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Anatomy of a visual home page

You don’t have to look far to see a new breed of websites. Instead of stagnant pages, some restaurants are taking a different approach with their online presence—adopting a scrolling home page that hits the brand’s main talking points without forcing click-throughs. “People generally don’t do much reading on restaurant sites,” says Michelle DeLoy, former brand, Internet and marketing business officer at Truck Yard in Dallas (below). “We need to maximize the impact of every second a user is on the site.”

Photos, fonts and the words you choose can convey in seconds what could take several minutes to explain in text or video, says DeLoy. 

Like many scrolling sites, Truck Yard’s home page was built from a WordPress template and customized using codes and plug-ins.

And the staff can make updates from their smartphones. “With limited resources, we needed a solution that would allow us to grow, while being simple enough that [non]geeky members of our team could use it,” says DeLoy. Pictures of food and people and short descriptions convey Truck Yard’s low-key, backyard feel. Users wanting more info can click to a section to read about the chef or see a virtual tour.

Why a template? “It’s a fiscally sound start for companies of any size,” says DeLoy. Instead of reinventing the wheel, “the focus is how to use the established functionalities at maximum efficiency.” Premium templates typically run from $40 to $175, plus design costs.

Despite the large photos, loading speed isn’t an issue. Photos don’t need to be overly stylized or complicated to convey a menu or vibe. “Nearly everyone [has] a high-resolution camera in their pocket,” she says.

Standard information (social links, hours, a map) is displayed at the bottom with room to grow. Scalability is key to DeLoy, so she purchased an e-commerce package to accommodate future merchandise sales.

For the full experience, visit texastruckyard.com.

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