A Client That Did Things Right

Every web design company has clients that insist on doing things wrong. They decide to go with a design they like that looks like something from 1998. They can’t seem to understand that other people use different monitor resolutions. They “don’t want to be bothered” with receiving contact forms. But here I will talk about a Richmond Media client that did almost everything right.

 

LeYaca - old

LeYaca's old website

LeYaca is a French restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia that has been in business for 25 years. They have a great reputation, and in my opinion they are the best restaurant in Williamsburg, bar none. We built them a website in 2007, and we did it right, for the time. The header was an elaborate Flash slideshow (with gypsy music), they had a lightbox gallery, and they even had a QuickTime panorama of their main dining room.

Considering the year, the website was loaded with features. They added a 3rd party registration system (Open Table) in 2008, and remained relatively invested in their website.

In November/December of 2008, they had 1,179 site visitors, with 3,124 page visits, a decent showing for a restaurant in Williamsburg.

By late 2010, the website was definitely showing its age. QuickTime panoramas were a thing of the past, the SEO was old, the look was more for the old. narrow CRT monitors. I did a few mockups and met with the owner. He wanted us to design a really “artistic” website that would stand out and be unique for the area. Since they weren’t very technically savvy, I decided to stay old school and go with an html site, since they offer more freedom in design.

LeYaca - current

LeYaca's current website

I tossed out EVERYTHING, and built a widescreen site with a split, translucent content area over unique background photographs for every page. We added a beautiful broadband slideshow, a huge embedded Google Map, an expanded menu section and more. LeYaca paid a small maintenance fee to have their special menus changed weekly, and holiday specials were changed on the Home page as they came and went.  We also amped up their email campaign.

And now, November/December of 2011 so far, they have had 3,544 site visits and 9,223 page views – almost triple the previous site’s numbers. In addition, they were just proclaimed 1 of the 100 best overall restaurants in the Nation by the diners on Open Table in 2011, winning the OpenTable Diner’s Choice – 2011 Annual Winners – Best overall.

Now I am certain the the great food, ambience and service had something to do with the success of the website and the restaurant… but we will take a little credit for Richmond Media too, along with the restaurant’s owner, who knows when to rely on the experts to get the job done right.

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