Specialty blog

3 Lessons Our New Website Taught Us

The 90s called and wanted their website back, so we launched a new one! It’s been a long, hard process despite our earlier hopes, but we’re incredibly happy with the final product. To celebrate and make the process a tad easier for you if you head down this path in the future, we’ve put together a short summary of some important lessons learned.

1. Tell your story

We’re a family run business with a deep love for the people we work with. We had no interest in littering our website with stock images; we wanted to feature our peeps. With inspiration from Mackelmore and Ryan Lewis’ Thrift Shop video, we decided to get glammed up and go out on the town. Thanks to local superstars Jamel Mosely, our photographer, and Malaika Iyok, our stylist (oh yeah, we had a stylist) we got some incredible photos to feature on the website. We’re especially loving on this photo of Specialty Box co-founder, David Fialkoff. We call him Big Papa. Anyways, if you’re making a website, don’t forget to tell your story. Give your audience something to grab on to.

2. Content kicks your butt

We intended on releasing our website in June. Here we are in November, finally telling you about it. And, as much as we’d like to, we can’t blame this on the jammed up supply lines. What we didn’t take into consideration is how much time it takes to create content for a website. We had to line up the team photoshoot, get pictures of products, reach out to our customers for testimonials, and so much more. Our resident artist, Erika Endres, even drew some helpful diagrams to explain our different products. Check out the Twisted Handle Paper Shopper page for a graphical education on this very common product. So, if you’re gonna start working on your new website, maybe start first by gathering all the content. Then, get started on the website. Special thanks to our friends at Axiacore, our developers, for crafting a beautiful front and backend for us to realize our vision.

3. Prioritize the Minimum Viable Product

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is an idea we stole from the software industry. Basically, an MVP is the smallest, good-enough thing you can launch. At every turn, we were pulled to require more of our new website. We wanted more products, more functionality around quoting, tools for our customers, and a laundry list of other features each of which would’ve added some amount of incremental value for our visitors. The MVP concept encouraged us to remember that we can always add more later, and to keep our eyes on the prize: getting a new website up.

We hope these ideas make your next website a little easier. Feel free to reach out if you’d like some more details on our experience. In the meantime, leave us a note on our shiny new contact us page. Links to dog pics always welcomed!

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