My first client paid me $250 for a small website design for his wife: that was nearly 23 years ago.
I still remember going to Walmart to purchase FrontPage ’97 and building that first website in a small office in the back of my garage. If you don’t remember working in FrontPage extensions, that was a blast! Over the years I have been a freelance web designer getting paid in books; an Internet Development Manager for a regional news portal; the co-founder of an amazing agency, Red Clay Interactive; and now I’ve had Bright Tribe for 13 years. My how time flies!
We started out doing custom website design
Because my background was in leading teams to do custom websites, that’s what we did originally at Bright Tribe. I hired a team of brilliant Georgia Tech computer science guys who spent months developing our proprietary CMS. It was a significant investment of time and money. At the time our projects took 4-6 months to complete and were incredibly expensive. Back then our average website design was $30-50k and it took a village to add a button to a page. At that time, WordPress was the most basic of blogging platforms.
Why we started doing WordPress website design
The challenge we faced with our custom web design was how difficult it was to keep our CMS up-to-date with browsers. Every time we turned around, an automatic update in a browser would break some part of our CMS. It was a huge money pit to keep everything going – not to mention the economy started to take a turn and these large projects became fewer and fewer. That’s when I took a look at WordPress.
To test the waters, I redesigned my personal blog in WordPress and was shocked at how easy it was to design. I was hooked. I found a small development team with experience building custom WordPress sites, and were off. Again, because of my background, we did everything custom, but it was faster and less expensive. That was great for business and my clients.
After about 3 years doing custom WordPress websites, I was introduced to the world of premium themes. This was another major paradigm shift for Bright Tribe.
What we do today – Small business WordPress websites
In the past we provided a full range of marketing and design services, but for the last 6 years or so, Bright Tribe has focused primarily on two core services: WordPress corporate identity website design and on-site SEO.
Here’s an example of a recent redesign we did for Lanier Color. Below you can see the Before & After screenshots.
In with the New
Out with the Old
Our goal is to provide beautiful, highly intuitive, mobile-responsive websites that communicate a strong verbal and visual identity.
And most of our web design today is WordPress theme customization. We choose to do this rather than custom web design for several reasons:
- Speed: We can typically launch a simple website in 3-4 weeks. This is significantly faster than building a custom site.
- Cost: Secondly, because we customize premium WordPress themes, we’re able to manage development costs and do projects for less than a custom website.
- Updates: One of the advantages of designing with a premium theme is the ability to keep it up-to-date. Unlike custom sites that typically sit stagnate, building with a premium theme ensures that your site stays updated against the latest security threats and compatibility issues.
- Usability: Working with premium themes also allows for a lot of flexibility in design and usability when it comes to managing the website long-term.
Do you have a website that needs a refresh?
Give us a call today and let us see how we can help you grow your business, increase your brand awareness and engagement and build a website you’ll be proud of. We look forward to hearing from you!