I’m happy to announce the launch of the redesigned website for The Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast.
Located in Gladstone, Michigan, The Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast is located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where you will enjoy spacious accommodations in a historic farmhouse surrounded by acres of farmland.
The Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast owner felt the current website didn’t convey the experience the guests have at her bed and breakfast.
Also, the owner felt the current site colors weren’t appropriate.
New photos had been taken and the owner wanted the images incorporated into the new website design.
While the earlier site was created with WordPress, it had not been updated for three years with WordPress core and plugin updates.
Which is a security hazard, since WordPress releases address security issues in the code.
In addition, features and functionality for the redesigned site would include:
- Expanded information about the bed and breakfast, including workshops, food, and vacation guide
- Current development techniques: HTML5 and replacing the outdated Cufón font replacement
- Working contact form on the contact page (previous form didn’t send messages)
- Adding Facebook and TripAdvisor links
- Updating content to be more focused on the personal services at The Farmhouse
I worked with the web designer, discussed my thoughts on the redesign, and recommended small changes to fonts, colors, and wording to create a more usable and accessible website.
She accepted my recommendations and we moved forward to get the new site designed and launched in fall 2018.
Goals for the Redesign
For the site redesign, we wanted to make sure the website was easy to use, accessible, and highlighted photos of the Farmhouse and nearby area.
The goals also included:
- Creating a responsive website, where content displayed well across all digital devices
- Using WordPress, which the earlier site used
- Updating to a different theme, since the WordPress theme used on the previous site was a custom theme
Redesigning the Site
The Farmhouse site architecture expanded to several more pages and subpages from the previous design.
The site menu proposed by the designer included 11 choices for the main menu.
I explained that an 11-item main menu was overwhelming for users and would be challenging to display well on smaller devices.
After conducting a short usability test for menus, two of the main menu items becoming subpages with links on their main menu page.
Menu labels were rewritten:
- About Us changed to About
- Our Accommodations changed to Accommodations
- Food Glorious Food changed to Food
- Get Together changed to Venue
To make sure the Farmhouse site would be quickly recognized by website visitors, I recommended the logo be added to the top left section of each page.
For improved website performance, I recommended not using a slideshow (often called a carousel) on the Home and About pages.
Studies have shown slideshows impact page load negatively and users rarely look beyond the first image in the slideshow.
Instead, I recommended one of the photos from the slideshows be used as a hero image on the Home and About pages.
And suggested the additional photos for the About page slideshow could be used in a tiled photo gallery on the page.
Font color was darkened to provide better contrast and the font size increased for better readability.
Renee at The Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast was very happy with the redesigned site.
It was my pleasure to work with Renee and her designer (who lived half-way around the world) to create a redesigned website that better showcased the warm, personalized service and hospitality at The Farmhouse.
If you’re looking for a peaceful retreat to a bed and breakfast in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, visit the The Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast in Gladstone, Michigan.
Website project: WordPress, customized theme, responsive design, CSS animation, project management, imagery optimization, mobile-friendly user experience.