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New Responsive Bed & Breakfast Website Design for a Premier Berkshires Inn

November 27th, 2016 by Shawn Kerr

InsideOut Solutions is proud to announce the November 10 launch of a new responsive bed & breakfast website for Federal House Inn – a luxury Berkshires B&B located in Lee, Massachusetts.

Federal House Inn - responsive bed & breakfast website design

History of Federal House Inn as a Client of InsideOut Solutions

Federal House Inn - previous website

BEFORE: An increasingly difficult website to maintain.

Previous owners Kolleen & Brian Weinrich began looking for new a new website host in 2013.  Fellow innkeepers of a nearby B&B referred Kolleen & Brian to InsideOut Solutions and hosting of the Federal House Inn website was transferred in June of that year.

The website, though built in WordPress, used an older template theme that proved problematic with maintenance, updates, and upgrades.  Even so, InsideOut was able to make a series of improvements, such as a mobile-friendly version of the website, speedier loading, social sharing buttons, and SEO.  By 2015, however, continued improvements on the old theme became cost-prohibitive and we recommended a redesign.

Federal House Inn owner/innkeepers Marsh & Ken Anderson

New Federal House Inn owners/innkeepers Marsha & Ken Anderson worked on making the B&B their own while InsideOut Solutions worked on making the website meet their vision.

Kolleen & Brian sold the Federal House Inn to Marsha & Ken Anderson in April of 2016.  InsideOut Solutions assisted with the transfer by providing an outgoing owner checklist to Kolleen & Brian and WordPress training and technical support to Marsha & Ken.   Shortly after settling in as the new owners, Marsha & Ken were ready to move ahead with re-branding their Berkshires bed and breakfast and contacted Patricia McCauley to discuss what InsideOut could do to help.

Creating the Custom Responsive Bed & Breakfast Website Design for Federal House Inn

Pat and the web team reviewed the current internet marketing efforts and effectiveness of the inn. The resulting proposal to Marsha & Ken was for a new custom WordPress website that would not only give it an all new look and feel, but would also make sure it looked its best on all devices, load speedily, and keep both visitors and Google happy.

The New Federal House Inn Logo

The first step toward re-branding was a redesign of the logo to reflect the inn-keeping style of the new owners.  Lead web designer Beth Edwards worked with Marsha to come up with a fresh design that would encapsulate the innkeepers’ style and appeal to a wider audience than the more conservative look of the previous logo.

Federa House Inn previous logo

The previous Federal House Inn logo was stately, but not in line with the new owners innkeeping style.

After a bit of back and forth, Beth came up with a design that that Marsha approved with a three word response: “I’m loving it.”

Federal House Inn logo - new

The new Federal House Inn logo adds just enough casualness to match the B&B experience Marsha & Ken provide to their guests.

A New Vision for Federal House Inn – The Layout

With the logo approved, Beth went to work designing the layout “look & feel” for the website based on Marsha & Ken’s responses to a website questionnaire.  Beth knew from the responses that the innkeepers were looking for a website look that is a simple, yet elegant meeting of French country and industrial styles.  Her proofs to the client also kept the color scheme and design elements subdued to allow the photographs to really “pop” on the page.

Federal House Inn website - layout

Marcia’s reply to the proof concepts left no room for doubt that the design was on the right track: “I very much love your vision for our website!”

Building a Custom Responsive Bed & Breakfast Website Design – The Development

With the approval, the new website layout, the design then moved to web developer Taylor, who created a custom WordPress theme for the website that includes:

  • Responsive  design that automatically adapts the layout design elements to web browser resolution, keeping the layout optimal for the specific device being used
  • A “sticky” navigation menu and social sharing bars remain in view at the top and bottom of the web browser window as a visitor scrolls down the page
  • HTML 5 code and CSS 3 styling that conforms to the recommendations of Google Developers and the World-Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards
  • Federal House Inn website - map post type editorCustom WordPress plugins and post types developed by InsideOut Solutions specifically for its lodging clients, including:
    • Rooms custom post type, offering easy management of room description, accommodation type, available amenities, photo gallery, rate information, availability calendar link and more
    • Specials custom post type provides efficient creation and management of recurring or date-specific offers and their categories
    • Area Maps custom plugin, which allows the owners to create and edit custom layers on a Google Map

Putting Everything in Its Place – The Fill-in & SEO

While Taylor worked on creating the custom WordPress theme, plugins and post types for Federal House Inn’s responsive bed & breakfast website design, Beth worked with Marcia on the content it would contain.  New photos were optimized for display on the website and the text was rewritten in the new owners’ marketing voice. Beth was able to fill in the pages using these new materials once the design was ready.

From there, it went to Shawn for pre-launch Search Engine Optimization (SEO) work on page content and “behind the scenes” code that were applied via page edits and the Yoast SEO plugin during the proofing process. Redirects were created for all URLs of the previous website to ensure no “page not found” errors would show up to have a negative impact on either search engines or visitor experience when the new website launched on November 10.

Faderal House Inn - new website

AFTER: a custom responsive bed & breakfast website design that matches the new owners’ innkeeping style.

Following the launch of the new Federal House Inn website, Shawn also performed post-launch SEO to give it speedy and complete indexing in the search engines.

Considering a Responsive Bed & Breakfast Website Design for Your Inn?

If you have a WordPress website designed by InsideOut Solutions that’s four or less years old we can provide you with a cost-saving responsive upgrade.  Custom WordPress websites developed by us that are over four years old will typically require a full responsive redesign.  Don’t have a WordPress website?  We’ll build you a custom responsive bed & breakfast website design in WordPress.  Contact us today for a quote to move your internet marketing forward.