Now a Healthy 14 Year Old: Watching a Client’s Website Grow Up
Last week, after completing and relaunching an upgrade of a client's custom Wishlist functionality, we thought it would be fun to take a look back over the past 14 years, simply to appreciate how far the client has come.
The Client: Alpine Party Rentals, the premiere party, wedding, and event rental company serving Vail, Aspen, and the surrounding Colorado high country areas.
Alpine Party has thousands upon thousands (upon thousands) of items for rent, and they're one of just two Certified Event Rental Professionals (CERP) in the state of Colorado. They're amazing.
Previous owners + previous web company
Before current owners Dave and Rachel Smiley took the reins, the previous owners of Alpine Party hired a different web company to design and build their site. (We can't fault them for that, as Followbright wasn't founded until 2002.)
Here's what the original company website, built in 1999, looked like:
A solid step forward 7 years later...
In 2005, Dave and Rachel Smiley purchased Alpine Party from the original owners and reached out to multiple web companies as they looked to upgrade their website. As you may have deduced from the title of and content thus far of this blog post, they chose to hire us.
In the mid-2000s, the company's brand featured green and gold, including a golden logo and the promotion of an upscale feel through the repeated use of gold.
The new site was launched in 2006. Though the design looks outdated, remember this was created 7 - 8 years ago (eons in the web world).
It was a tremendous, smart step forward at the time, from the quality of the content, to the intuitive organization of the new content, to the custom build-your-own-Wishlist functionality, to the polished, then-modern, new design.
Here's what the 2006 homepage looked like...
And here's the 2006 About page...
Fast forward to 2012...
Since 2006, the Alpine Party brand has continued to evolve. As whip-smart business owners (our absolute favorite type of clients), Dave and Rachel understood their site needed to to keep up with their image, and that it needed to present them as the modern, contemporary brand they are. It was time for a refresh, and we moved forward.
This time the site didn't receive a complete overhaul—just a rejuvenating facelift.
Below is the refreshed homepage design launched in 2012. Gone are the gold gradients, drop shadows, and white glows. In their places are a contemporary color palette, cleaner fonts, improved photography, and an overall fresher and more modern feel. (You can view the refreshed design at the live site here.)
Here's the 2012 About page...
Here's a partial shot of their products landing page...
The next step in the site's evolution...
Websites are never done, and there's always ways to make profitable improvements. That's part of the reason our jobs here are so fun.
During the upcoming years, websites must get serious about accommodating mobile users as a larger and larger percentage of people using the web are doing so from phones and tablet devices. (And yes, yes, reworking the Followbright site so that it can be easily used on mobile devices is high up on our own To-Do list here.)
Though Alpine Party's site is now fresher and more modern, the next step in its evolution should be an upgrade focused on accommodating its mobile users.
We're looking forward to an ongoing, wonderful relationship with our friends at Alpine Party, and are truly honored we get to watch and be a part of their website's ongoing growth and improvement.