If you’re reading this blog, then you’re on our new website!!! We are so excited it’s officially launched and can’t wait to better serve you all with it. In this post, we’re discussing our Cinema Jubilee journey so far, raving about our experience with Davey & Krista* and Showit, and talking about some of our favorite bits of our new website. We’re also making sure you get to share in the celebration too (hint hint)!
*Note: This post includes affiliate links–we may earn a commission if you choose to purchase from Davey & Krista. Any endorsement is honest and truly reflects our experience!
Two years ago, in January 2017, we launched Cinema Jubilee. After a year of freelancing for other videography companies after college, we were ready to venture into running our own filmmaking business. We had no idea what we were doing and we were having a blast trying to figure it all out together! “Celebrate Forever” was our tagline, as we truly wanted our wedding films to be cherished generation after generation. And as for our commercial films? Well, we figured those clients should get to celebrate too…
Wanting to have our website up and running before making the move from Boston down to Georgia, we went with a free Squarespace template. We filled in what we could with our fairly limited portfolio and hoped for the best. Over the next year and a half, slowly but surely, all sorts of diverse films began filling up the website. We quickly learned that Southern weddings are so spirited and special, and each new film was more beautiful than the last.
As our filmmaking abilities improved, we steadily but diligently crept into a higher-end market. It became more and more apparent that our cookie-cutter Squarespace template wasn’t serving us anymore. Still, we were proud of that starter website and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get a little teary-eyed upon finally taking it down from the interwebs.
For several months we had it in the back of our minds that we’d love to have an intuitive, truer-to-us, elegant-without-being-too-full-of-itself, website to portray our brand and attract our dream clients. After noticing that several of the creatives we look up to, like Jenna Kutcher, Ashlyn Carter, and Katelyn James, all have Showit sites, we thought it might be a platform to consider for our video business!
Originally designed with creative professionals in mind, Showit seemed to have all the bells and whistles we were looking for. We love how Showit sites are modern, user-friendly, and above all, they function well on mobile!
Early last year, we came across the Brands that Book podcast. We began to see how much value Davey and Krista provide creative, service-based businesses through their podcast, blogs, and other high-quality resources. After exploring some of their Showit templates, we learned that they had one specifically designed website for videographers, the St. Augustine!
The St. Augustine seemed to have everything we needed. It had a place for both our wedding and commercial film work to be showcased on an equal footing. It included personal, customizable elements that reflect and coincide with our brand. And it featured an overall sophisticated, professional look. We eventually took advantage of a sale they offered and decided to invest.
The template even came with a 42-minute long video tutorial, where Krista herself walks through and speaks to every little detail of the design. Especially as new Showit users, this tutorial was key, as Showit was a whole lot different than Squarespace! I can’t tell you how many times I referred back to it as a helpful resource.
Krista put so much thought into this website design. She really included everything a creative videography business such as ourselves would need to have enough control over customization without having to spend hours and hours starting from the ground up. Besides customizing colors, fonts, and content, we were able to choose from two headers and two blog layouts that Krista built into the template.
Aside from its amazing features, this design unexpectedly prompted us to consider the aesthetics and significance of our brand even beyond the website. We quickly realized our need and desire to take a step back and think about why and how we were serving our clients, to begin with. This was always in the back of our minds but it felt so good after two years to reassess these crucial questions!
We established our core values, reflected on the entire process from start to finish of serving both our wedding and commercial clients, and much more. What we thought would be a simple website redesign turned into a much-needed branding examination and rehaul! While this ended up taking a lot more time than we’d first anticipated, we are so grateful that it developed organically like that! After learning to have a little bit of grace for ourselves in the relaunch process, we decided it was worth taking the extra time to delve deeper into these topics (especially as the two-person team we are), but more on that at another time perhaps 🙂
Like Squarespace, Showit doesn’t require coding knowledge. Its drag-and-drop features make it easy to customize and, unlike Squarespace, we’re able to put anything just about anywhere we want. The flexibility in Showit, which for lack of a better analogy reminds us of Photoshop, gives us so much control. It was fun (maybe a little too fun) to try out numerous different creative ideas and angles.
While there’s definitely a learning curve, the platform is fairly intuitive and a little bit of practice is really all it takes to get the hang of it and have it become second nature. Besides Krista’s awesome video tutorial, we got a lot of use out of Showit’s blogs and free resources. And while we didn’t have a need to reach out to them, it was nice to know that Showit’s customer support was just a quick chat away.
Perhaps especially as introverts, it’s not always the easiest to talk about ourselves. We feel like our new About page wonderfully introduces us as the faces behind the business! We’re passionate about truly connecting with our clients and feel we tell the truest stories when we’ve had a chance to get to know them before we show up and film. Why wouldn’t it be the same the other way around? If we’re trying to be a personal brand, it’s kinda important we personally show up!
Krista specially designed the video galleries for The St. Augustine template. We love the clean look of this section and how the canvas expands once you click on a couple’s film. It’s such a great place to showcase our work!
Within both our Wedding Cinema and Commercial Film tabs are Process canvases, where potential clients can get a sense of what it would be like to work with us from inquiry through to delivery. It’s a great place to explain the how of our business and offers a bit of insight into how much dedication we put into each of our films.
As video creators, we love that Showit allows for video to play natively on the site. Although currently limited to 8mb per canvas, having our videos play on loop in the background is yet another way to showcase our work and add a little oomph to the site.
We also thought it would be fun to use these as an opportunity to show us doing our thing in-action. Sometimes clients think we’ll show up with big, clunky camcorder equipment, so being able to give a taste of our sleek setups, as well as making ourselves seen and familiar through the power of video, was an unexpected bonus to our relaunch.
It was really important for us to have a more mobile-friendly site. Especially because mobile is more popular than ever, it was vital that the mobile version of our site was just as informative, pretty, and user-friendly as the desktop version. Unlike Squarespace, Showit allows for mobile-specific customizations with a clear vision of how mobile-specific tweaks will end up.
Showit makes it so easy to add SEO titles and meta-descriptions to each page. With Squarespace, we honestly had no idea what we were doing SEO-wise, so we’re excited about what this means for the ranking and readability of our new site. On their website, Davey also provides so much useful info on how to further optimize all that we’ve enjoyed implementing so far!
We were also especially excited about the built-in WordPress blog. We knew this would be a HUGE improvement over our Squarespace blog, which we felt was very limited and visually lacking. Design-wise, the new blog fits right in with the rest of the website. The learning curve for WordPress was not bad at all and we are completely in love!
Our subscription to Showit included free blog migration too, which was a huge help as we’d written way more blogs than we’d realize in our first two years (around 40)!
We love the categories and search features of our new blog and using Yoast has been a huge help so far in refining each blog. We’re eager to try out other plugins to up our game in that department too.
Now that we’re officially relaunched, it’s time to celebrate! And we wouldn’t want to party without you, of course!! We’ve put together a few goodies everyone can enjoy.
Entries accepted until Sunday, April 14th, 2019. Winner will be selected Tuesday, April 16th, 2019, and will be notified via email! To enter, click here. Also, check out Instagram @cinemajubilee for other ways to enter.
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