A fresh coat of paint and a 470% increase in website speed

How a team of California-based investment advisers transformed their web presence to reflect the success they bring to their clients

Kyle Van Deusen

February 20, 2024

There comes a time when we all take a moment to look at a wall and decide it needs a fresh coat of paint. A new look can revitalize and refresh a room.

It’s no different when it comes to websites. Over time, your website will look or feel outdated. The paint starts to crack and fade. However, unlike an old room in your house, old paint on a website can scare customers away.

Your website is one of the first things a potential customer will see. If it’s outdated, it can cause a big problem with your website’s impact or engagement. A bad first impression will result in lost leads and sales.

This was exactly the case for Clete Albitz from California-based Albitz/Miloe & Associates, Inc., who reached out through my Built With Blocks page.

Clete was looking to invest in marketing for his business. However, during this process, he realized that his existing website was 10 years old and a little outdated.

After researching new options, Clete understood that Generate Press and Blocks would be a better structure for the future of his company’s website and to take advantage of the SEO work that they’d be investing in.

As part of Clete’s research, he turned to YouTube, where he found videos that I had created on building websites with Blocks. Clete stated:

“I liked you and the way you presented information”.

The video that really piqued Clete’s interest was a YouTube video where I rebuilt a client’s Elementor site in Blocks.

Clete commented that he thought “the cost to shorten the process while getting results more quickly might be worthwhile”. Specifically, he was eager to get the website re-designed before Albitz/Miloe & Associates, Inc. continued with their SEO strategies and made further marketing investments.

Why speed matters

After looking at the existing Albitz/Miloe & Associates, Inc. website, I could understand the need to refresh the website’s design. I also noted that the website’s performance could be improved.

I ran some speed tests on the website. It took 3.3 seconds to load on a desktop computer and 14.4 seconds to load on mobile devices.

 A screenshot of the Lighthouse test for the old site showing a 55% for performance
This shows the Lighthouse tests for their old website, which was failing in performance

The speed of your website is critical when it comes to success.

We live in a digital world where users expect to find information quickly. If your website takes more than a couple of seconds to load, you’re running the risk of a visitor giving up and visiting a competitor’s website instead.

In an ideal world, your website should load in under a second. This ensures that visitors will have a great experience, easily finding the information they need.

Unfortunately, not all websites are created equally. Many modern design tools lead to code bloat, which can significantly impact website performance and harm the user experience for your visitors.

I only build websites using GeneratePress and GenerateBlocks. Each website is hand-built, ensuring that the design and functionality are customized to suit your requirements. There is no code bloat that can hold back the performance of your website.

As part of my Built with Blocks service, I guarantee you’ll have Core Web Vitals scores of 90% or higher. Your visitors will enjoy a great user experience. Your website will load quickly and perform at the highest level of reliability.

Sanding back the walls

The first step with any website build is to understand exactly what your client needs.

I had an initial Zoom conversation with Clete to learn more about his business and his goals for the new website. It was clear how vital website performance was and how it would help with upcoming SEO marketing efforts.

Something else that was apparent from both the existing website and our initial call, was the importance of great family values to all of the team at Albitz/Miloe & Associates, Inc.

As investment advisors, their core focus is to make their client’s lives simpler. They help families and businesses to manage their money and pursue financial goals. Their family values are encapsulated on a photos page that shares moments from their own families’ lives with their website visitors.

A screenshot of the new Albitz/Miloe website showing their family photos

We had a follow-up Zoom call that discussed migrating over their blog posts. Blogging is an important part of the content marketing strategy for Albitz/Miloe & Associates, Inc. They had over 100 posts that needed migrating, so they wanted to ensure that their content would be utilized well in the new design.

During those initial conversations, Clete enjoyed the processes that I’ve put in place to deliver a great experience when onboarding new clients. He said:

“You have a great setup to make the operations part of booking calls/invoices, etc. easy”

The proposal for creating Clete’s new website was sent and signed on the same day. We were ready to get started.

Opening up the paint can

The design process is an exciting moment in every website project. It’s the time when we can open up the paint can and start thinking about what will go on each wall.

There was an initial design call with Clete to discuss the new design of his website. We spoke about the features and elements they’d like to keep from their existing website and any areas that they wanted to make changes.

After the call, I sent a design brief document over to Clete. The brief clarified and confirmed everything that we’d agreed on during the call. It also allowed me to create a framework for the new design proofs.

I created design proofs using Figma, which is an interface design tool that I use to create prototype layouts. The proofs act as visual representations of how each page will look after it has been developed.

A screenshot of my Figma file

These design proofs were sent over to Clete just five days after we’d agreed on the design brief.

Just over a week later, we had a scheduled design review call on Zoom. Clete approved the design, and it was time to start building the new Albitz/Miloe & Associates, Inc. website.

Applying a fresh coat of paint

The development phase is where we take the initial design proofs and turn them into real web pages.

I always start development with a staging website. This is an enclosed environment where our clients can follow along with progress.

Each staging website includes a feedback tool. This allows a client to easily click and make a comment anywhere on the screen.

Clete found the feedback tool extremely helpful, saying:

“Your entire system of commenting, feedback, etc. is just so helpful/easy/better than expected”

Here are a couple of before/after images that showcase the differences a fresh coat of paint can make to a website:


The old Albitz/Miloe & Associates, Inc. website had a Services page, with content nested inside four tabs. This presented a potential user experience issue, as it was not clear to a visitor that they needed to click on the different tabs to find the information they were looking for.

Old services page
Original ‘Services’ page
Screenshot of the new services page
Redesigned ‘Services’ page

With the new design, I’ve created a free-flowing Services page, where all of the service information is available to a visitor without any additional clicks or steps. A visitor can easily engage with the content and is able to understand exactly how Albitz/Miloe & Associates, Inc. can help them.

Our Firm

The ‘Our Firm’ page on the old Albitz/Miloe & Associates, Inc. website features the members of their team. It lacked a cohesive style, and there was no clear call to action that indicated the next step that a visitor should take.

Screenshot of the old Our Firm page
Original ‘Our Firm’ page
Screenshot of the new Our Firm page
Redesigned ‘Services’ page

With the new design for the ‘Our Firm’ page, the aim was to create a cohesive style that engaged visitors and showcased all of the team members. I created a clean design that made each team member stand out on the page. In addition, there’s a clear call to action at the top of the page, encouraging a visitor to get in touch.

The little touches that make a big difference

A new website can help a business to thrive. However, it’s the little touches that can make a big difference to visitors.

I wanted to share some subtle elements and design features that really help Albitz/Miloe & Associates, Inc. to stand out from their competition.

Beach imagery

Albitz/Miloe & Associates, Inc. are based on the coast of California. To tie in with their location, the new design includes subtle background imagery featuring beach and coastal scenes.

Notice the subtle waves on the right side of the page?

These images show visitors that the company is proud of where they’re from and reflects well with their family values.

Path elements

On the home page, the headlines feature the words “path”, “guided”, and “navigating”. These words together describe the journey that a client is able to go on with Albitz/Miloe & Associates, Inc.

The added design element of a dotted path between sections on the homepage reflects this journey. This was used again on the Services page.

Outline motifs

The outline motifs used on boxes throughout the website, bring cohesion and design continuity. The lines flow around the boxes, ending with a line and a dot.

The same line and dot are used in the navigation menu on each active page. They’re also animated when you hover over the footer navigation menu.

The subtle animation gives a sense of movement and purpose as a visitor navigates the website.

Dynamic hero sections

The hero section of each page on the new website features a custom dynamic background element.

The background is based on the first letter of the headline. If a headline is ever updated or changed, the background letter will also update to match the first letter.

Custom team page

The re-designed ‘Our Firm’ page showcases the members of the Albitz/Miloe & Associates, Inc. team.

A visitor can click on an individual team member to learn more about them. In addition, if the team member has published any blog content, a visual grid of their posts is easily available for further reading.

Subtle background images

The Services page features subtle background imagery behind the images used to indicate each service.

The background is a light version of each image, which adds a delicate touch for visitors to enjoy when browsing.

Single post template

Blogging is an important part of the content marketing process for Albitz/Miloe & Associates, Inc.

The single post template has been created to showcase their blog posts and to provide a great reading experience for website visitors.

One important touch is the custom code added to show a video in the same style as a featured image, where the video was the main content of the post.

Disclaimer text

As a business operating within the investment services market, it’s important for Albitz/Miloe & Associates, Inc. to use disclaimers where necessary.

As they needed to use more than one type of disclaimer on their website, a custom field was added in the back end of the website to make it easy for them to use the appropriate content.

Thank you pages

When a visitor completes a form, they are redirected to a thank you page. Each thank you page is personalized with the first name of the visitor.

Screenshot of a personalized thank you page

Albitz/Miloe & Associates, Inc. are able to create a personalized experience with this unique touch that sets them apart from other websites in their industry.

Search results

Although there is no current visible search function on the Albitz/Miloe & Associates, Inc. website, it is always a good idea to plan for the future.

Custom search results page

They have a custom search results page that is ready for them to use if they ever wish to utilize search on their website in the future.

The big reveal

During the development process, Clete provided feedback through our feedback system. We worked together to ensure the brand-new website was something that Albitz/Miloe & Associates, Inc. could be proud of.

Clete commented during the development process:

“Thanks for addressing all of our comments – we definitely want to lean on your expertise in everything you noted – knowing why you choose to do things a certain way is interesting and educational and your explanations are helpful in my understanding.”

Once any final revisions had been made, the website pages were then approved and signed off. The website was ready to launch.

During the go-live process, any third-party services that Albitz/Miloe & Associates, Inc. needed were connected. These included Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager and MailChimp.

At the start of the project, Clete felt that they wouldn’t need to worry about any ongoing website management. Just before they launched, they decided that they would very much like to use my website management service.

As part of this service, I utilized Cloudflare’s DNS for performance, security and maintainability. The website was then made live on an optimized hosting server, designed to deliver the great performance that Clete was looking for.

Clete was delighted with the new website, leaving this Google review:

“Kyle did an outstanding job providing a refresh and major design upgrade on our website. He turned the website from an amateur to professional look, creating a truly unique site. Equally important, the entire site was upgraded to a stronger foundation to ensure the future upgrades and content additions look good and work well on all devices. Kyle was enjoyable to work with and explained a lot about web design best practices and reasons behind different design choices. The entire process from start to finish far exceeded expectations. If you are lucky enough to stumble across the web and find Kyle as I did, I would recommend you get in touch.”

An incredible 470% speed increase

Before the redesign, the Albitz/Miloe & Associates, Inc. website took 3.3 seconds to load on a desktop computer and 14.4 seconds to load on mobile devices.

With the new lightweight and performance-focused design, the website now loads in 0.7 seconds on desktop computers and 2 seconds on mobile devices.

This dramatic 470% speed increase on desktop computers ensures that visitors can easily and quickly access the information they’re looking for. A faster website provides a more engaging experience and increases opportunities to convert a visitor into a lead or client.

Ready to redecorate?

If your website’s walls are looking a little faded, your paint is chipped, or your doors are a little crooked, I can help.

Learn more about how my Built with Blocks service can refresh, revitalize and enhance your web presence.

About the Author

Kyle Van Deusen

Since 2003 I have helped businesses like yours increase their online presence through powerful websites that help you easily, effectively, and affordably grow your business.

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