One of the things we love to do is shine the spotlight on the people who make up the Genesis community. Today we are focusing on the people behind the Recipe Blogger third-party theme – Anchored Design!
What do you do and who for?
I’m a user experience website designer with a development staff that hand codes all of my designs on the Genesis Framework. My clients range from creative entrepreneurs, to recipe bloggers, to speakers, to podcast hosts, to small creative business owners, to start-ups and non-profits.
Our ideal client is a small to mid-sized business that needs a new website or a re-design of an older website that isn’t working like they want it to.
During a few strategy sessions, I help the client to uncover who their target audience is and what the primary call to action is for their website. From there, I design workflows that convert their audience into subscribers or customers.
How are you different to other companies like yours?
The biggest difference between me and them is that I didn’t go to design school. I have a Bachelor’s in Business Admin with minors in small business development and entrepreneurship. I think like a businesswoman but highly skilled and self-taught as a designer. It’s the perfect blend of both worlds.
Secondly, I am also from a family of entrepreneurs — my parents are both small business owners along with my 3 siblings. My parents not only taught us that small business owners are where we can make the biggest impact, but my upbringing also taught me that the backbone to every small business is how we treat our customers.
At the end of the day, I don’t sell websites — I sell good, quality customer service.
I truly believe that the cornerstone of what makes Anchored Design a success is the unparalleled customer service paired with my creative ability to truly understand what a client needs.
Lastly, the third difference is that my development staff is in-house. I don’t have to establish development for my project when I’m done designing, because my team and I all share the same project schedule. I have worked with the same staff since 2015. We have a very good working communication, a solid understanding of how we do business and deliver an incredible, completed project every single time.
How did you get started?
In 2007, I quit my job as a Fortune-500 Recruiter for a large recruiting firm based out of Washington, DC to stay home and raise my brand new son, Jack. A few months later, my mom approached me with a plea for help. My parents needed websites for their businesses so their customers to find them on Yahoo! business and Maps. They decided that since I didn’t have a full time job anymore, that perhaps I would be more willing to learn how to build them websites.
A hand-coded HTML site using dreamweaver, GIMP and a plethora of other odd programs to build them some websites. Of course, they took hours to build, hours to update when their business hours changed or phone numbers changed.
Once I realized the ridiculous amount of time it took to keep these HTML sites updated, I knew I had to find another way.
How did you get started with Genesis?
By 2010 with 2 kids in tow, I was building website for small businesses and non-profits on WordPress. I learned how to find themes that met most of the client’s needs and then taught myself how to tear them apart and rebuild sections to finish the job.
But I knew there was more out there. My then developer suggested that I choose between DIVI and Genesis. So, I spent weeks researching both and determining which would be a better fit for my growing client base.
Having a presence on Google was becoming a common request from my clients. I was a prior SEO copyrighter and felt comfortable giving them some advice. But, while researching the two frameworks,
what stood out the most to me was the built in SEO-friendly approach that the Genesis Framework focused on.
By 2012, I purchased Pro Plus and began to exclusively design websites on the Genesis Framework. For a little while, I would use StudioPress and third party themes but shortly after, I realized the incredible value of building on the sample theme — where my imagination and creativity blended with the client’s needs and I could design the perfect website, suited for that business.
What mistakes do you see people making with their websites and/or WordPress?
There are 2 mistakes that I see far too often when it comes to clients and their websites.
- Clients trust their designers/developers and rarely get a second opinion until it’s too late. So often new clients come to us because they feel wronged by their current designer or developer, but are unable to fully articulate what the issue is. They aren’t familiar enough with their own websites, scared to perform basic updates, sometimes they don’t even have admin access to their sites. These clients are the ones that get taken advantage of and are unsure how to ask for help; let alone fully trust someone to help them again.
- Clients don’t update their websites. Whether it’s because they were never taught, never learned or had no interest — it’s all too common that clients come to use with antiquated and outdated WordPress versions, Genesis versions and far too many plugins that are no longer being maintained.
How do you feel about the new WordPress editor (AKA “Gutenberg”)?
In the beginning, I couldn’t stand it. I don’t like learning new things when what I was using was working just fine. Or so I thought. I spend my days learning about mobile optimization, google validation, google insights, site speed, changes to the framework, updates to plugins, screen sizes from desktop to mobile, the last thing I want to learn was a new way to build a basic page.
In took some time, but a few months ago I fully embraced Gutenberg. There’s still a few things that I am sure will be worked out in time – but overall, I am very impressed with how robust the layouts are along with other features making page creation so much simpler.
We have since converted all of our websites (yes, I have lots of them!) over to block editor and have really enjoyed the transitioned much more than I thought.