Taking You Further
As the Creative Director for HOSTING, I lead the creative charge on getting HOSTING a much better logo to accompany the new branding.
Taking You Further. The new branding is based purely around the idea of navigation. For businesses who want to be in the cloud, business becomes very overwhelming to navigate. It was our goal to produce a brand that emboded HOSTING’s committment to the customer experience. In providing the best customer experience.
The Mark: The mark resembles a compass rose with slight modifications
As the Creative Director for HOSTING, I lead the creative and web development charge on building HOSTING a website that reflected the new brand.
Overall site Improvements:
- New branding
- CMS site migration from Umbraco 4 to WordPress
- Migration of 1800 content pages
- Rewrite & clean up of 5,000 lines of CSS code
- Mobile ready page templates
- Better site navigation
What more info on the project?
The previous website was a disaster. It was a branding train wreck and the CMS, Umbraco, was extremely old and outdated and causing lots of problems.
When we went through the rebranding we had to reskin the disaster of a CMS with all the new branding. In that process I had to wear the hat of web developer and wrote over 5,000 lines of CSS in one month (360hrs in one month to be exact) in addition to my creative duties to accomidate the new look. In this time I had made tons of preperations to migrate to a new CMS, WordPress, in the coming months. I strategized our furture and wrote the code to make the transistion to WordPress a little easier.
When we made the move to WordPress it was quite the task. I had a web developer I was working with and we tag teamed much of the website. To put context to the project, we had 1800 pages of content that need to be migrated. To say the least, it was quite a daunting task, but we managed to get there.
As the migration to the new CMS was being conceptualized I laid out a strategy, an odd one due to budget constraints, to have the migration be done in a three stage process. First, migrate site content and basic look and feel to the new CMS. Second, enhance user experience on pages to increase lead gen possibilities. Third, build smoking new page templates to give us the new look and feel we need to really stand out in the cloud hosting industry of nearly 3,000 service providers.
In a normal web environment all of this would have been really simple, but there is a component that was immensely underestimated. This is a HA (highly-available) architecture and this threw many other issues into the mix. Things like server replication. Since the website handles nearly 230K of traffic every month we have a load balancer serving traffic to one of the two servers running the company website. After rounds and rounds of discussions with platform folks we finally got it all under control and started on a solid path in building a better website.
A year later the website is a loads better than it was when I came on-board. As the Creative Director I had to take on a lot and wear many hats like, creative director, designer, web developer, photographer, videographer, motion graphic editor & video editor.
Umbraco was developed by Niels Hartvig in 2000 and released as open source software in 2004. In 2009, CMS Wire described it as one of the leading .NET-based open source CMS systems. In 2010, with 1000 downloads a day, Umbraco was in the Top 5 most popular downloads via the Microsoft Web Platform Installer, two places below its main rival DotNetNuke and was the 12th most downloaded application from Codeplex, six places below DotNetNuke and 13 places higher than mojoPortal.
Web page comps for stage two
Page comps for the second stage of the the three stage website redesign strategy
The Old HOSTING Website
When I came on-board at HOSTING this is way the website looked. At the time of this look and feel the brand was completely fractured and two different branding color schemes along with two separate messaging systems were in place. There was this black, orange and white; And a blue, green and white. Everything on the web was black, orange and white. Everything printed was blue, green and white. Needless to say it was a branding nightmare and a total mess. Nearly two years later, things have come a long way and are a lot more consistent.
As the Creative Director for HOSTING, I lead the creative charge on building HOSTING a whole new set of collateral pieces to reflect their new brand.
New data sheet and white paper templates were created with writers in mind. I built InDesign templates to be used in conjunction with InCopy for writers to have real-time view of their copy as they created content. The idea was to allow writers to have full control of a document’s copy to allow for a much more streamlined process in creating marketing collateral. The templates were laid out for ease of use, a three column template with a copy flow strategy, thus easing the creation of a wide range of copy for a large selection of products that HOSTING offers.
New collateral items: data sheets, white papers, PowerPoint presentations, 10′x 20′ trade show booth, popup banners
Modular Trade Show Booth