Table Layouts, Broken Links, and Outdated Imagery, Oh My!

When a client reaches out to me for help with the presence online, Google is always my first step. When I searched for Harlow Builders and visited their website, it was like I hopped into a time machine and was taken back to 1999. Every page featured some sort of ‘Under Construction’ text that was placed there nearly a decade ago. Table layouts, broken links and outdated imagery, oh my!

Old Harlow Builders site design

The old HarlowBuilders.com. Not very inspiring.

Talking with Frank Harlow, president of Harlow Builders Inc, it was clear that a web presence wasn’t their number one priority. Working in a small town like Troy, Ohio definitely has its benefits when it comes to doing business. In towns like these, its all about who you know, and Frank knows just about everyone. Business is booming without a website, so the idea of having a great website to help an already strong company is an enticing one.

I set out to design a solution for Harlow Builders that wouldn’t get in the way of their day to day success, but aid them in generating even more business. WordPress isn’t usually my tool of choice, but it seemed fitting for this company. Evan Poeppelman, the person put in charge of the Harlow web presence, was a classmate of mine in high school, and I know that he has had some experience with web design in the past. A WordPress setup is exactly what this team needed to get the ball rolling.

New Home Page Design

The new HarlowBuilders.com homepage.

The design of the site is simple, and shows off the company’s most important asset: their homes. I’ve used large and bold imagery throughout the site, trying to truly immerse the user in the grandiose of Harlow’s designs. Luckily, the team was able to provide plenty of high quality photos to use for individual home landing pages. These pages list all of the features of each individual home, and really give users the ability to visit the home without leaving their computer. Each house has a comment thread, where users can interact with Harlow about a specific house. I thought this was necessary to cut down on phone calls into the office, and should help make things run a little smoother.

Featured Homes Section

New ‘Featured Homes’ Section that highlights homes that Harlow has for sale at any given moment.

Each page also has a contact form, which is something that was missing from this company’s otherwise awesome way of doing business. If its one thing I’ve learned in my experience designing sites for companies like these, its that a simple contact form on your website can do wonders. In today’s world, people are a lot more likely to fill out a ‘Contact Us’ form than they are to pick up the phone and call, especially after hours. This allows Harlow to stay connected to their users, even when there’s no one in the office.

Contact Form

A handy contact form at the bottom of each home design page make it easy for customers to keep in touch with the company. Individual Agent information makes this more personal.

Overall, Harlow Builders was an ideal customer. Unlike a lot of people who need a website, Harlow was a company with a very prestigious track record that I was able to add to by implementing a basic web presence. The team at Harlow now have an easy to use solution to handle potential clients that aren’t calling or walking in their office. I’m very interested to see just how this website effects their business.