When my youngest came along, I basically stopped taking on site design.  Many reasons, but the primary being that logo, print and web graphic/ad design are smaller projects, thus I’m able to turn them over in a more timely manner.

Lately I find that many small businesses are utilizing the various e-commerce hosts that allow the user to apply a template design to ones’ shop and consequently create the pages of their site from a simple WYSIWIG editor built into the admin area.  A beautiful set-up for those that are fairly computer savvy and maybe even know a bit of html (or are willing to learn the basics), as they are able to then manage their site on their own without paying someone else to do it.  Especially fabulous for those on a budget, and here’s why:  paying to have someone design an entire site is costly (and unless you are comfortable using a program like Dreamweaver to make modifications to your site when necessary, you’ll have the additional cost of paying someone to maintain and upgrade it for you).  But the fees for these hosts/carts are EXTREMELY reasonable, especially given that it provides an easy way to keep track of your inventory, sales, etc. So instead of paying to have an entire site designed and maintained, you pay to have a one-page template created that provides you with the overall look and structure of your site.  MUCH easier on the budget.

So why am I going on and on about this template stuff?  Because I’ve discovered that it’s a terrific way for me to do a bit of web design again!  While I’m still not taking on entire site design, I am doing individualized template design.  I’ve worked on 3 recently, all of which were new designs for currently existing sites.  Refreshers!

Katy at Regarding Peanut was my first ‘official’ client, way back last year when we created her logo!  I just love working with her, and am always so pleased when she comes to me with new projects.  Her ‘old’ site was blog-based, and when she made the leap to a full e-commerce site and the hosted cart, we leapt in together!  Katy carries wonderfully stylish, functional products for parents and kiddos.

Naturally Nurslings is owned by Erika, a fabulously talented lady whom I’ve had the pleasure of doing several projects with (keep ’em coming!).  She was already using a cart, but wanted a new site design with a bit more oomph and style, pulling from the colors of the little baby graphic/logo (baby not designed by me).  Along with the basic template design, we created coordinating ‘boxes’ to contain her Customer Service links and blog feed, as well as several other ‘containers’ for various text and images.  And then luckily she loved her new design so much that we spiffed up her blog as well (that’s the blog on the right)! Along the the wonderful natural parenting products that Erika carries, her site is also home to her fantabulous Nurslings Hemp Tai.

And my most recent project was for Silje of Bittebror!  Silje wanted to brighten up her site a bit to better spotlight the items in her shop, as well as add a bit of fun.  Again, we worked the design around the colors in her already-existing logo/graphic (not designed by moi), but made the overall design a bit more ‘mod’.  Silje is in Norway, so we had to create both an English and a Norwegian version of the template.  Bittebror is carries toys, clothing, baby carriers and skin care products, but it’s also home to Silje’s own exquisite carrier, the Bittebror Hybride!