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Rush, responsive website project completed for a Denver gardening conference

By Erin  |   Client Projects

Denver's Mile High Gardening Conference, June 1 + 2, 2013


At the beginning of this month we launched a brand new website for the first annual Mile High Gardening Conference, to be held at the downtown Denver Sheraton a few days from now—on June 1st and 2nd, 2013.

Though our typical website design and development process takes anywhere from 2 - 6 months, this custom-designed, responsive website was planned, designed, coded, populated and launched in record-setting time: less than 3 weeks. It had to happen; due to a perfect storm of circumstances, the event promoter came to us with an exceptionally limited time frame.

Urgent, ultra-rush projects have unique needs

Not surprisingly, urgent, it-must-be-done-immediately-or-baby-kittens-will-die projects can only be taken on if a number of critical pieces fall into place.

For an ultra-rush website project to be successful, the client must:

  • agree upfront to a straightforward, uncomplicated design
  • agree upfront to not nitpick the design or get bogged down in design details (which would cause extensive delays and result in a late launch)
  • provide all final text/content immediately
  • commit to responding to all emails and phone calls within 1 business day (but preferably same day)
  • commit to being a calm, collaborative contributor during the project

For an ultra-rush website project to be successful, we must:

  • nimbly complete extensive calendar rescheduling for the upcoming month to ensure existing projects and clients continue to receive the attention they deserve
  • be open to and willing to work slightly longer workdays for a short period of time (sometimes we're open to this, sometimes we're not)
  • charge a substantial rush fee on top of the standard project price
  • receive payment for 100% of the project prior to site launch, with the majority paid within 2 weeks of project initiation

The stars aligned and all of these pieces fell into place with this project.

As a result, the website was launched in record time, the client was able to immediately begin pulling in new sponsors and selling tickets online, and everyone was satisfied with a job well done.

Responsive and flexible

Perhaps you've run into a responsive design yourself recently? When a site is designed in a manner that automatically adjusts itself to display effectively based on the device a visitor is using, it's called a responsive web design.  

If you're not familiar with the concept of responsive web design (and that's okay!), let's take a quick look at this site's behavior to get a better feel for what I mean. Trust me, you're going to be seeing a LOT more responsive websites in the months and years ahead.

If you were to pull up the homepage of the new Mile High Gardening Conference website on your desktop or laptop, it would look like this:

website as seen on desktop


Now, as this is a responsive web design, if you were to re-size your browser window or pull the site up on your iPad or mobile phone, the site would automatically rearrange the elements on the page in a smart, organized manner—and look something along the lines of this...

mobile view of website



What to look for


Take a look at the image below (what someone might see if viewing the site on her phone) and note how the most important elements from the top of the page (when you looked at the image above representing desktop-view) end up stacking nicely and neatly on top of one another.

Also note how the navigation transforms itself into a drop-down menu when the site re-sizes itself for mobile devices:

drop down navigation

To better grasp the true magic of a responsive design, take a minute to open up this site on your desktop, then a tablet, then a phone. Do this and all this talk about the site rearranging itself will suddenly make perfect sense.

Success is oh so sweet (and lucrative)

Until we launched the website, the conference promoters' hands were tied. They were unable to efficiently sell tickets or land the big-name sponsors they needed to coordinate a highly successful event.

Immediately after the site launched, the conference promoter began securing tens of thousands of dollars in sponsorships and donations while simultaneously having the ability to instantly begin selling tickets to event attendees.

When rush is right

Whenever possible, we recommend companies give themselves a minimum of 4 months for a successful website design/development process.

A generous time frame allows for ample exploration, collaboration, breathing room, space for the unknown/unexpected, inspired additions, last minute changes, etc.

However, if a truly urgent need exists, and if the potential return on investment outweighs the (often hefty) rush price tag, hiring a trustworthy web agency to expedite a web design/development project can make good dollars and sense. (<-- Ouch, that was a cringe-worthy, eye-rolling conclusion, wasn't it? I'd apologize, but I'm hoping the platitude made you smile.)

And... you're invited!

Oh yes, I almost forget—of course, if you like gardening and plan to be in the Denver area this coming weekend, make sure to grab your tickets for the Mile High Gardening Conference today.

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