that means getting us to build you a custom site to maximize your branding, image and functionality. Or maybe it turns out we're not the right fit after all, but at least we can point you in the right direction.

First of all, why is having a good website so important?

85% of consumers say that they have used the Internet to find local businesses in the past, and 16% do so every week.

In 2015, 64% of all in-store sales were influenced by the Internet.

In short, it increases your accessibility and credibility. A well built site will make it easier for potential customers to find your business. Keeping that site relevant, adding only high quality content will set you apart from your competitors and enable you to build a solid foundation of credibility and trust, making a strong first impression before you ever meet a new customer in person.

Since so many consumers start their search online, your webite is probably going to be the first experience potential customers have with your business, and it will set the tone for all future interactions. If they can't find you online, there's a good chance they'll find someone else. If they have a bad experience on your site, they're going to look for someone else.

On the other hand, if visitors find your site helpful, engaging and easy to use, you can impress them, build credibility and establish yourself as an industry leader in their mind, all before you even know who they are.

Custom or template?

How important is brand presentation?

Are you after advanced functionality?

Do you want quality, attention and support?

Do you want to provide a truly unique experience for your visitors?

There's a lot of options out there, but they all fall into one of these categories. Build from scratch, or start with a template? The best way to determine what's right for you is to just sit down and talk about your project. Take an hour, maybe grab a coffee. Tell us about your business and what, if anything, you have in mind for your site.

How important is brand presentation?

Are you after advanced functionality?

Do you want quality, attention and support?

Do you want to provide a truly unique experience for your visitors?

Regardless of the route you choose to take, your website is an extension of your business and needs to be treated as such. It needs to reflect the personality, culture and voice of your company. It needs to be consistent with your branding. And above all, it needs to satisfy visitor's needs. Remember, your site belongs to you, but it's not for you. People will come to your site with a purpose in mind, and fulfilling that is your first priority.

What sets BlueCurtain apart? Why should I get you to build my site?

We build custom websites. It follows our company vision, and is the best way to provide a truly unique and exciting experience for your visitors. It also means we don't have to work within the limitations of a template's design or its framework's functionality. Content and design are developed side by side in a way that compliment each other. Rather than just making a static informational site, our goal is to create a dynamic online experience that really goes to work for you. This is where the development side of things comes into play:

Can your website help to streamline your sales process?

Can it be leveraged to alleviate some pain points that you're experiencing?

This is something that many people don't often think about ahead of time, simply because they don't know what is possible. It's not just about what your website says, but what it does. How can it engage and convert visitors, and generally make your life easier?

The fact is, there's a lot involved in building an effective website and what's considered "effective" will vary from one site to the next, depending on the goals for that project. Starting with our first meeting, we'll work with you to develop a strategy for your site. And then we'll take care of your project right through to posting it online in all its glory. From design to development, copywriting, speed and search engine optimization, registration and hosting, we've got you covered. Because you've got a business to run, and you probably want to get back to it.

We don't just build websites. We create web solutions.

A sampling of our work

Okotoks Film Festival (okotoksfilmfestival.ca)

We were really excited when the newly formed Okotoks film Festival approached us about building a site for them. It was a great opportunity to work together with some very creative people on a fun, media-rich project.

Okotoks Film Festival website, desktop view Okotoks Film Festival website, mobile view

Project Objectives:
They wanted their site to be fun and informative without being cluttered, which is a problem that plagues a lot of similar sites due to their sheer amount of content. It needed to be unique and recognizable, but had to maintain a format similar to other festival websites so that regulars would feel right at home.

The Process:
We started by sitting down with the OFF president and reviewing other festival sites to familiarize ourselves with the standard heirarchy and layout used, and to get an idea of what was working for them or, in some cases, what wasn't.

We already knew we wanted to incorporate video into the site design (thematically appropriate, if a little obvious). We decided on a fun idea for a Home page slide show, placing the viewer in a theater, watching the pre-show program as the audience mills around in front of them. In addition to highlighting events and site features, film previews will be shown as they become available.

It was also important that the site was fun to explore, but that information was readily available for anyone in a hurry. Full width splash images are used to add visual interest and reflect the purpose of each page visited. Additionally, each page begins with a summary that includes the most pertinent information available on the page, such as event dates and times, for quick reference. White space is used generously to keep the page friendly and inviting, and make sure that the viewer is never bombarded with too much information.

The Outcome:
It was a fun project to work on and, working hand in hand with their social media presence, it has helped generate a lot of buzz about the new festival. We really look forward to continuing development of the website as the Festival grows and matures. They're excited, we're excited ... creative types are very excitable, especially when working together.

West Rock Safety (westrocksafety.com)

We'd provided tech support for this client for a while already when he asked us to redesign his website as well. His company had created and managed their own template site previously, but after having it analyzed by a Search Engine Optimization specialist it was clear that it was really not living up to its potential.

West Rock Safety website, desktop view West Rock Safety website, mobile view

Project Objectives:
Recommendations ranged from reworking page content (something they could have handled themselves), to adding a range of page and element tags to help search engines understand and display page content (some of which they might have been able to do, dependant on their editor), to streamlining the site's code (which they had no control over at all: some templates and editors are better than others, but you get what you get).

The Process:
Since he always enjoys pursuing new ideas and opportunites, the flexibility of a custom website was actually a much better fit for his business anyway. For the site's design, we built on the theme suggested by the company's logo. We used a red and grey color palette along with subtle textures to primarily evoke solidarity and dependability, as well as energy and determination.

We've made numerous updates over time to reflect new enterprises, partnerships, and training programs the company has put in place, and they also have areas to post items with a shorter shelf life, like job opportunities and current projects.

The Outcome:
In the end, he got a new look that better reflected the company's image, a site that's faster, easier to use and maximizes their organic SEO returns, as well as allowing the ultimate flexibility for tackling future business ventures.

BlueCurtain

So it seems obvious, but it's still worth a mention. Specifically, let's talk about the evolution of our website:

Once upon a time, BlueCurtain didn't build websites. We fixed computers, period. As a technically minded company, getting a website was a no-brainer. We were not a design company at the time however, and for the first few years of our life we too had a (gasp!) template based website. We had enough know-how to muck around with the original template, adding or changing things as neccessary, but at its core it was more or less the same as 80% of the other sites out there.

BlueCurtain website, desktop BlueCurtain mobile, phone

Project Objectives:
And it didn't work. It wasn't even drawing in visitors, so it couldn't bring in new clients. We didn't have much in the way of visual branding either, so anyone that did manage to find us was greeted with a fairly generic and forgettable experience. There was nothing setting us apart, nothing special about it. So when we say that it's not enough to just have a website, trust us. We know.

For some reason, we did have some of our IT clients asking if we could help them out with their own websites (we're computer guys, websites are built on computers ...), and after a while we decided to give this web design thing a shot. And first up had to be our own site.

The Process:
First we sat down and worked on our branding. We liked the color and layout of our logo, but badly needed to replace the font (Papyrus ... we were so young and naive). Our new logo was stronger and a much better fit for a tech company. Then we placed it on a nice blue background and added the light flares to represent ideas and illumination, help frame the content, and mostly because they looked really, really cool.

Our website went through an awkward adolescent stage as we rebuilt it using our new style and branding, but maintained similar content and layout to what we had before. Regular clients were providing some very positive feedback about the changes, but it still wasn't really helping us grow the business.

Then we took a closer look at what was really important to each of us personally as well as for the business as a whole. Why do we do what we do?

To help people. Out-of-the-box solutions don't work for everyone, and we try to tailor our work to perfectly address our client's needs in all areas of the business. We're proud of the difference we make in people's lives, and we decided to highlight this by promoting our testimonials, placing them above the fold on the Home page for the world to see. Then we developed our company's vision and mission statements and placed them right under our opening paragraph.

Small, framed sites tend to look pretty silly on today's higher resolution monitors, so we finished modernizing the design by breaking right out of the box in favor of nice open spaces. We used a deeper, richer blue for the background to increase contrast and make the content stand out more. Then we carefully re-wrote all our site copy in a way that would maximize our organic SEO results.

The Outcome:
The difference was immediate. Our page started working it's way up Google's search results, and people started finding us on their own! Fast forward a little while, and our website is now our single greatest source for new clients. We're also in the process of building a repository of tips, tricks, and how-tos that will make it more helpful to returning visitors as well.