Tuesday, May 30, 2017

INTRODUCING: Vintage Barber Shop of Sandy Springs, GA

We've been busy little bunnies these past few month, even with online commentaries and special events and kids' school activities.  Here's the first new website debut of the year.

Vintage Barber Shop is owned by Dunwoody resident Yury Abramov.  If his name sounds familiar, you've probably read his story in the Atlanta Jewish Times once or twice.  Yury contacted me after finding my business info on NextDoor.

Yury specializes in "old school" barbering for men and boys and his shop is every bit the typical 1950s "vibe".  He had two key problems to solve.  1 - the website design.  Stock theme that had nothing to do with the look and feel of his shop.  2 - online appointments.  Yury wanted his shop to accept appointment bookings online and give his business an edge over the competition.

You would think that everyone and their mother would have an appointment booking form online but you would be wrong.  Very few salons of any kind, let alone mens' barber shops have a self-hosted appointment booking form.  Fewer still have forms that can be used from a phone or tablet.  First order of business was to audition several candidates for this WordPress website.  We settled on a form that looks great on every screen, is customized, can handle group appointments (think a dad with several kids) and sends email confirmations to both the customer and stylist.

Make an appointment with Yury or one of his assistants in just a moment by using this website form.

Next order of business was the design.  1950s look meets 21st century technology is not as straightforward as it sounds.  The 1950s saw three distinct fashion trends in design.  First, you have your stereotypical black-and-white sitcom with a pop of pastel.  Think "Ozzie and Harriet" or "Pleasantville".  Then you had Jack Kerouac and the beatniks.  Think Maynard Krebs from "Dobie Gillis" or Audrey Hepburn in "Funny Face".  Then you had the quasi-criminal element in Greasers.  Think "Rebel Without A Cause".  

The first draft of the website was definitely more toward the Beatnik label.  (Believe it or not, Ripley, I try to go very funky in designs when I can get away with it.)  Lots of animated diagonal lines and off-centered elements in bright pastels on black.   That attempt got a quick thumbs-down and we moved into the homey "Pleasantville" mode you see today.  

Finally, when a WordPress or other open source content management system website has been around for some time, or when features come and go, there is going to be some left behind "orphan" data.  You know how when you deactivate and delete a plugin, the data is supposed to be removed along with it?  Doesn't happen and WordPress plugins are notorious for this.  Extra data that goes unused not only slows the site down but can also be a security risk.  I went through and uninstalled a mountain of obsolete plugins and then manually removed their data from the back-end database line by line.  Just a reminder:  manually editing a database is not a DIY job unless you've done time as a database administrator somewhere.  If you don't know what you're doing, hire a professional or face the horrors of WSOD (White Screen Of Death) when the site fails.

We're in "soft launch" mode at Vintage Barber today.  The site is live and accepting appointments to flush out any quirks that escaped the previous quality control review and get Google integrated at various points.  Drop Yury a line and enjoy a hot towel w/ the haircut!

No comments: