Alba Backgrounds

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Project Description

Custom eCommerce Website for Company Selling Photography Backgrounds with Artistic Flair

Decades ago, Dedrick Dalgarno’s start in the photography backdrop industry was characterized by a quintessential custom process: He hand-painted his own products by request. Even then, this was unusual in the industry.

Since that time, Dedrick’s kept a focus on custom design, and while these days he’s gone digital with his processes, the creative spirit marking his company’s roots persists. When he approached our team about a custom website refresh for his eCommerce business, Alba Backgrounds, we wanted to ensure our design captured that spirit.

Project Objectives

The Alba team's goals for their new website included making product management easier—after all, Alba sells hundreds of different photography backgrounds and accessories—and boosting sales through the online store.

User experience was also noted as a critical factor for the redesign; Dedrick wanted to ensure that his potential customers—often photographers on the go—could easily navigate his website and find appropriate products regardless of their device and connection speed.

Website Design Inspiration


To kickstart the design process and drive additional branding and design choices, our team created a custom logo for Alba Backgrounds. Inspired by Dedrick’s history of hand-painting all his backdrops in the early years, our clean and simple logo design features a script-like font framed with a brush stroke box. The logo’s “A” functions as a secondary brand asset and is featured in the main header area on scroll in place of the full logo; this reduces the real estate consumed by the logo once users have left the masthead area.

User Experience

Our team takes care to ensure user-experience best practices are woven into all our project designs and builds. In Alba’s case, we heeded Dedrick’s emphasis on making it easy for potential customers to navigate through and find products, ensuring a search bar is available to all users at all times while exploring the site.

We also created a “megamenu” for the main navigation area that features a full category listing and promotional side images; the “Backdrops” and “Categories” drop-down menus give users a quick at-a-glance view of different themes available for perusal which inspires purchases for current needs as well as thoughts on how to approach future events.

In addition, the website is mobile responsive. The search field is sticky on mobile just as it is on desktop, though we simplified the main nav into a three-lined hamburger-style menu per mobile best practices; while the mobile menu does not replicate the full megamenu of the desktop layout, it allows for fewer taps between the homepage and product pages.

eCommerce Website Solutions

Custom Content Management System

We built most of the pages for Alba’s website on our own content management system, FusionCMS. Fusion allows us near infinite customization when it comes to content arrangement. Not only can we get as granular as we’d like with page layout, we can also make it easy for our clients to connect different areas of their website together with a few simple clicks.

For instance, on Alba’s Custom Order Page, our designed layout features a number sections styled in varying ways: The bright and branded masthead area showcases the most important tidbits of information related to custom ordering, the main info is structured into two clean columns for easy reading, and the FAQs section presents further info in a fun, condensed way via collapsible accordion-style content areas.

Finally, the page is rounded out with a form. The Alba team can bring an easy-to-build custom form into this area with no code necessary; all they need to do is click a few buttons in the CMS. If so desired, they could then connect this same form to pretty much any other page on the site. Globally accessible features like these are often not available on less flexible content management systems—and when they are available, they often require knowledge of HTML to maintain them.

Upselling Opportunities Through BigCommerce

We developed the online store portion of Alba’s website on BigCommerce. BigCommerce makes product management and categorization a cinch, solving for Alba’s massive inventory issue. BigCommerce also provides a PCI-compliant checkout process meaning Dedrick and his team can rest easy that all their customers' data is secure.

In addition, BigCommerce makes it easy to design user- and SEO-friendly category pages. With intuitive out-of-the-box category filtering and adjustable product view options, users are only ever a few clicks away from discovering items well suited to their needs.

BigCommerce also makes it easy to cross-sell items. When purchasing backdrop photography, most users will want to buy the necessary accessories—stands, clamps, and more—as well. On Alba’s site, we programmed in a “Related” section on product detail pages so users can quickly navigate to other items that may suit their needs.

Website Successes

Alba’s website is a great engine for Dedrick and his marketing partners to share company news and promote new products. The Alba team seasonally updates the content on the website to capitalize on major events like school dances. Alba’s eCommerce conversion rate is above industry standard and their website comes up impressively high in search rankings for critical keyword searches.

Though the photography backdrop industry faces a number of challenges (from the trend toward informal and amateur smartphone photography to the use of green screens in place of artistic backgrounds and more), Dedrick’s creativity and passion will help him continue to grow his business—and as he does so, his website will scale up with it.

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Port Townsend, WA


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