Bar, Nightclub & Restaurant Website Design

Start with a great theme (think of it as a template). Here are some great ones I've used in the past.

Why I hate the website design business

Since learning website design a decade ago I’ve learned a few constants in the business.  I quit taking on freelance jobs a while back because of these factors that for some reason never go away and are ALWAYS brick walls blocking progress.  It seems so easy to get over these but they’re always there, every job, every time.   I fired several clients based on these.  For some reason human nature can’t seem to overcome these simple obstacles.

  1. The website design does not begin until the restaurant/ bar concept is fully finished and finalized.
  2. Your designer will need ALL of your content from YOU so he/ she can post it to your website.

Seems simple right?  This is a constant battle with not only me but in the web design community in general.  The process goes something like this:

Designer: I’ll need your content from you so I can build your website around it.

Client: Ok I’ll get it to you soon (never happens)

….time goes by….

Client: Why does the website look so bare?

Designer: Because you never got me your content.  Please send over everything you want included in your website.

Client: Yes I will but why does it look so bare?  It looks nothing like the theme we decided on.

Designer: Can I get your logo, hi-res images, any copy you want on there, your contact info, hours, etc. please?

Client: Can’t you just grab it off the existing website?

Designer:  No, those images are way too small and you explained you didn’t want to use anything from your existing website.  You also explained that nothing is accurate on that site.

….more time goes by…..

Client: Why is this taking so long?

Designer: Still need your content.  I can’t post something I don’t have.

Client: Can’t you just write the “about us” section?  I don’t know why this should take so much time.

Designer:  I’m a web designer, not a copy writer, not a mind reader, not a photographer, besides I know nothing about your business, you do.  Remember I just take the info I’m given and make it look pretty and arrange it properly online.  I can’t build this thing without the raw materials.

Client: This is getting so frustrating, I just need this website done, why does this take so long?

Designer: Since I can’t pry any of your info from you, lets agree to go our separate ways, this isn’t working out.  And no, I won’t make your logo bigger.

I know this process very well because before I was the designer, I was this EXACT client!  It’s crazy how human nature works when it comes to website design but I made the same mistakes when trying to get a site done years and years ago when I was the client in the real estate business.

One of the biggest running jokes in the web design business is “Could you make my logo bigger??”  I’m not sure if this is an ego thing or what but 100% of the clients I’ve had have brought this up the first time they see the rough draft.  Have you ever looked at someone else’s website and thought “Great site but that logo is so damn small!”  It’s probably never happened.  Look at the big guys out there, Best Buy, Amazon, Ebay all have really small logos.  It makes sense, when the user is on your website they know where they are, they don’t need to be pounded over the head with this huge-ass logo!

Use WordPress whenever possible for your website

Am I bias toward WordPress?  Yep.  And for good reason.  Designers are a dime a dozen, WordPress is free, open source, and plugins are available for pretty much anything you want to do.

WordPress is a content management system (CMS) so once it’s set up (usually through Godaddy or a hosting account like it) you can login and make changes and updates yourself, just like I’m doing right now!


WordPress technically is a blog but it was so easy to use and customize-able back in the day that designers started using it for full websites more and more.  Today it’s a major player in website design and one of the most popular out there.  Why is this a good thing?

Website designers are some of the flakiest people you’ll ever encounter.  They’re there one day, gone the next.  Once they cash that check (sometimes even the first check) you’ll sooner get the King of Siam on the phone than your website design guy.  This happens so often that every time I get a call from a new website design client I always start out with “Lemme guess, you have an unfinished website and your web guy disappeared off the face of the earth and you need it completed or reworked?”  “Oh my god yes, how did you know that!?!?!”  Every time.

I can openly talk shit about web designers because, well, I am one.  I can’t say that they are entirely to blame in this equation, read the left side of this page to see what I’m talking about.  I’ve gone from the low-paying, super frustrating job of designing websites to the zero-paying, zero-stress world of giving you advice when it comes to creating your masterpiece.  Since people actually read bullet point lists, here ids mine on the do’s and don’t’s of approaching your site and online marketing in general.

  1. Give your designer all of your content up front, before the job begins.
  2. Give your designer all of your content up front, before the job begins!!
  3. Do not talk about Fight Club. (you can skip this step if you want)
  4. Don’t half-ass anything.  If ranking high in Google is important to you then take this to heart.  Google’s rule of thumb is really simple, the more thorough you are, the higher you will rank.  Look at it from Google’s point of view, if you don’t give a shit enough to do a complete, thorough, professional job to present your company, why should they promote you?  For more website SEO tips for bars and restaurants click here.
  5. Get a professional photoshoot done.  Food, architecture, crowds, everything.  This will most likely require multiple photographers.  Email or text me for some great photographers if you’re in the Phoenix AZ valley.
  6. You get what you pay for.  Don’t use the lowest bidder.  A really well designed complete WordPress website should cost you about $2k- $5k.  You can certainly get it for cheaper but if they’re the type that will nickle and dime the upgrades than  you may be better off going a notch up in price.
  7. The timeline should take about 2 weeks or less but this all depends on you, the client.  If you want the best possible price and the quickest turn-around time, have ALL of your content ready and organized up front.  (See #1 and #2 of this list).


If you’re interviewing designers and you can say you have your photoshoots complete and photo galleries in hi-res format ready to go as well as all of your copy written, navigation figured out, hi-res transparent logos ready in the right file formats, you’re going to get a WAY better response and guaranteed better prices!

8. When researching websites, look outside of your business.  If you have a restaurant, don’t just research other restaurants but rather ANY website you like the look of.  If you like a retail store, coffee shop or florist’s site, bring those one up to your designer.

9. On that note, don’t focus on look only.  Pay attention to how websites flow, how they’re organized, how many pictures they use vs. text, color schemes, etc.

10. Have realistic expectations.  Your website will not be award-winning if you paid $500 for it.

11. LEARN the WordPress CMS!  Any good web designer will sit you down when the site is complete and teach you how to use it.  From logging in to editing text to adding pages they’ll show you how it works.  PAY ATTENTION and learn it because as I noted before, your web designer will cash that check and forget your phone number the next day.

12. CONTENT IS KING.  I’ve said this in countless areas of this website but it’s never more important if you want to get ranked or noticed online.  These articles I write on this website are informative, add a ton of value, are thorough, and most importantly there’s a shitload of content.  This may be the reason you found me online in the first place.