Superior Web Design Hells Kitchen | ProStrategix

Aurelien Guichard, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Hell's Kitchen: Comeback Kid. May Have to Do it Again.

Few may believe that up until the late 1980s, Hell's Kitchen (HK) was not considered a safe place to live. To look at it now, you would never have guessed its colorful history full of gangsters, ghosts, and disappearances. Hell's Kitchen saw a major renaissance in the 2000s through the present. It's now known for its posh eateries, theaters, and high-rise luxury apartments.

Hell's Kitchen was part of the northward migration of gentrification that started in Chelsea and continued to move northward and westward. Those eateries, theaters, luxury apartments, and bars have been devastated by COVID in its aftermath. Many didn't make it. Many are struggling to survive.

So, now HK is back in a familiar role as the comeback kid. As we finally climb out from COVID, there are some unique marketing challenges HK businesses will face. Namely, bringing people back to the neighborhood after such a long hiatus.

Why Web Design Matters in Hell's Kitchen?

Great web design is important no matter where you are located. However, in densely populated areas like Hell's Kitchen, where mobile usage is high. These best practices are highly important especially when

  1. Re-engaging with a lapsed audience: An excellent mobile experience lets your customers know you're back and ready to serve.
  2. Reaching a New Audience: A fast design is important when making connections to new clients, who won't waste waiting for a site they don't know. 
  3. Fast Mobile UX: It lets neighbors know you are nearby, open, and accessible, especially as we dig out from COVID in back half 2021.

Your CMS Can Have a Profound Effect on Page Speed

If you didn’t build your own site, you’re likely using a content management system (CMS) that your web builder chose. If he or she didn’t educate you on the pros and cons, you may be in for a big surprise in your webpages’ performance and search engine rankings.

What is a CMS

The technical definition for a content management system (CMS) is “is a computer software program used to manage the creation and modification of digital content.”

In other words, it is a system that allows the content to be stored separately from the code that builds the page. The user enters the code through a program called an interface, e.g. WordPress, and the interface saves that as the page data. The browser takes the files from both locations and renders the page.

However, while simple and easy, it creates a problem. To make this easier to understand, I use a simple metaphor of an architect, contractor, and warehouse. The user is the architect, the contractor is the browser, and all the design code sits in the warehouse

In this metaphor, we are going to use a prefabricated home. There are a general set of blueprints, but lots of options for flooring, tiles, etc.  Think of this as your theme.

The architect now selects specific options within a house, for example, flooring, tile, window type, etc.  But, these specifications aren’t given to the contractor (browser) until he or she shows up to build the house.

The contractor knows he or she is building a home, but other than that, it’s left open. Therefore, they have to bring all the labor and materials they might use, even if they aren’t needed in this specific build.


Once at the site, the contract reads the blueprints and then has to sort through and organize their materials first before the job can start.

As you can see there is a lot of wasted time and materials that put a burden on the contractor. This is why a theme will never be as fast as a custom build.

Why Local Digital Marketing Matters in Hell's Kitchen?

A key ingredient in Hell's Kitchen's comeback post COVID is re-engaging with lost customers while developing relationships with new ones. Local digital marketing can help you do just that. 

  1. Local digital marketing in Hell's Kitchen is about re-engaging with a lapsed audience.
  2. Digital is important to raise awareness among both lapsed customers but also making connections to new ones. 
  3. It lets neighbors know you are nearby, open, and accessible, especially as we dig out from COVID in back half 2021.

Custom Build is Likely Your Best Option for Speed

A custom built website is created by web designers. These designers create code only for the features you use to get the results you want. Therefore, there is no excess code. 

If your developer helps you set up your tracking codes and other third party integrations, then you can minimize any issues those create.

The beauty of a custom build is there is no trade-off between speed and quality. When you factor in the lost revenue from bounces and poor conversion that a slower site creates, the investment generally pays for itself.

How to Deal with a CMS

Without taking any action, your performance on mobile will likely fall in the 20s to 40s on Google Pagespeed Insights

Common Options

Plug-ins

WordPress is the dominant market player. Therefore, we will touch on some of the common plug-in for this CMS.

Most of the plug-ins, save W3 total cache, are simple. Most are not free if you want to get the maximum benefit. They do produce a measurable difference in speed, but do not expect to get above 50-60.

AMP

Accelerated Mobile Pages was introduced by Google in and around 2016. AMP is a stripped down version of HMTL which has fewer features, which makes it very fast. But, now you need to manage two sites versus one. Plus, you lose consistency between mobile and desktop

Theme Optimization

Since you are changing the theme itself, this requires a significant amount of coding knowledge to do it right. This usually requires hiring a developer.

A good developer can usually clean up the theme enough that you can reach custom speeds. The cost is generally equal to higher than a customer build depending on the work required.

Summary

If you want lightning fast speed, skip the CMS. We recommend a custom build.

  1. No excess code makes the page faster.
  2. You just have to manage one site. There is no need for a separate mobile site.
  3. The lost revenue due to mediocre performance on mobile will likely return more than the upfront investment in a clean, custom build.

ProStraegix is a web design agency with offices in New York City. We also provide SEO and pay per click advertising support to our clients.

See more about Small Business Marketing in Hells Kitchen. If you are more interest in the borough, you can see our Small Business Marketing in Manhattan. If you want the full city, you can see our Small Business Marketing in NYC.