Our mid-sized web-hosting company needs a new site design that accurately reflects its "bare metal, no bull****" values and attitude.
NearlyFreeSpeech.NET is a web hosting provider specializing in do-it-yourself pay-as-you-go shared hosting for technology enthusiasts. Our reputation is for no-BS, no marketing-speak, and being run by nerds, for nerds.
Correspondingly, our site and service are very much "bare metal."
However, the design of our public site is a little rough, even for us, and there's no doubt it hurts our business. We need a new public site design that accurately reflects our beliefs, our image and service offering without looking like it was coded together over the weekend by someone with no design experience learning about CSS for the first time.
In other words, we want to quickly convey a lot of information to potential members without the feeling that we're visually pummeling them.
Since our public site has a fair amount of content, this contest will incorporate the designs for only three pages:
1) Our main page - https://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/
2) Our public FAQ - https://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/about/faq.php
3) Our signup form - https://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/si…signup.php
In addition to payment, we are a web hosting company and we will credit you (including a link or email address) as the site designer in our blog announcement about the new site as well as in our public FAQ, putting your contact info in front of a lot of people who may just need web sites designed.
- A design that matches our matter-of-fact style
- Extremely minimal use of graphics (almost entirely text & CSS), but still visually appealing, such as 1-2 small graphics usable with CSS for gradients/rounded corners.
- Let us present significantly more information/pages/options than the left sidebar currently allows without creating a cluttered mess
- Common essentials:- * A navigation bar w/visual cues of where you currently are
- * A site search box.
- * Our logo present in the same size/location on each page.
- Main page essentials:- * The first impression of our site and service.
- * No scrolling, period.
- * Current main page load is 3 files, 7,605 bytes: HTML, CSS, and logo. We're not saying it has to stay that small, but make every byte count, and make every extra file count at least double.
- * We might be willing to decrease the text content of the main page if we can fit it in elsewhere and get more impact
- FAQ page essentials:- * This is page is part of the contest to show how the site design handles pages with tons of text.
- * Text should be liquid-layout with reader-friendly margins.
- Signup page essentials:- * This page is part of the contest to show how forms look in the site design.
- * Items currently in bold are critically important but even so often get missed. Do your best to make them stand out without going over the top.
- No changes to the site copy
- No dramatic color changes, stick with white, black, "our green" (in various shades) and possibly one other color.
- No design changes to our logo (size changes may be OK)
- No stock images
- No no no oh please no:- * people staring into space with vacant grins
- * photographs of expensive-looking networking equipment
- We are prejudiced against three-column layouts.