When launching the Yola Buildathon Contest, our anticipation of its success couldn’t hold a candle to the actual outcome. We were flooded with site submissions and amazing ones at that.
Upon contest close, we were tasked with the job of declaring a winner – a more difficult undertaking than any of us had realized. After a long evening full of coffee and tough decisions, we finally had our Grand Prize winner – Made By Hol.
One of the many prizes given to the first place winner of The Yola Buildathon Contest included an exclusive feature on the Yola Blog. After seeing Holly’s fantastic design, we were chomping at the bits to get the details on her handmade invitations business and the development of her website.
What is Made By Hol?
When a friend of Holly’s was in the market for wedding invitations, after scouring the Internet and ordering samples, it was plain to see that the invitations suiting her fancy were quite expensive. Seeing that the designs were relatively straight forward, Holly offered to make her friend’s wedding invitations as a wedding gift.
Holly then spent a total of 22 hours creating of her first wedding invitations, and to her delight, they were an absolute hit. Before she knew it, more and more friends began asking her to create their invitations. That’s when she decided to turn her newfound talent into a proper business, propelling herself into the market of bespoke wedding invitations –18 months later, it’s where she still stands.
Holly and web design
To those of you first-time site-builders out there, use Holly as inspiration. Believe it or not, she does not have any previous web design knowledge beyond that of using Yola, other than a small amount of HTML knowledge from when she was in school.
“I signed up for my Yola account back in 2010, when I was helping a friend out with a part time job. We thought a website may help make her look more professional and stand out from the crowd.” Holly states. “Since then, I’ve never looked back as Yola does everything I need it to do. There was no doubt in my mind that I would use them when the time came to create a site and buy a domain for my new venture.”
Holly insists the key to site-building success is “sticking with it.” Although constructive criticism can be helpful, disregard the naysayers. When it comes to your website, it’s ultimately your own business – you get to decide what goes on your page.
Keywords and website updates
Holly let us know that adding in her site’s Metadata made all of the difference in the world when it comes to driving traffic and getting found. Adding site keywords and descriptions was simple and easy.
In addition, she finds it helpful to keep up with new tools, and find how they can benefit her website and business.
“I am constantly updating my website and when new features come out. I try and look at how I can use them to make my website even better.”
Her website is now on it’s third version, and has been evolving since the day she created it.
“The branding colors and my vision have stayed the same throughout, just each time the website evolved into something more fitting to the market I am in.”
Holly’s ultimate goal is to create a simple, clean, yet beautiful website that is consistently keeping up with the trends so that it is as user-friendly as possible.
In reference to building a professional website, Holly let us know that the use of Style Designer allows for easy, consistent customizations page to page without having to code. Any time dedicated to the learning the in’s and out’s of your website, and growing your online presence is time well-spent. Use Holly’s self-taught web expertise as an example and get to building!
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a new addition to Style Designer – Holly’s dynamic creation will be converted into a theme!