As a Brooklynite and self-proclaimed Brooklyn aficionado, I thought it might be fun to make a list of my current top 7 Brooklyn small business websites. Websites are evaluated based on several key areas, including but not limited to: branding, page speed, SEO value, mobile friendliness and user experience.
What I love about this site is its simplicity and branding. This business knows who they are. What they offer is top notch and their website shows it. They could have gone crazy making a high-tech website with bells and whistles, but they chose to rely on displaying information as simply and accessibly as possible. This is the right way to go with most websites. Keep it neat, clean and simple.
Now, this site is the polar opposite of Baby’s All Right. I know Brooklyn Bowl may not be considered a small business, but I’ve always liked their websites. Brooklyn Bowl’s site does have bells and whistles and is built out way bigger than the former. Granted, they are a bigger, international company and their branding represents that. The website is loaded with information, but it’s not terribly cluttered. Since there are lots of aspects to their business, they’ve split up the homepage into different, clearly labeled sections. I love the calls-to-action above the fold on the homepage. This is crucial for most websites, but not seen often enough. You want to give your visitors a clear action to take or they may leave the site and find what they want on your competitor’s website.
Yes, I built this website! You may notice the first three websites are Brooklyn music venues. Well, I love music! Anyway, I absolutely love how this website turned out. The Brooklyn Bazaar website steadily receives 25k visits each month. The client and I spent hours refining the mobile version of the site to make sure it looks and works perfectly on all devices – and it does! But hey, if you find a bug, let me know. Websites are like cars, they need service from time to time. Read about what it takes to build and maintain a website here.
Streets Restaurant (closed)
An award winning chef opened a restaurant down the block from Baby’s All Right about two years ago. It’s across the street from my client David’s business, Williamsburg Tutoring. We like to explore Williamsburg so one day David showed me Streets’ website. We were in awe! I absolutely love the big, full screen photos. It’s good practice to have high-res, professional photos of your food if you are a restaurant, no exception. When it boils down to it, that’s what your customers are looking for. The parallax scrolling is one of the smoothest I have ever seen. The sections of the homepage glide gently as you scroll, creating a sleek interactive feeling. The branding follows consistently all the way to the bottom of each page and in each section. I absolutely love this website!
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I discovered Kinfolk a few years back as Wythe Ave. was just beginning to develop into the tourist magnet it is now. What can I say, I do love the vibe of that street. Kinfolk caught my eye because they have a solid brand and a beautiful store. The website’s stark black and white layout makes sense for a lifestyle brand that has products to sell. The huge product images draw me in and make me want to own those products. They haven’t updated their copyright in two years, which could lead some critical visitors to believe the website is outdated, but everything else in the footer of the website is well organized and styled. I love the “Join Our Newsletter” box at the bottom. This is a better place than having it pop over the site when you first land. One thing that bugs me about the site right off the bat is the subscribe popup. This is so annoying. How am I supposed to know if I want to subscribe before I even get a chance to look at your website? Plus, Google is severely punishing websites that use pop ups, especially on mobile. That aside, this site does the job.
As a long time customer and friend of the owners, I had to include this small business on the list! Autumn and Dennis are truly giving back to the community by running two food & drink businesses that continually grow and attract new customers. Their website is a throwback to the early days of the internet when the navigation bar was typically on the left side. This is suuuper Brooklyn and I love it. The key menu items like “place order” and “our commitment” show that this website is here to serve customers. Get in, get out and get your food!
Three months after I moved to Brooklyn, my Manhattan agency job ended I began exploring more into my neighborhood. Gimme Coffee on Roebling in Williamsburg was the first establishment that made me feel like I was home. Their branding has always been on point. Since they’ve set up their website to be an eCommerce platform, they have lots of products on the homepage. (Though, I am a little worried about what using the subdomain buy.gimmeecoffee.com is doing to their SEO value.) The design is clean and they do a decent job of deploying a slider on their homepage. (I wrote an article about when and how to use sliders on your website homepage.) The latest news (blog) and Facebook feed give this website some pizzazz and allow visitors to instantly connect with the brand. I love the big phone number and email at the bottom of each page, they don’t want to miss one single lead!
There you have it! My Top 7 Brooklyn Small Business websites, Volume I.
If you want me to review/audit your website or build a brand new one, contact me today!