Your business is unique. Your needs are as well. So it stands to reason that your website shouldn’t be like anyone else’s. That’s why we only build custom websites.
At What A Great Website, we approach web development on a case-by-case basis. Since your business is unique, we think your website should be, too.
Your site should have a special look and feel that reflects who you are and what you do — not look like one of your competitors. That special look and feel is what we build into your site.
What do you really need?
Your goals are our focus.
What do you want your website to accomplish? Does it serve as your online store or does it simply support — and send customers to — your offline store?
Eager for the phones to ring? Want to set up more face-to-face meetings? Simply looking for visibility? Whatever you want to accomplish is what we build your site to do.
Engaging your audience is key to reaching your goals. You’re taking viewers on a journey. We make sure the journey is enjoyable and informative. We do this through clear and concise messaging, engaging visuals, and ease of navigation, so the viewer can quickly and easily learn more about your company and why they should do business with you.
We design a website you’ll like. So will your audience.
As part of our discovery process, we ask you to show us examples of websites you like and tell us what you like about them. Why? Seeing sites that resonate with you helps us build a website that fits your sensibilities.
Is your site authentic?
Your website should speak your message in your voice. It should sound authentic, not like corporate speak but like something you would comfortably say. Because we don’t use existing templates, your site will not sound (or look) like anyone else’s.
When you hire us, you can be confident that you’ll get a website designed explicitly for you and your business.
It sounds like a lot of work, but it moves quickly and the process is energizing. And in the end, your customers will say “Wow! What a Great Website.”
We build great websites. Not bragging. It’s feedback we get from our clients.
We start from a premise that a website should be an engaging visual representation of your brand. Visitors should not have to guess who you are, what you do or how you can help them.
What sets us apart from other web design and development firms is our marketing background. We’re not just building a beautiful website. We’re creating a marketing tool that will help you build your business.
What makes a website great?
A great website should be enticing, informative, easy to navigate (intuitive), clean and
user-friendly. And it should be relevant to the type of business you run and your brand. Technically, it should provide an enjoyable user experience (UX). It should load quickly, be responsive (look good on any size screen) and contain links that work.
Where oh where is your website?
The most beautiful website in the world is useless if no one sees it. It’s critical that your web team understands SEO (search engine optimization) and knows which search terms people use when looking for your product or service. We understand how people use the
Internet. So our websites are designed and written to be quickly found by Google, Bing and other search engines. If extensive SEO programs are needed, we have specialists that we bring in to perform that function.
Your website is a marketing tool.
The goal of each website we build is to increase your business or grow your organization’s visibility. Because What A Great Website! approaches website development as
marketers, the sites we create are designed to make that happen.
How We Work
At our first meeting, we sit down and gather any information you have to share about your business or organization. This is the Discovery Phase.
We learn what you want your site to accomplish, talk about sites you like, and what’s
wrong with your current site (if you have one). We discuss style, color, voice, and any other marketing material you’re using to build a visual identity. Then we go back and digest everything we’ve learned and do some due diligence of our own.
We want to see what the competition is doing, what your target market is looking for and
what people are saying about your company, if anything. Then, based on your specific needs and what you want your website to accomplish, we craft a proposal that details how we move forward and a timeline.
We work as a team.
When we work together, you’re in the loop from beginning to end. No surprises. You see the site develop as we build it. Your input is important to ensure that you get what you want.
We tell it like it is.
If we feel that something you’d like is not workable – like a page that’s far too busy or cluttered or difficult to read — we’ll let you know. You’re hiring us for our expertise, so we won’t agree with anything we think will impede your site’s success.
Our team is very efficient. We turn things around and respond quickly. That enables us to build your website within the timeframe we’ve given you.
Once your website is completed on our developer site and you’ve approved it, we port it over to your web host and the site goes live. At that time, we set up your training session for whoever will be maintaining the site. If you prefer, we can do this for you on a monthly basis at a very reasonable fee.
We’re a triumvirate. Three Chicago area professionals, each with our own area of expertise, who’ve collaborated on a bunch of projects over the past five years. We love working together. It’s fun even though it’s work. And we love making our clients happy. We also share the same work ethic. Build compelling custom websites — on time and within budget — to meet each client’s specific need, whether that’s getting phones to ring or simply increasing visibility. So two years ago, we legitimized our relationship and formed a web design and development company. The name we all like? What A Great Website! A little about each of us…
Steve Stern chief technology expert and website developer
Steve is an Information Technology senior management professional with years of experience in association management, higher education, commercial education, and commercial real estate industries. He’s an expert in Mac and Linux environments as well as a wide variety of software and systems and is very active in the WordPress support community.
Trained as a research scientist, Steve’s highly organized methodology meshes well with his ability to find creative opportunities and solutions. A natural problem solver who loves a challenge, if there’s something special you want your website to do, he’ll figure out how to make it happen. Steve serves on the Board of Directors of South Lakeview Neighbors, a Chicago neighborhood association. Read more at sterndata.com
Iris Marreck designer and creative director
With over thirty years of design and marketing experience, Iris’ expertise is in all elements of print design and digital marketing. She’s skilled at creating branding and design that reflects each client’s vision and enhances their image. Her success is based on a keen understanding of each client’s target market and the ability to create a compelling (and often stunning!) visual translation. Iris has worked with a wide variety of businesses and non-profits to greatly improve their Internet presence and the usability of their websites.
A vocal advocate for small business, she sits on the board of the North Shore Chapter of the Small Business Advocacy Council (SBAC) and is actively involved in the organization’s communication program. Read more at irisb.com
Rickey Gold marketing strategist and copywriter
Rickey is a marketing communications strategist and copywriter whose marketing campaigns help clients grow their businesses. She specializes in persuasive, but accurate, positioning as a base for the marketing messages that will drive sales of your product or service. While the style and tone of each website she writes is unique, Rickey’s copy is always clear, concise and compelling. Each word is there for a reason – to entice, excite, enhance or explain.
Rickey has been a member of the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce for twelve years, serving as a board member for six. When she’s not working, she enjoys yoga, hanging out with her rescue, Charley, and volunteering with Alive Rescue, a no-kill shelter in Roscoe Village. Read more at rickeygold.com