Heyo! We’re Zao (note the rhyme 😉). We’re excited to release our new website!
We partnered with the brilliant Shay Bocks to give our website and brand the facelift that it has needed for a hot minute. She did a beautiful job digging in deep to understand our core values and design a new look for us that we think is really special. From the brand mark to the animations to the site design, we are so thrilled with her work. We couldn’t have imagined a closer and more enjoyable partnership with a designer. Thank you, Shay!
We did our last major facelift back in early 2014 by using a pre-built theme. While using the lovely Ampersand theme from Mike McAlister (whom we adore!) was always intended to be a stop-gap – this particular stop-gap had a much longer lifespan than any of us expected! That’s a testament to Mike’s beautiful work – WP Engine is lucky to have him!
Finally, we’ve begun working with the inimitable Janine Duff for our copy, starting with our new About page. If you’re looking for a brilliant copywriter, look no further! We’re unbelievably excited to partner with her in the future to continue helping…our…words…be….gooder.
I (Justin) couldn’t complete these shoutouts without acknowledging the phenomenal work that Liz Karaffa, our lead front-end developer, has put into our new site. The combination of beautifully crafted code, copy, and design has culminated in a site that I am so proud to call our own.
History of Zao
Can you believe we’re now in our 16th year as a WordPress development agency? We can’t believe Zao is officially old enough to drive 😬 If you want a terrifying trip down memory lane, check out our first site design, circa 2005-2006. We’ve come a long way 🤣 This iteration of the Zao site has been an exercise in reflecting the excellence here at home that we bring to our clients on a daily basis. This initiative had a number of implications, the first being that we had to ensure that our new site was built from the ground up with Gutenberg in mind.
The number of people I trust to work on a serious eCommerce store can be counted on one hand. Justin and the Zao team are at the top of that very short list. From custom payment gateways to full site builds, you’re in good hands.
Chris Lema, VP of Products & Innovation, Liquid Web
If you read our recent article, Crafting a Starter Gutenberg Theme, you’ll be familiar with the CSS Grid approach we used to handle our alignments. Something we didn’t cover in that article, but you can see in play on this post, is supporting sidebars and regular/wide/full width blocks at the same time! (Scroll up to the top left and see our “Building the next great thing” sidebar). Check out how you can do something similar in one of our other posts about CSS Grid.
One of the first things our clients recognize about us is that it is just as important for us to ship excellent work as it is to have fun doing it! We wanted our new site to reflect that as well, and one way of doing that was adding in some playful animated flourishes. With Shay’s help, we’ve upped our animation game and love the fun impact our home page hero and footer animated illustrations add to the site. Hover over our logo in the top left corner, or watch it on page load. Give one of our buttons a click. You’ll get a fun surprise if you’re not using a screen reader.
What’s Next for Zao?
We expect this new design to serve us well over the next 5-10 years. Because of our partnership with brilliant folks at our side, and our incredible clients, we couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds here at Zao. Zao continues to be on the cutting edge of what’s possible with WordPress as a development agency. Whether we’re pushing the boundaries of Gutenberg, eCommerce, systems integrations or just building out your next beautiful website – we’re excited about our story, and can’t wait to be a part of yours.