Why It Took Us 3 Years To Create Our Website

By Callum McInerney-Riley

Creating our website has been an emotional roller coaster that has swung from not having any content, to questioning if we need a website, eventually ending up with us starting our own web design business. What a wild ride it has been! 

Year 1 Timeline

We Have No Work To Show Off!

We didn’t have a website for one simple reason – we didn’t have any work to put on it which is a challenge that is faced with many start-ups. 

Our body of work was created while at other companies, agencies or in a freelance capacity. While we could namedrop some big brands and projects for video, social media and writing – ultimately, they were not our clients. Unfortunately you can’t just claim those awesome clients as your own just because you happen to have done the work.

Luckily, we hit the ground running as our director, Callum has worked with a lot of the big photography and tech companies before. They were quick to support the business and believed in what we do. (A quick shoutout to say BIG thank you to all you wonderful people)

Within 6-9 month period our small team had worked on projects from social media, photography and video content for loads of different brands. We’d certainly built up enough work to showcase on a website and so it was time to get things moving.

No Logo, No Branding, No Nuffink... 

Branding was first on the agenda – we ran through lots of different designs and finally settled on Prime Creative logo and branding stuff. 

Here’s a quick look at our first design – shoutout to Paul Underhill who’s photo made it into the mock-up design instead of one of one of ours. If you don’t know Paul Underhill is an awesome events photographer. You should check him out. 

We Had A Big Lack Of Time

So, are we going to launch this website yet? Err, no. So many decision! Wordpress or something else? What do we want to say on the website? Can we write those case studies this week? Oh, no we can’t as we’re all out shooting and doing stuff. Every. Single. Day. 

Then, We Asked Ourselves – Do We Really Need A Website?

Ultimately, The point Of A Website Is To Get More Business, Right? 

Winston was editing or shooting most days, Callum was shooting or with clients most days and Kallie was working on the social media content. We were running at a comfortable pace, with clients that we know and love, and adding more each week.

How We Were Winning New Business 

Within a year, we were working almost solely on a referral basis. Once somebody had seen the work we were producing for (Links to projects) Canon, Simply Business, FujiFilm to name a few, they wanted the same for their business. The content we were creating falls into very simple categories such as events video/photography/social, festival aftermovie, promotional video, sales material. It’s content that a lot of business need and when they see it being done well they’re totally on-board with us. 

Referrals are actually the best way to get new business – it’s basically a way of ensuring you get a good client. It’s like having a team working for you that vets clients. The best lead you can get is one that’s been qualified for you, right?

Year 2

We Found It Hard To Scale Up

In our second year, we’d build up a good client base that used us for regular work and slowly started assembling a team of people we know and trust that can produce the quality of work we want to produce. We’re run by self-confessed perfectionists, so it makes finding people a slow process but we’re getting there day by day. 

Then We Found Out That Web Designers SUCK

Business is running sweet. It’s time to build a website. The only problem being that web design companies actually SUCK SO BADLY. 

Our experiences with web designed over the last couple of years was just awful. Every time we tried to start a project, it would somehow stall, spiral out of control with costs or the quick and easy solutions would just look horrible.

Year 3

There’s Got To Be A Better Way To Design A Website, Right?

At this point, we had spent a considerable amount of time trying to find a quick solution to making a decent website that can be updated regularly, has good SEO, looks nice and can add technical functionality when you need to – without costing tens of thousands of pounds. 

The solution was actually to do it ourselves – and we turned that into a business

YOLO – We Started A New Business! – Introducing TopFrog

We decided to shift our content writing, daily social media running and web design creation to a single business in our new Shoreditch office. It’s now called Top Frog and it’s a one-stop solution for regular content marketing and website creation. If you want to find out more check out the website.

We Were Distracted

Of course, setting up a new business is pretty time consuming, but we managed it to get it running smoothly within 6 months. It meant that we had to put the Prime Creative website on hold a while we get our business sorted

Then We Updated/Added To The Branding

We drafted in the awesomeness that is Stefan from https://wellnicestudio.com to adapt the branding we’d created for Prime Creative show us some new design elements we could use across our online presence. Together we created custom icons, a simplified colour pallet and a tweak in our font usage. 

It Took FOREVER To Write The Content And Get All The Images Together

What an ABSOLUTE BEAST of a job this is. If you have ever had to write content for a blog, you will know how difficult it is. Imagine doing it again and again for case studies, meticulously tweaking copy while adjusting the design and referring to all the other pages to make it consistent. It’s a mammoth job and it took a very long time.

Gathering the content – In folders buried deep within subfolders of subfolders, you will find the photos you need. Getting a selfie from a job three years ago can often be quite difficult but they’re vital for telling the stories we wanted to tell. Over the last 3 years we’ve shot well over 100 videos and considerably more if you consider the social media videos and social cuts of videos that we have created. Finding all of these, and ensuring they’re sized to be web friendly is a big job! 

But We Did It!

And Then We Built A Full Adobe XD Design Prototype

Our Top Frog process for big website designs is to put together all of the content and design decision in a single place that’s easy to make changes on. To make changes to a live, built website is time consuming in comparison to create a website prototype in a design tool. So, we spent a few weeks putting it all together in Adobe XD and altering the design. 

Then It Was Time To Building The Live Site

Our team at TopFrog set to work on building from the website prototype and went through to process to test it, pimp up the SEO and launch this badboy!

The Prime Creative Website Is LIVE!

I mean, you’re literally reading this on the website… so you kinda know already this website is live… right?

Got a project in mind?

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