Content management for a couture upholsterer

Recently I was contacted by Sarah Louise Dix, a rather chic couture upholsterer and designer of stunning bespoke furniture. Like many small businesses/sole traders, Sarah had a website which had been created by a friend, and she got in touch because her friend was no longer able to update the site. Although she initially wanted me to take over the updating, after a chat over hot chocolate, it became clear that the best approach in the long run was for Sarah to move to a system where she could control the site herself, without having to pay someone to do the updates for her. With the increasing popularity of iPhones and iPads, it also made sense to move away from Flash, which her site used for its image galleries, as Apple still seems dead-against supporting Flash on these platforms. It’s no good creating amazing furniture if people can’t see it. While there are many low-cost tools out there that could have done the job, Sarah wanted to keep most of her existing site’s design, and these tools would not have been able to replicate certain features such as the style of the image galleries she had for her products. And as she makes bespoke high-end products, she needed the site to keep its polished and professional feel, which is not easy to achieve with something like Google Sites or ClickPic. And I like to ensure that even the little things are covered when it comes to design, such as the little favicon which appears in the browser next to the web address… to me, details like this are what set apart professional sites from ‘off the shelf’ sites. And it’s all about detail when it comes to Sarah’s target market.

Luckily, the style she had on the site closely matched what Squarespace could do, with a little tweaking. So I created a custom Squarespace template, migrated her existing site content into the new system, and took the opportunity to also freshen up a few things and add some functionality like a News section. We also added a private area for Press, which meant she could direct media contacts to her own site rather than sending them emails and large files via DropSend.

A couple of hours of training, and Sarah was all set to take control of her site in future. I’m sure I’ll still pop over to the site from time to time, if only to drool over her amazing creations.