Our Place at Your Pace – A holiday website like no other!

by Alex Morgan

by Alex Morgan

Anna and Andrew are long-serving customers of Tiny Blue Rocket. I built their previous website over two years ago when their business first launched.

They have a gîte based in the Corrèze region of central France. Not only do they let out a part of their gîte to holidaymakers, they also offer triathlon and activity-based holidays. Essentially, they offer a holiday to suit everyone. From people who want to laze by a local lake to those who want to cycle through the lanes of rural France, they offer a great base and a great range of activities for all.

Anna and Andrew have recently decided to adopt a new name for their business – ‘Our Place at Your Pace’. It’s a great name to reflect that you can stay in their gîte whilst enjoying as much or as little of the available activities and you want. Holiday at your own pace!

Clarity and cleanliness

We’ve all had times when we’ve done a big Spring clean of our homes and taken a good stock of what we have in our home. A website can be treated the same way. Every now and then it’s a great idea to have a good analysis of what’s on there and how it’s presented. Leave it too long and an old-fashioned website will give visitors the wrong impression about your business.
As Anna and Andrew’s business had developed and grown in its first years, the website had been adapted and moulded to a point where it needed a good late-Spring clean.
As part of the redesign, I started by looking at all of the content on each page and how it could be better organised to flow more clearly. Some bits were reorganised, some were joined together and some were removed altogether.
A sense of clarity was achieved, ready to add the revamped content to a clean-looking website.

Enter Elementor

The previous website was built using Visual Composer, the champion of user-friendly page building two years ago. In that time Elementor has come along and completely changed the game for page builders.
Any redesign was guaranteed to be undertaken using Elementor. Not only is it easy to build a new website with, crucially it’s even easier for Anna and Andrew to update and maintain their website with. Yes, it was a no-brainer!
What Elementor offers is a chance to build a modern, fully-responsive website that is easy for both the visitors to use and the owner to edit.

Modern, clear and impactful

When you look at the new website you’ll see it starts with a large, clear header image and menu. With the combination of the dark blue and orange colours, it is visually appealing and clear for every website visitor. It’s easy to over-clutter the header of a website, but less really is more!
As your eye flows down each page you see a combination of text about the business and photographs. The headings for each text section are large, clear and easy to read. The text content for each heading was chosen to be emotive in its language. To express a sense of calm and enjoyment, very much the intention of an ‘Our Place at Your Pace’ holiday!
On some websites the use of stock photos becomes necessary. There simply might not be any real photos to reflect the business. Luckily with an accommodation and activity website, I had access to loads of excellent photos of the gîte, the activities and the local area. Using real photos makes such a huge difference!

Speed, glorious speed

If you’ve read any of my previous web design posts you’ll know I’m obsessed with website speed.
Anything much more than 3 seconds and your website visitor won’t bother waiting for your website to load. The modern world is an impatient world.
Anna and Andrew’s previous website was taking around 5 seconds to load. Due to the theme, page builder and some of the photos it was becoming a bit slow in its old age.
This new website was built using Elementor’s own ‘Hello‘ theme, which simply means it’s built on a very lightweight theme. Adding to the theme was ShortPixel. Our latest acquisition for our customers is a lifetime subscription to the best image optimisation plugin. This ensures all photos are slimmed down and load at the best size for the user.
Every ounce of weight was stripped from this website to make it as light as possible. In the end, the new website, in terms of megabytes, is 20% of the size of the old one. In terms of raw time to load, the new website is taking around 1 second to fully load.
Suddenly this website has gone from a slightly heavy, somewhat slow website to a speedy. nibble site!

In summary

Every website after a few years can benefit from a revamp. A quick spring clean can make a huge difference to your visitors.
Anna and Andrew felt they need a tidy up of their website. Within 4 days I was able to take their existing website content, remix it and add it into a brand-new look and feel for their visitors.
Not only is the site more visually appealing, but it’s also significantly quicker and easier for visitors to load it.
Never settle for the website you’ve got. Always look to improve and move it forward, as you would your business.