Partnering with great organizations since 1999
Helping Non-profits and cause based organizatios with their websites for over 20 years.
Lowthian Design Works was born in 1999 as Alternative Web Areas (AWA) in response to one organization’s need for a website. After the first website, there was another, then another gained by word-of-mouth. As the number of organizations with Lowthian-designed sites grew, our model evolved as well: a partnership based on creating a web presence that represents each client’s unique character, created by those who know it best.
At Lowthian Design Works we have a unique model that works for the non-profit without a big budget, but with creative ideas for their website. These clients have the ideas, maybe from their own creativity, or from what they have seen on other websites, but don’t have the understanding of the technology to build a website. We help take those ideas and make them a reality for their own site, then take care of all the management to free up the organizations time to continue creating content for their website. Our goal is to show that maintaining a site should be a fun, dynamic part of an organization’s marketing, not a challenge.
We use the latest technologies to keep websites current and dynamic. After creating or updating a clients website we remain available for support and updates as needed through a partnership of availability and communication. If better technology options show up, we work with our clients to update and take advantage of these opportunities to improve their web presence.
We have been working on customizing websites since 1999, and in 2006 we started migrating all of our sites to WordPress and Joomla. We have worked in various e-commerce platforms, however now we offer complete support as a partner with the Bigcommerce platform. We not only help with websites, but assist with related technologies such as analytics, email campaigns, social media and other marketing ideas.In a world where the internet is essential to spreading the word about good work and important causes, we believe that a budget should not limit a good organization’s ability to have a great-looking, functional web presence. We have developed partnerships giving us access to things like free web hosting for 501C3 organizations, we can help get free benefits from Google such as email hosting and advertising grants. We also look for the best rates with payment gateways for donation credit card processing and other ways for the organization to save money while enjoying all the benefits of large non-profits. We work hard to develop a long term relationship of supporting our partner organization with their web and technology needs. In this we know we can do a small part of making the world a better place to live.
Together we can look at your current site if you have one, analyze your visitors and what they are looking for and then come up with ways to make the site become what your visitors are looking for. We focus on guiding your visitors to the information they are looking for without distraction or confusion. The internet is a fast moving place and if your visitors are not finding what they need you may loose them to something else.
We will look at things such as:
- Navigation – can people quickly find what they are looking for.
- Responsiveness- does your site look good across all devices. Does it provide as great an experience on a phone or tablet as it does on a computer screen.
- Mechanics – does the site have all the forms, donations capabilities and other components to meet your organization’s needs.
- Speed – is the site loading fast both for your visitors and to improve your Search Engine Optimization.
- Anything else that would improve your visitor’s experience and ability to support your organization.
We will look together at your current site if you have one and decide if the design, or look, of the site matches your brand or personality. We will ask you to look at other websites that you like and review the best and worst qualities of your site and the other sites to come up with a best design for your site.
We will also encourage you to get input from others, perhaps your board, your clients, supporters or customers to see how they feel about your current site.
We will set expectations for Lowthian Design and you as a client. We don’t work in a traditional manner of charging a lot of money to create a fancy new website and then ask if you like it. Instead we will work with you to show you how to update your content while we go to work on design changes. We typically set up a staging site and move any content you want to preserve. Then we will work closely with you on design and navigation on this site until you are completely happy with everything and then switch it to the live site.
During the site construction process, we will begin with your ideas from your current site and other sites and ideas that you liked. During this process, we take direction from the client. We don’t build sites and then ask if they are good enough, rather we work closely asking each step of the way and taking direction from the client. The more specific our clients are with their ideas, the faster it all comes together.
Our goal is that you feel comfortable making the changes you need to make on a regular basis to keep your site up-to-date and vibrant. We remain a partner to take care of any technical needs and on-going training to gradually challenge you to improve your comfort level with new aspects of editing your site. We will always work at your pace, while taking care of any one-time technical needs for your site that don’t require training.
We take care of all the maintenance of your site related to security, backups, upgrades and will make recommendations for other ways to improve your site as new technologies arrive.
Our maintenance package includes:
- Daily site backups. Contact us anytime you need a restoration.
- Storage of backups for up to 1 year.
- Updates of all plugins and platform
- Firewall and other security to protect your site from attack
- 24/7 montitoring of site uptime.
As long as you are a client, we take care of all the technical aspects of your website so you don’t have to worry about your site not working or accomplishing all of it’s tasks. If you find something not working, contact us and we will have it remedied ore contact you within 24 hours to let you know what we need to do. You don’t need to worry about where to find the answers to your questions, if it is about your web technology we will find the answers for you.
This frees you up to develop the content on your site, while we remain available any time you need support with adding content or additional training to make sure you are comfortable making updates.
“I don’t want to be a leader. I want to be one who goes around with a little oil can and offer help when I see a breakdown. The mechanic with the oilcan, that is my ideal in life.”