Darrah’s Towing | Cedar Rapids, Iowa Website Design

Carmela, the owner of Darrah’s Towing, came to me about updating her website. She felt the website was outdated, didn’t represent the business well, and was frustrated with not being able to get website updates done easily. In order to come up with a new website she would be happy with, we focused on the problems first.

Website Problems

Carmela and I went over the things that should be changed about the website: Their slideshow was buried and the home page wasn’t very personal. Their Employee of the Month had been from the previous November (it was months old at the time) and their phone number was missing a digit. Yup, just missing. She also wasn’t allowed access to her Google Analytics, which is very important in making any website update decisions in the future. The logo contained a truck button that wasn’t actually a part of their logo. The navigation and random drop down menus were sort of confusing as well.

Carmela, really wanted the new website to feature the following things about her business:

  • As a 2nd generation family owned business, they’re very stable.
  • They offer 24 hour towing.
  • They’re reliable – with more than 300 calls per shift their employees are capable of handling any situation. (They handle more calls per shift than the local police department.)
  • They’re trustworthy – Since 1981, they have worked very closely with the local police department and are the largest towing company in Iowa.
  • Her employees are very hardworking people, who she appreciates.
  • They can tow any vehicle or large load.

I didn’t want to just build her a new website. I wanted to focus on solving the problems her current website is causing for her business.

Website Solutions

I kept Carmela very involved in the web design process. I made sure she knew exactly what I was going to build, before I built it. We worked together to get through the hurdles:

Issue: Their current provider refused to give Darrah’s Towing access to their Google Analytics data.
I could not understand this. You can not refuse someone to be able to view their own data for their website in which they have paid for and are using. I knew it had to be a miscommunication.

Solution: I wrote their current hosting provider with instructions to give my client access to information about their own website, without giving access to the hosting provider’s account. Turns out, they just didn’t know how to do this. Problem solved.

Issue: Their current provider couldn’t update their website.

Solution: To enable my client, I promised I’d build their website on WordPress, a popular content management system, which would allow them to update most of the content on their new website without even having to contact me. I also wrote up instructions for how to update their content on WordPress for them.

Issue: Logo source files were missing. Unable to get them from previous designer.

Solution: Their current logo would have limited us to using only a dark black background, like they were using before the website redesign. So I wrote the previous hosting company asking for the source files they used for the Darrah’s Towing logo. They sent me a .jpg file of the header on their current website. Since the .jpg file is not a source file and is low quality, that wasn’t going to work. So, I rebuilt their logo.

 

Issue: Outdated website & confusing navigation.

Solution: I custom designed a theme and had her approve it before I built anything. This included moving the content on random pages onto pages that made more sense. We focused on clear, clean navigation. This website is built using responsive CSS, so important content will not be lost on mobile devices. I also only used photos that were taken specifically for their business. I then integrated a slideshow in which she can customize the photos and captions herself.

The end result, also found at darrahstowing.com:

Darrah's Towing Responsive website design & development

Responsive website design & development

Carmela sent me an email the other day that said, You are awesome!!!! It is I who should be saying thank you! You have been so patient with me and I really appreciate it. You do very good work, Brea! You should be proud!

This is exactly why I do this for work.

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