Amid our flurry of web site design, application development, photography, videography and digital services last year, we at LRS Web Solutions still found time to squeeze in a redesign of our own website, lrswebsolutions.com.
With a fresh site launched, we thought it was a good time for a retrospective to see how far we’ve come. (Since I was just the third Web Solutions employee, I’m now also the team’s unofficial archivist. So please join me for a walk down memory lane.)
Looking back at the early days, our site may seem a little primitive, but hey – it was the late ’90s and a new century was dawning. Web design was skyrocketing as a valuable new industry, and our group was evolving right along with it.
Take a look at our past sites – and see how, despite appearing dated now, our site has always reflected the latest and greatest web design of its time.
We began life as the Web Site Services team in September 1996 with just one salesperson and one web developer. I came on board in December as a designer. Our name was soon shortened to Web Services.
Looking at our web page debut (at right) just makes you hear the “Friends” theme in the background, right? Yes, we were there for you in 1997.
In those days, people were just beginning to realize the impact that websites could have on their business. Our goal was to keep things structured and well-organized for our clients. Sure, we included some fancy graphics with shadows and highlights – after all, I am a designer by trade!
We were bold and innovative from the very start. Our site maintained consistent branding and used industry-standard rectangular design elements and welcome page. Upon entering the trendy splash page, visitors were greeted by powerful design that reflects our philosophy of blending authenticity with originality and individuality. We’ve always encouraged our customers to have their websites reflect – and extend – their brand’s unique identity.
In 2005, LRS Web Solutions unveiled its own logo, making it a great time to redesign our site, which was nearly 8 years old. We kept the text portion of our homepage (although we scrapped the obvious “Welcome” title.) We retired our punk girl and instead included links to current work. (Much more grown up, don’t you think?) We also added an easy-to-access client login for project collaboration.
Our service and staff were expanding fast during this time. I became manager in 2009. We began offering branding and multimedia expertise. In 2008, our group added Network Support.
By 2010, we changed our name to LRS Web Solutions to reflect our varied digital services. As a special marketing promotion, in 2010 we gave away a $10,000 website makeover to a non-profit. Crisis Nursery in Champaign won the competition and remains our client today.
This website design nicely reflects our branded purple color without going over the top. We softened the rectangular design with the rounded corners that were all the rage. You can see the growing number of links from the homepage – very common in the 2010s, as businesses began cramming everything onto the front page of the site. The result? Crowded pages and ultimately, information overload.
By the mid-2010s, we re-evaluated and streamlined our homepage and softened our look to a more sophisticated gold. Here, clean design dominates, not wordy text. Strong horizontal photographs (often referred to as “Hero Images”) came into fashion for homepages. We refined our welcome message to become our value proposition, containing more of the Web Solutions’ mission and vision. Notice the footer grew to include more social media channels and all the necessary contact information.
During the late 2010s, we’ve seen the rise of video. We added it to our homepage in 2017. In 2019, we’re taking the design in more innovative directions, with diagonal elements and organic shapes to energize our visitors. As attention spans continue to shorten, we’ve revamped our website content to cut the fluff and get down to the more important facts you need and want to know.
After 22 years, you can see how far LRS Web Solutions has come. And yet, we’ve stayed the same, too. While our web site has changed, what hasn’t veered is our focus on the ever-changing needs of our clients. That keeps us at the forefront of web design and development. What’s more, we have a great group of talented professionals, and we love what we do.
Our business model has evolved, too; We’re more than just websites. We’ve expanded our vision to include Network Support, Data Backup Services (DBS), app development, photography, videography, and digital marketing.
Looking ahead to a new decade, we’re more energized than ever to offer a full package of digital solutions to our clients. We hope you’ll join us for the ride.
For more trips down memory lane, watch our history via our YouTube videos.
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