A big factor of creating a website that has your vision fills your needs, and is something you are excited about is… communication! With 650+ completed websites you can imagine that the Curlyhost team has talked a LOT about what works and what doesn’t. And for a while now we have loved working with Pastel as our communication tool.

What is Pastel?

Pastel is a website feedback tool that helps streamline design, layout, and functionality. It’s easy to view in any browser and allows for commenting throughout the entire experience.

How do you use it?

I’m so glad that you asked! I have pulled together a step-by-step guide on how we have used this tool to navigate and pivot through projects. If you have additional questions – feel free to reach out. We look forward to collaborating with you!



Pastel Guide:

1. View Your Site (or wireframe) in Pastel
2. Create a Login
3. ‘Browse’ your Website in Pastel
4. Leave Comments
5. View Comments
6. Add Attachments to a Comment
7. Edit Text in Pastel
8. Review New Comments
9. Reply to a Comment
10. Track Comments for Workflow


When your site (or wireframe) is ready for review, CurlyHost will send you a link that will open your site inside the Pastel editing window.

* Please Note: Before the link is opened, there may be an alert window that pops up asking for login information. Enter the login details provided by CurlyHost and you will be redirected to the website view inside Pastel. (This additional login is an extra level of protection for your website.)

(If you are viewing a wireframe – which is an image-based design – before the build-out phase of your website. You will only need to create a login, which we will go over in the following step.)


Now that you can view your website or wireframe in Pastel – you will need to create a log-in. This allows you to make comments – and notifies the CurlyHost team who is commenting on a site (which is helpful, especially when multiple people are leaving edits to a website).

To do so – click anywhere on the site, which will open a pop-up asking for a name and email. Once that information is entered you will be set to leave comments!


Once logged in, you’ll be brought to the home page of your site inside the Pastel editor.

*Please note: The first view brings you to the full page view in comment mode. To turn comment mode off and browse your site use the following instructions.

At the bottom center of the browser window, there is a toggle for changing which mode of the editor you are in. Slide the toggle to the left to enter ‘Browse’ mode. From here you will be able to navigate the main menu, click buttons, and follow links.



To leave a comment addressing a change you would like made to the website, make sure you are in ‘Comment’ mode by sliding the toggle to the right.

Once you are in ‘Comment’ mode, you will be able to highlight items on the site by hovering your cursor over them. To leave a comment, hover over the item/section so that it is highlighted.

Once the item has a blue dotted line around it, click to open a comment box.

In the box, you can type any comments, edits, or questions about your website. Once you start to type, a blue button will appear to ‘Post Comment.’ When you are done typing click that button to add your note to the list.


To view comments in Pastel, open the left sidebar by clicking on the ‘Comments’ button in the bottom left corner of your screen.

Here you will be able to see the list of comments you leave and any questions from CurlyHost.

New comments that you have not viewed will be marked with a pink flag. See step 7 ‘Edit Text in Pastel’ for more information.


Sometimes it may be helpful to add attachments, (such as a document you would like linked in text or an image you would like to switch out). Adding the file directly to the comment is very helpful for the feedback process. To add an attachment, click on the gray paperclip in the bottom right corner of the comment box.

This will open the files on your computer where you can choose your attachment.

If you want to add a file to a comment you have already posted, see step 5. ‘View Comments’ listed above and find the comment you want to edit. Click on the comment and find the ‘Add a Reply’ box at the bottom.


Leave a comment and use the paperclip on the right to attach the file. This will list the file in a nested reply under the original comment.


For text changes in Pastel, you can edit textboxes directly with your new content. This will record the changes in Pastel, but will not change the content on the actual website. Using the text editor in Pastel makes it easy for the developer to copy and paste your new content.

*Please note: It is best to edit content one full paragraph at a time this way in order to avoid overlapping changes.

To edit text, make sure you are in ‘Comment’ mode shown in step 4 ‘Leave Comments’ above. Hover over the text you want to edit until the blue lines appear around it.

*Make sure you highlight the text only. For example, the image on the left highlights the text only, while the image on the right highlights the entire button.

Once you have the text-only highlighted, you will see an option appear above the comment box that says ‘Change this text.’

Click this to open the text editor and change the text inside the Pastel editor.



Once you have the text edited the way you want it, click ‘Save changes’ at the top of the screen.

Once the changes have been saved, the text will return to the pre-edited version, but the changes will be recorded as a comment in pastel. To double-check your edits, you can open the comment and use the before/after toggle to check your changes.


If you have new comments to review, you will see a pink notification at the bottom of the comments bar.

Open the comments bar to view new comments. You will see new comments marked with a pink flag to the right of the comment. Click on the comment to read it. Once it has been opened, the pink flag will disappear.


To reply to a comment, open the comment sidebar as in step 5 ‘View Comments’ and click on the comment you want to reply to.

At the bottom of the comment there is an input box to type your message. You can also add an attachment with the gray paperclip on the right side of the box.


Pastel is an efficient way for CurlyHost to collaborate with clients and make sure we are meeting your expectations. As we work together, CurlyHost will mark comments ‘Resolved’ that have been completed and need no further clarification.

You can view resolved comments by using the toggle at the top of the comment list and clicking on ‘Resolved.’

If we have a question or leave a reply to a comment, that will be on the ‘Active’ column and you will receive a pink notification. Click on the comment to view and reply as needed.

Now that you know how it works! Let’s get started on your next project!

I’ve been in a unique position to see Covid through the eyes of my client’s evolving websites. I’ve seen some companies pivot and change while others double down on what they are really good at.

For those industries that have been hit hardest by restrictions, I’ve seen how crucial it is for these businesses to find ways to change up their rhythm in order to connect with their customers and stay in business. Check out my three tips to change up your rhythm.

1. Sleep

If you want your brain to be sharper, get between 7-9 hours of sleep.

The negative effects of sleep loss on cognitive function—and in particular, on mood and emotional processing—are well known, but how does that connect to your website? Well, if I’m asking you to think about what your users might put in a search box, I need you to start thinking differently. I need you to walk in the shoes of your client. I don’t need all your services lined up in a cute little row, I need you to let your users know that you’ve got it handled.

Brain health is a big business but it’s more than just being sharp – – in 2018, consumers spent an estimated $1.9 billion on Lumosity – a game meant to make you smarter. Their science is flawed and there’s no proof that any of these actually make any tangible change. People do it because it’s fun, not because they won’t get dementia.

“If individuals describe their quality of sleep as poor—if they feel tired and not well rested—their ability to be empathic in unpleasant situations is reduced, compared to others who feel satisfied with their sleep.”

That could have practical implications in a wide range of situations, whether you’re responding to your partner’s hurt feelings in an argument or dealing with a client’s frustrated feelings while fielding a complaint at work. It suggests that you may be less prepared to handle such situations when you haven’t slept well. Chalk up one more reason to make sleep a priority—not only for your physical health but also for your emotional and social well-being.

2. Journal

Glad we have the sleep thing figured out (ok, I know it’s not that easy, but getting enough sleep should definitely stay on your priority list). Now what I want you to do in the morning is to journal for the first twenty minutes after you wake up. Grab a cup of coffee or some water and just write. You can write about your dreams and you can write about why you got into this business in the first place. As you explore your own thoughts you might start thinking about the kinds of questions people have when they come to you and how you solve them. Maybe you could start writing down how you’ve solved specific problems for specific people and why it gives you purpose.

People love to connect to real stories and real situations. People want to know who they’re hiring and they tend to fall in love with small businesses that they support and put up with whatever madness you have them go through to work with you because they believe in you. Allow your clients insight into who you are and what you’re going through if you actually want to keep the client for life.

Tip: Getting overwhelmed by the amount of sharable content? Narrow in and share only a small amount of information that is relevant and valuable. Split the information up over multiple days or weeks or organize it into an easy to skim list.

I think you should write blog posts about your field in a way that will bring people to your site and then have them wind up clicking on one of your services or purchase one of your packages/products.

Once you have blog titles and the general outline of what it is you want to share you can have other people help fill in the blanks with relevant content and references.

You need to create a whole lot more content than you’ve ever needed to before to stay relevant and we’re not going to be the ones who do it for you. We will create a beautiful WordPress website and we’re going to teach you how to use it and then you’ll need to be the one that jumps in and starts making it your own. I’ve made hundreds of websites that didn’t last longer than a year because they thought creating the website would be good enough without creating content for it.

3. Simplify

I went back and forth between having this third tip titled “Give” or “Simplify,” and decided to go with the latter. Give good gifts is my motto around the holidays and that certainly can be extended to the relationship you have with your customers, but gifting a lot is not always the answer. Instead, for the third tip to change your rhythm, simplify.

Give far fewer offerings on your website but make them good. Instead of having 10 really shiny offerings on your website have one really, really good one, and have it matter. You don’t need to give away your secret sauce but make sure your blog posts are actually helpful and not just self-promoting.

Think of the companies you love spending time with. They are constantly innovating and changing how they represent themselves online. It’s fun to log back in and check out the latest launches. Check out companies like Daily Harvest or FitBit, how are they improving this year?

Should you re-release your same product but with a different color and the title of new and improved with a lower price point? People often need to see the same thing repackaged up over and over and over again to help them get it through their brain that they need what you have to offer.

But Andrea, how does getting enough sleep, journaling, and simplifying have to do with my website? That’s a valid point. I know I’m bringing a lot of things together but I think the point of getting enough sleep has more to do with how big of an impact that can have on the rest of your personal and professional life.

We’re in a changing world and finding ways to change your rhythm, take care of your mental and physical wellness and connect on a deeper level to your customers is the only way to make those dreams and goals happen.


It’s easy to collect payments online.

Whether you are building an online store, offering curbside service, or just needing a way to quickly get paid, there are plenty of solutions to get paid online. Check out this guide on a few ways you can incorporate online payments in your current business.

Why should you offer Online Payments?

  • Promote Advanced Technology and Ease of Use. No need to mail in a check or waste time on the phone.
  • Time Saver for your Customers. Don’t wait in line, pay ahead, skip the wait, and swing into pickup your order
  • Get paid faster! No one likes chasing open invoices or “Cash on Delivery” orders, it’s so much easier when you offer an easy and safe way to pay online.


Through WooCommerce and WordPress, the options are nearly endless for offering ways to pay online:

  • Pay Any Amount – Use for fundraising, auctions, and more
  • Subscriptions – Collect Recurring Charges easily
  • Payment Portal – Login to pay bills, view invoices…etc.
  • Online Gift Cards – Use for gift guides and makes for an easy upsell

Check out these fun and functional examples:

Ready to offer your customers an easier way to pay? Reach out for a custom solution to fit your product or service. Want to learn more? Check out our resources for getting paid such as Stripe, Square, Venmo, Paypal, Cash App, Quickbooks, and Chime.


Through this guide, we will be going over creating, editing and sharing a document. For further information visit Google’s Support Center.



To work in Google Docs you must have an account with Google Office Suite. If you have a Gmail account, you already have access to using other Google tools such as Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Forms, etc. (this is a free service)

So first sign in to your account.



When working with us on a project, often times back and forth notes are needed. We have found that Google Docs is a great way to communicate directly with the nitty-gritty information and details. From checking what needs to be done, edit requests, and creating new copy Google Docs allows us to quickly and efficiently communicate before, during and after a project.



Once signed in, you can create a new document by clicking the ‘Blank’ template (or by selecting a template already created).

After clicking the ‘Blank’ template, a new page will open that looks very similar to a Word document or email (if you’re familiar with those platforms).


Make sure to enter a document title, this is what your document will be saved as (and can be edited at any time).



A great feature Google Docs offers is creating an outline. An outline can show the main points of a document and even link to each title making document navigation simple. There are two ways to view an Outline:

    1. Click the tab on the left side of your screen
    2. Click ‘View’ > ‘Show Document Outline’

The outline of a document is automatically created when you are typing out your copy. By setting your text as headers (different font sizes) you will create outline titles/links.

EXAMPLE: In this guide (if you are viewing it in Google Docs) – when you click on the outline you’ll see each topic we talk about. By clicking on the different titles in the outline you will be brought to that specific section in the document.



In Google Docs you can do a lot more than just write simple text. You can create lists, link text to website pages, highlight completed tasks and much more. To make these edits you’ll use the bar near the top of your screen. By hovering over each item, a description of what it does will pop up. Go over each to help familiarize with they do.

EXAMPLE: If you want to bold text, highlight the text you want bolded and click the bold icon.



When reviewing a document, comments/suggestions can be very helpful to leave notes for others going through the same document. It is a feature that allows you to make notes without making adjustments to the actual document. There are a couple of ways you can do this.

    1. Have your mouse in the section you want to comment on. Left-click, and click on ‘Comment’.  That will highlight the section you want to comment on.
    2. Highlight the text you want to comment on, go up to ‘Insert’ > ‘Comment’ and type your comment in that same text box.

Once a comment is made, other editors can make further notes on that same stream, resolve/remove or create a new one.*** Sidenote: If you want to make document comments but want them directly on the pages, make the text a different color. For example: You can highlight what edits have been made and write in red what needs to be done. This is another great way to make notes when going through website revisions.



Another great feature of Google Docs is that you can add images and screenshots. If your talking about a specific thing that could use a visual for further explanation, adding an image can help! Simply have your mouse where you want the image to go, click on ‘Insert’ > ‘Image’. You then have different access points; Upload from your computer, Google Drive, etc. to pull an image from.

You can also add a screenshot by pasting in the document.



SAVE: When creating documents they will automatically be saved to your ‘Docs Home’ (access by clicking the blue paper icon in the top left corner of your screen). You can also save to a specific folder on your computer or in Google Drive. To save in a specific location, click the light gray folder and select a location. Once the location is selected click the blue ‘Move here’ button.

DOWNLOAD: If you need the file type of be a PDF, Word Document, etc. click on on ‘File’ > ‘Download’ > and then whatever file type you want to save as.

SHARE: Sharing allows other people to access your document, edit your document, or download your document. In the top right corner of your screen, click the blue share button. That will open a popup with a link. That link can have different access points by selecting the drop-down ‘Anyone with this link…’ can edit, comment, or can view. That way you can share documents with someone to just read and comment if you don’t want them to make adjustments.

You likely know that you need a new or updated website, but you aren’t sure if you should hire a professional. Maybe you saw an ad for a website builder like Wix, Weebly, or Squarespace and thought, “I could do that!” Or perhaps you’ve bootstrapped everything else for your business and wonder why a website would be any different. If money is an issue, then that’s one thing. But if you’re able to spend a little and want to level up your business, then hiring a web design and development company is the right choice.

You might need to hire a professional if you want…

A Fresh Perspective

A web design and development company will have a fresh take on your content. As someone who founded, manages, or supports an organization, you may be too close to see it as accurately as an independent third party can. An expert will be able to take a step back and see the relationship between you and your users, finding patterns you may have missed. Your written content is sending a message to your users. What message do they hear? Does it resonate? A website expert can refine your messaging and put an end to the game of telephone that leads to lost sales and dead ends.

A Unique Design

While the design is subjective, a website design and development company will create a more polished brand nine times out of ten. And the design is more than just pretty colors. It’s the first thing your customers, clients, or users notice when they visit your website. If the pages are wonky and the photos look like they’re from before Y2K, users might wonder where else you’re cutting corners. A professionally designed website (that matches your brand) answers a user’s first question before they even have a chance to ask — yes, this company is legitimate.

Additional Functionality

Functionality that’s in addition to your out-of-the-box website probably requires some level of technical finesse. Maybe your users need access to specific plug-ins or integrations with software and will grow frustrated if the functionality is unreliable or doesn’t work. A company that understands the technological ecosystem of your online platform will save you (and your users) headaches in the future. By ensuring that everything was set up correctly at the outset, you can prevent users from taking their frustration out on you and your business.

To Learn

There comes the point when the only way to build upon your knowledge is by asking questions. Maybe you’ve tried to set up a website on your own, but have run into too many roadblocks. Or perhaps you’ve googled different variations of the same question, but still can’t make heads or tails of it. Finding the right web development company (one that is willing to be patient and walk alongside you during the process) is the best way to build upon your knowledge. Don’t understand anything? Let an expert help you help yourself.

In Conclusion

At CurlyHost, we don’t just slap a design together and call it good. We work closely with you to determine your likes and dislikes and weigh them against your needs and wants. Sure, you can color your hair at home with a box dye, but it won’t turn out like the reference picture. If you go to a salon, your stylist can recommend flattering styles and use high-quality materials. Think of our process as letting your ideas get carried out by our professionals for a better result. We’ve had years of experience turning hundreds of insights into full-fledged websites. Ask us your questions — we’re ready to help.

Grand Rapids Website Design and Development

Through this guide, we will be going over how to add/edit blog posts.



Once you are in the backend of your WordPress website you’ll be brought to the ‘Dashboard’. From here you will see a navigation menu on the left side of your screen. To get to blog ‘Posts’ click ‘Posts’.



Now you are on a page that lists all of your current posts. To add a new post click the small button near the top of your screen ‘Add New’.



This page is where you will put all the content that goes into a single post.

1. Add a post title.

If you end up needing to edit your post title, you’ll also want to edit the Permalink. Do this by clicking the ‘Edit’ button next to the current Permalink.

Type in your new post title and click the ‘OK’ button.

2. Add your post copy/content.

This next section is set up similar to how you would write an email, but with more features.

Check through the menu options/icons to see what each item does. You can bold text, link it to go to another page or website, add titles, quotes and more.

3. Add images to your post.

If you want to add any images or videos in your post, place your cursor in the location you want the image or video to show. Then click the use ‘Add Media’ button.

That will open your website’s ‘Media Library’. From here you can select an image that is already added or upload a new one.

You can also add videos by clicking ‘Insert from URL’ then pasting a video link from Youtube or Vimeo.

Once your video or image is selected, click the red ‘Insert into post’ button.

If the image seems off (too big, blurry, etc.) you can always select the image, resize it or click the pencil icon to have more edit features.



An Excerpt is what will show if your website has a blog landing page. It’s pretty much a sentence that overviews your post or it can even be the first sentence(s) of your post. This will also be shown if you ever share your post on a social platform like Facebook. If you don’t add an Excerpt, when sharing your post one will automatically be pulled.



A Featured Image is the main photo of your post. It will show on social platforms when sharing, at the beginning of your post and on your blog landing page. To add a Featured Image scroll to the bottom of your post page. Click ‘Set featured image’.

That will open your website’s ‘Media Library’. From here you can select an image that is already in your ‘Media Library’ or upload a new one.

Once your image is selected click the red ‘Set featured image’ button.



Depending on your website layout, this is how your post will show up on different pages. It also helps when people are searching on your site for specific types of posts. (You can set multiple categories to your posts). Do this by checking the relevant categories in this section or add a new one.



Once all your post content has been added you’ll need to publish the post to make it live. Scroll to the top of the page and click the red ‘Publish’ button.

If you want to schedule your post for a later date click the ‘Edit’ text next to ‘Publish immediately’ and select the date and time you want this post to go live. Click the ‘OK’ button. Then that red button will change to say ‘Schedule’, click it.

If you want to just save your content and not Publish or Schedule yet click the ‘Save Draft’ button. Once your post is live so make sure to check the frontend of your website to see if everything is showing up properly.