Weixler DCS Cleaning Service — Back to Our Roots

Weixler DCS Cleaning Service Site DesignWeixler DCS Cleaning Service is the business founded and operated by John Weixler‘s family. It was there that he gained his foundation in entrepreneurship and it was while creating their first website in 2009 that he decided to step out and start his own business. Since then, our team has grown a healthy client base, learned new skills, and narrowed the focus of our services to those that we really excel at. In fact, because we are narrowing our services to focus primarily on ecommerce projects, we have not been taking on small site projects. But Weixler DCS is family, so we decided to revisit our roots.

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Weixler DCS was looking for a basic, template-driven, up-to-date site that could highlight the three focuses of their cleaning services: office cleaning, house cleaning, and window cleaning. They have been providing these services in Lebanon, Dauphin, Lancaster, and Berks counties for over two decades. They have a strong reputation and a thriving business, but they recognized the need to grow their digital presence to reach the next generation of customers. A fresh, mobile-friendly, SEO-sound site has enabled to gain better ranking for their pages in search engines and confidently drive additional traffic via Google AdWords.

 

A Web Video and New Site for Tri-Valley Contractors

In March, Tri-Valley Contractors, a new home building company with their headquarters on the east side of Lebanon, approached us about creating a web video to improve the depth of their digital marketing. We were excited to get to interact with two of their satisfied customers, Jeff and Tina Davis, as they told their story of building a brand new home with TVC on their lot in Reinholds, PA.

TVC Homes' house built in Reinholds, PA

Their new home was in its final building stages when we went to film, so they were able to talk about the whole experience–from meeting Clyde Patches (the owner of Tri-Valley Contractors), to selecting a model for their house, altering the design, choosing interior features and colors, and then watching their vision for their home take shape. From groundbreaking to painting, they were thrilled with the way the Tri-Valley team worked with them in a personal way, while maintaining the highest professional standards of quality workmanship and project management.

During the filming and editing process, Tri-Valley asked us to begin building a new website to feature their new video front and center. After a thorough interview of the Jeff and Tina Davis, we had a good idea about what makes Tri-Valley outstanding to their customers, so we wanted to reflect these aspects in the written copy, images, and information available on the site. This marketing strategy included building a timeline page that clearly lays out the organized, flexible, well-developed building process that the Davis family appreciated so much.

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Check out their new site at: www.tvchomes.com

 

Introducing the New East Coast Diesel eCommerce Site

Over the last several months, we holed up in our office here at Wex for weeks at a time, working into the wee morning hours, to complete the new ecommerce site for East Coast Diesel, a performance truck parts store and diesel shop in Jonestown, PA specializing in South Bend Clutch, BD Diesel, Edge, AirDog, and many other performance diesel brands. A few thousand pounds of coffee (and nightmares in the form of running strings of PHP code) later, we launched the new site. Because it is an ecommerce site, it will continually evolve and improve, but we are thrilled with how it has turned out so far!

THE STRATEGY BEHIND THE PROJECT

Previously, the ECD site was built on the Zen Cart e-commerce platform. It was lightweight, easy-to-understand, secure, and stable. So why put the costly, time-consuming effort into changing to the current Magento CE platform? Because long-term growth requires attention to the details.

You see, we made a lot of modifications to the Zen Cart platform to make it work as well as possible for East Coast Diesel’s selling strategy–but as their sales increased and their products grew, we recognized the need for greater attention to the details of their selling strategy as well as the experience of their customers. Thus, rather than modify Zen Cart into instability, it was time to move to a more powerful selling platform. Magento is more complex to modify than Zen Cart, and it requires a much more powerful (and costly) server setup to run, but its complexity provides the basis for a far more flexible structure.

Specifically, due to Magento’s powerful taxonomy, we were able to modify the ECD store to allow customers to sort product listings by price, manufacturer, the specific diesel truck they own, or any other category-specific product attribute. Customers can easily browse a single set of products through three different taxonomic menu breakdowns: product type, brand, and truck application. Like Amazon or other large sellers, East Coast Diesel will now be able to suggest related or complementary products that customers can easily add to their carts with the click of a button. Truck parts can be sold in customizable bundles, allowing the shop owners to create package deals.

Filters for Performance Diesel Products

Moreover, the Magento platform is an overall solid choice for growth. Even if it is not lightweight in terms of server resources, it is secure and stable. It has a solid backend for managing products, inventory, specials, sales, and transactions. It has a convenient login for customers to track their orders, request refunds, and print invoices. With our modifications in place, it has all the bells and whistles of social sharing options, easy contact buttons, and visual navigation.

THE NEW LOOK AND FEEL

In redesigning the site, we wanted to give East Coast Diesel a big, bold, masculine image while preserving the simplicity and navigability that is essential to ecommerce. Using the blues, oranges, and grays from their branding, we built the site with big buttons, a logo-based brands dropdown, and strong, clean typography. We put a huge slider on the homepage so that they can feature sales and new products, but we also put a box for their YouTube videos so they can show their customers that they are not just distributers–they are diesel truck drivers who compete in pro stock diesel pulls around the country. We also made sure to make the site responsive for mobile and tablet browsers, ensuring that their phone number appears at the top in the mobile version for those wanting to click-to-call from their smart phones.

East Coast Diesel's New Ecommerce Site

All said, we are excited to be a part of East Coast Diesel’s marketing strategy and we are excited to help them leverage the power of Magento’s many ecommerce features. Please take a moment to visit their site and tell us what you think: www.ecddiesel.com

 

 

The Rest of the Lancaster City Condo Photos

Here are the rest of the photographs from my shoot at the 317 North condo in Lancaster City. The shoot was for ReImagine LLC, a renovation team for whom we just launched a website. The beautiful home staging was done by Buck Home located in Quarryville.

Each photo is a composition of multiple photos in multiple layers (the first photo is actually a composition of 18 photos in 25 layers plus an additional 3 coloring/sharpening layers). You can find out more about my interior photography process here or watch the first photo be assembled in 10 phases here.

317 Wide

 

Fireplace at 317 North Condo

 

Kitchen Photograph at Lancaster City Condo

 

Reading Nook at 317 North in Lancaster City

 

317 North Mulberry St Lancaster Bedroom

THE ANATOMY OF AN INTERIOR PHOTOGRAPH

317 Wide

CLICK TO VIEW LARGER

GO HERE TO WATCH THIS PHOTO’S EDITING PROCESS IN 10 STEPS

Although I encourage my clients to hire a professional photographer (and spend more on them than on us) when developing their marketing tools, occasionally I fill the gap (more on this another time). A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to shoot a newly renovated condo in Lancaster City for one of the renovating teams, ReImagine. I have done some minor interior shoots for friends, but this was my first attempt at ‘doing it right.’ I haven’t finished editing the whole shoot, but here is one wide shot and the process I used to make it happen.

1) STEP ONE: PLAN AND SHOOT 45 PHOTOS

45 Interior PhotosWhen I first lined up this wide shot, I took note of the various elements in the room, as well as the different light sources and exposure points: room lights, window light hitting the interior, the scene outside the windows, etc. I secured my camera on my tripod, noted the various exposures I would need, and tried to keep the editing process in mind. I then took 45 photos of this scene, starting with general light exposures, and then using two remotely triggered studio strobes to highlight various elements of the room. (Thanks to my sister over at Life Story Photography for letting me use the strobes.)

2) NARROW TO 18 PHOTOS, PRE-EDIT IN ADOBE LIGHTROOM

18-Shots-GridThe next step was narrowing my selection. I went through my photos and selected 18–each of which I used to highlight a specific object or area. In Adobe Lightroom, I pre-edited each photo, syncing their white balances and adjusting the settings for the object or area I wanted to use from that particular shot. When finished, I exported them into a separate folder and named them according to what I would be using them for.

Although I narrowed my selection down to 18 photos, I did end up using some of the photos more than once in the various Photoshop layers–that came next.

 

3) COMPOSITING 25 LAYERS PHOTOGRAPH IN PHOTOSHOP

Photoshoping Interior Rooms PicturesI then took my 18 selected photos into Photoshop and started piecing them together. For each element that I wanted from a particular photograph, I meticulously clipped and brushed a layer mask so that only that portion of the photo showed through. I adjusted blending modes, opacity, and blurriness as I went, continually adjusting and touching-up each layer to try to get its element looking as good as possible: nicely-toned wood for the table, soft light on the floor, smooth walls, crisp bricks, less shadows, a little rim light here…you get the idea.

4) FINAL TOUCHES

I finished by doing some final coloring and sharpening of the entire photograph. I had to crop a few pixels off the edges due to camera shake (I forgot the adapter for my camera’s remote shutter control), but in the end I think it turned out fairly well.

Sasha Landis Banner

My sister in Virginia makes beautiful hand made jewelry. She is working on creating an Etsy store to sell her jewelry online and she asked us to help her design a simple banner to display over her store (according to the Etsy dimensions). Here are our graphic design sketches using some of the product photos we took for her.

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE HERE

 

1) etsy-banner-design-sasha-landis

2)jewelry-graphic-design

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4)sasha-landis-etsy-cover-plain

Re-launch web design of Immanuel Christian Fellowship!

Immanuel Christian Fellowship - Site Re-design

Sunday morning, we went live with the brand new, redesigned website of our client, Immanuel Christian Fellowship. It was an exciting project bringing the previous version of the site we had done two years ago into a modern, user-friendly experience.

In addition to a complete overhaul of the design itself, we also added a responsive, mobile version of the site, as well as an easy-to-use back-end for updating, an events calendar, blog, and more social connectivity.

Be sure to go check it out and let us know what you think!

Institute for Community-Based Youth Ministry Print Materials

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Creating the brochures and business cards for the Institute of Community-Based Youth Ministry was an exciting project! Although we finished them sometime ago, we had the print materials drop-shipped to save time and we didn’t get to see the printed product for ourselves until today. We wish the best to the good folks at ICBYM, OnFire Youth Ministry and Center for Life Long Learning at Evangelical Seminary as they start this exciting project in Myerstown, PA!

Brewing Success

appalachian-coffees-and-wex

As a local business, one of our great joys is working with other local businesses as they create unique products and services that benefit our shared community.

Today while working we’re drinking some delicious coffee from one of our favorite clients, Appalachian Coffees Company.

We are currently in the process of developing their new website, but be sure to stop by their Facebook page in the mean time:

Appalachian Coffees Company