About You

The goal of each website we build is to increase your business or grow your organization’s visibility. Since What A Great Website! approaches website development as marketers, the sites we create are designed to make that happen.

A great website doesn’t look like anyone else’s. It has a special look and feel that reflects your brand — who you are and what you offer customers and clients. That clarity of look and feel is what we build into your site.

A great website doesn’t sound like anyone else’s. Content is authentic and honest — not corporate speak but rather something you would comfortably say in a conversation. Since we don’t use existing templates, your site doesn’t sound (or look) like anyone else’s.

A great website is enticing, informative, easy to navigate (intuitive), clean and user-friendly. It’s also  relevant to the type of business you run and your brand. Technically, it provides an enjoyable user experience (UX),  loads quickly, is responsive (looks good on any size screen) and contains fully functional links.

Is it engaging?

Engaging your audience is key to reaching your goals. You’re taking viewers on a journey. So we make sure the journey is enjoyable and informative. We do this through clear and concise messaging, engaging visuals, and the aforementioned ease of navigation. So visitors can quickly and easily learn more about your company — and how you can solve their problem or meet their need.

When you hire us, you can be confident that you’ll get a great website — one designed explicitly for you and your business.

Why Us?

  • We build great websites. 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.
  • We understand SEO (search engine optimization) and how people use the Internet and search for your product or service.
  • Our websites are designed and written to be quickly found by Google, Bing and other search engines.
  • We’re honest.
    If we feel that something you’d like is not workable – like a page that’s too busy or cluttered or difficult to read — we’ll say so. You’re hiring us for our expertise, so we won’t agree with anything we think will impede your site’s success.
  • We work as a team….with you.
    When we work together, you’re in the loop from beginning to end. No surprises. You see the site develop as we build it.
  • We don’t disappear once your site is completed. We’re around to answer questions.
  • Our team members have solid marketing backgrounds.
    It’s what sets us apart from other web design and development firms. It also enables us to focus on and interpret your vision.


How We Work

The Discovery Phase starts with our first meeting where we sit down with you to learn about your business or organization.

We ask lots of questions:

  • What do you want your site to accomplish?
  • What other sites do you especially like….and why?
  • Who is your competition?
  • What’s unique about your firm and your products or services?
  • 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 your brand. Then we go back, digest everything we’ve learned and do some due diligence of our own.

Whatever you need your site to accomplish is what we build it to do.
It may not be what you thought you needed. But it WILL be what your business needs to grow and thrive.

Based on your input and our research, we craft a proposal that details how we’ll move forward, scope of work, a timeline and the cost to design and develop your new website.

Next Steps: The Process

If you decide to hire us (and we hope you do), we give you a contract to sign, you give us 50% of the site fee, then we’re off and running.

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 is approved, 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.

About Us

We’re a triumvirate. Three Chicago area professionals, each with our own area of expertise and backgrounds steeped in marketing. We met seven years ago at a networking event which led to collaborating on a bunch of website projects. We discovered some commonalties — a deep love of our city (especially in the summer!) and a common work ethic — be honest, be fair, make clients happy. We also really liked working together. So four years ago, we founded What A Great Website!

Our mantra: build compelling, marketing-driven, 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.  A little about each of us…

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 boards of the North Shore Chapter of the Small Business Advocacy Council (SBAC) and the SBAC Women In Business and is actively involved in the organization’s communication program. Read more at irisb.com

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

Rickey Gold marketing strategist and copywriter

Rickey is a marketing communications strategist and content development pro with twenty-six years of experience. Her specialty is clear and compelling copy. Each word is there for a reason – to entice, excite, enhance or explain to prospective clients how your company or organization can help them. She’s adept at positioning and messaging designed to engage your target market and drive sales of your product or service.

Rickey is a member of the SBAC and sits on the board of SBAC Women In Business. She was previously on the board of the Lincoln Park Chamber for six years and was their Small Business of the Year in 2007.  Read more at rickeygold.com