Stellaractive Named Top Web Designer and Digital Agency

Stellaractive was recently named a leading web designer and digital agency in Portland by ratings and reviews firm, Clutch. What makes this recognition more significant than your average ratings site is the unique methodology that Clutch uses to evaluate each company they feature. A variety of criteria are considered, such as previous work, market presence, service lines, and most importantly, client satisfaction. Only companies that perform well in all of the categories can be included on Clutch’s “Leaders Matrix,” and we are good enough to appear on two!

Top Digital Agency in Portland OR Top Web Designer Award Portland Oregon

The most exciting part of our recognition is that we get to talk about our awesome clients that helped us get here! Client satisfaction is measured by the interviews that Clutch analysts conduct with our clients to learn about their experience working with us. Take a look at some of the things they’ve had to say:

I’ve always felt like I’m not just a number. They’re user friendly, you can get in touch with them at any time, you can talk about your concerns, and they will try to work it out for you. They are extremely responsive and it’s evident that they really care.”

“They are really excellent at communication, and they listen. Because they do listen so well, they help you really get what you’re after. They surpassed my expectations, and it was just as rewarding the second time as it was the first.”

As a provider of engaging, affordable, and easy to manage websites, we are thrilled to be listed among the best in our industry. Take a look at our profile on Clutch to see all of our full-length reviews and check out the other pages we’re featured on like Portland Web Developers.

The City of Arvin – Bringing New Options to a Dynamic City

  • City Image Renewed & RevampedCity-of-Arvin-Website-Design
  • Easy to Use Navigational Structure
  • WordPress Environment Allowing the City to Self Update
  • Outside Investment Encouraged via Content
  • Responsive Site Design
  • Full Service Provided for Content Creation

The City of Arvin is a beautiful California city located just North of Bakersfield. The City is rich with agriculture and a strong community and the City leaders wanted a website that displays the special nature of the City as well as the myriad opportunities that Arvin offers outside investors.   With a well rounded infrastructure ready to support retail expansion, the City needed to revamp the public image presented by their website.

WordPress was selected due to its flexible structure and responsive site options.  A key aspect of the new site for the City of Arvin revolves around clear navigation of the many City departments.  From building permits to police activities, there is quite a bit of essential information that needs to be easily accessible to residents.  A cohesive structure of “Live”, “Work” and “Play” was used to organize often accessed data and allows viewers quick access to what they are looking for on the new site.

Stellaractive understands the needs of busy city staff and the issues that come to bear when multiple departments need to contribute content and information for a website.  The Stellaractive Team designed a full service support plan that allowed City Staff to provide content information while maintaining their regular workflow.   With interviews and content collection from more than a dozen City Staff members,  Stellaractive developed compelling content that allows each department’s section on the new site to inform and explain what role it plays in the workings of the City.

The look and feel of the new City of Arvin site was a major focus for the Stellaractive Team.  Creative Director Rupert Edson pored through hundreds of images, seeking pictures that told the story of the City and developed a clear visual narrative of the beauty of the area as well as the strength of the community.  The City’s motto “The Garden in the Sun” was brought forward with the use of clear colors and crisp layouts, allowing viewers glimpse of warm California sunshine.

While maintaining easy access for residents to information needed for their daily lives, the City of Arvin also wanted to invite outside developers to invest in the city. Stellaractive developed navigation and content that funnels possible investors into key areas of the site that detail information useful for developers.  The result is a site that is nearly effortless to navigate as well as packed full of relevant information for both residents and possible investors.

The City of Arvin is a wonderful city nestled in California’s San Joaquin Valley and a perfect spot to live and work.  Their new website reflects the warm, beautiful environment and the many City services that make life in the City of Arvin truly like living in The Garden of the Sun.


What Makes a Logo Timeless?

For a lasting, memorable logo its important to remember a few key elements.

Created by Underconsideration
Created by Underconsideration
People often think that the logo needs to spell out what they do, when often that isn’t desirable or even possible. If you need a logo for a restaurant, you don’t necessarily wantfood or plates or silverware in it. If you think about the really great, instantly recognizable logos in the marketplace, they usually do not indicate the product. Apple doesn’t use an image of computers, FedEx doesn’t include a package or delivery truck, and McDonald’s logo isn’t a hamburger.
Simple is always best. You want the logo to be memorable and recognizable, and it also needs to reproduce well across a variety of media, at different sizes and on a variety of background colors. If it doesn’t look good when shrunk down to less than an inch, how are you going to create a business card? So tiny details are usually a bad idea if they get muddled at a small size. Too many effects — such as beveling, drop shadows and gradients — are also not usually a good idea for the same reason.
Your logo needs to stand out from the competition, but also fit within the market and make sense to your customer demographic. The logo for your medical practice should not be funny or whimsical. Similarly, the brand mark for your ice cream shop probably shouldn’t be too serious or your audience will be confused by the dissonance between the mark’s tone and the service.

While your logo should fit within industry audience expectations for tone, you don’t want it to include imagery that is overused or ubiquitous. Globes, Arrows, light bulbs … these don’t say too much and they are so overused as to guarantee the viewer won’t be able to distinguish your brand from the other globe logo.

View our Logo Design Portfolio

rupertRupert Edson
Stellaractive Creative Director

Windows 10 Update Launching Soon

It’s now a few days before launch and it looks like Windows 10 might come with a free version of Office, including Office Mobile versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint available for iOS and Android. It seems like Microsoft has really embraced the power of little incentives!

Windows 8 – and perhaps more tedious in some respects – 8.1 had attempted an OS that imageswas fairly universal between workstation, high end gaming rigs, and more mobile devices with touch screen interfaces.

Microsoft skipped Windows 9 (which was surely in some form of early development) and decided on a bigger leap forward. The Redmond Washington firm unveiled Windows 10 back in September of 2014, then later provided a WTP (Windows technical preview); testers were struck by how the OS was optimized for the complete spectrum of devices and exploits their strengths and weaknesses.

Millions have been signing up for the first crack at Windows 10 via Microsoft’s insider program, all one needs is a Microsoft account. Once qualified you will end up with a time released downloader that will sit in your task bar and wait for July 29th to activate. Just know that this is not technically the finished product and it will certainly suffer some hiccups in that awkward implementation phase. Hopefully it won’t be as infuriating as some of the issues suffered with the aforementioned versions.

New features have been rolling in with each preview in the past months and Windows 10 is — according to Microsoft — very close to completion. There is general confidence in how it will improve the user’s overall experience. Another interesting change is a new browser called Edge to replace Internet Explorer as the default. Seeing as we’ve been dealing with Explorer all of these years this could be a pleasant surprise.

One last caveat: Windows 10 is only free for Windows 7 and 8/8.1 user, and only for one year. After that, there is a cost, $129 to start.

Written by: Bradley Timm

Alpina Foods – providing seamless access for customers with their new website


  • Extensive Product Information
  • Innovative Recipe Section
  • Cutting Edge WordPress Structure
  • Powerful, Effective Rollovers
  • Responsive Site Design
  • Store Finder

Alpina Foods is a leading provider of high quality dairy products. When they decided to revamp their site with a complete redesign, the Stellaractive Team was thrilled to hop on board. Alpina needed a responsive site that allowed customers easy access to information about their products. Stellaractive decided on WordPress as the structural base to allow for a great deal of flexibility as well as creative freedom. The inherent ability to create fully responsive sites that WordPress brings to the table made it a natural choice for Alpina’s site redesign/rebuild.

Alpina Foods is a dynamic, cutting edge company that provides great products and Stellaractive knew that they’d need to build a site that reflected this excellence. The site itself was designed to include a number custom features that blended seamlessly. Each product page is easily accessible and features engaging slideshows and rollover product information. Everything from nutrition facts to specific ingredients can be viewed on demand. The high level of relevant information allows viewers to learn as much as they’d like about particular products and encourages client loyalty by providing a wide range of relevant information.

Ultimate Locator store finder software was installed to help customers find stores nearby and a full featured News Blog keeps things up to date. The Store Finder was placed on every page to provide easy access to this user-friendly tool. A key aspect of the Store Finder is the ability of Alpina Foods to add new locations at will, allowing for a high level of customer service and satisfaction.

The News Blog is focused on new products, company awards, and additional information about the company. The dynamic WordPress structure allows Alpina to easily update the blog and keep viewers involved in the company. The Stellaractive Team made sure to launch the site with posts already up and visible, allowing Alpina Foods a head start in keeping their customers up to date.

Another major part of the Alpina Foods site is the Recipe section. Users can find a wide range of recipes that include Alpina products and discover great ideas for their meals.  As with other sections of the site, Stellaractive ensured that Alpina would be able to add additional recipes easily and determine several sort parameters that allow customers to find exactly what they’re looking for in a recipe.

Alpina Foods required a clean, easy to navigate site that focused on ease of use and high level interactions with customers. Stellaractive delivered with a WordPress based website that included a range of additional, engaging site tools. The power and simplicity of this new website allows Alpina to maintain its position as an industry leader while expanding into new markets and territories.


Stellaractive Recognized as Top Web Development Firm in Portland

Stellaractive has been recognized by Clutch as one of the top website design firms in the clutch-clientsPacific Northwest. We strive everyday to exceed our clients’ expectations and develop websites that take businesses to the next level,  achieving a 4.9 client approval rating on a 5 point scale.     Original press release:

The top firms were selected based on over a dozen factors including company experience, client references, industry recognition, and market presence.

WASHINGTON, DC, April 16, 2015 — Today Clutch published an update identifying leading web design and web development firms based in the Pacific Northwest.  The research leverages the proprietary Leaders Matrix methodology, mapping each firm’s focus on web design, web development and E-commerce development against their ability to deliver world-class results for their clients.

The firms recognized are: Smashing Ideas, Copious, Quick Left, FINE, Montana Banana Web Development, Fuse IQ, Inc., Stellaractive, Studio 5 Innovation, Aha Consulting, JV Media Design, Illusio Design, 8ninths.

“The average online consumer today is more sophisticated than ever; they have higher expectations and are more critical of a company’s virtual appearance,” explained Ayrald, Analyst at Clutch. “The agencies listed here work hard to ensure their clients’ websites are responsive, well-designed, and easy to navigate.”

Profiles of each agency detailing the companies’ key focus areas and displaying full-length client reference interviews are published on Clutch also published a companion directory of Seattle and Portland web design and web development firms, which provides prospective buyers with filtering tools to help identify the service providers that best meet their needs.

Clutch’s effort to identify leading web design and web development agencies is ongoing, and the firm encourages established companies to apply to participate for potential inclusion in future research updates.

The full research and reviews can be found at:

You can view the Stellaractive profile and reviews on Clutch here:

About Clutch

Clutch is a Washington, DC-based B2B research and review firm that identifies top service and software firms in the technology and marketing industry. The Clutch methodology is an innovative research process melding the best of traditional B2B research and newer consumer review services. Clutch utilizes a proprietary framework, the Leaders Matrix, which maps firms’ focus areas and their ability to deliver on client expectations. Clutch publishes the leading research on mobile agencies in addition to research and reviews covering 600+ companies spanning 50+ vertical markets.

The Shapira Foundation- Making a difference with a new, easy to use website

Shapira-Foundation-WebsiteThe Anne and Eli Shapira Charitable Foundation has been a key player here in Portland, working with a wide range of nonprofits and community outreach programs to provide support for everything from after school programs to food pantries. Their dedication to helping out locally has made a difference to so many here in the Portland area and when Stellaractive learned that The Shapira Foundation needed a website redesign we were happy to hop on board.

Their site needed a redesign that would allow for both the main Foundation’s presence as well as a section for HugPatrol, one of their key projects. Aspects of the design needed to focus on clarity, clean lines, and a more modern feel to the site. Our Stellaractive team, lead by Creative Director Rupert Edson, spent hours with The Shapira Foundation staff working on a clear vision for the site and making certain that the look and feel matched the effective and caring nature of the organization itself.

To facilitate clear communication with the viewer and make certain that the branding matched The Foundation’s mission statement, new logos were developed for both The Shapira Foundation and HugPatrol. This allowed a new look to flow through the site and an updated color palette was developed that focused on the vibrant, active nature of the organization.

The decision was made early on to include Hug Patrol as a separate section within the site in order to keep the application process simple and easy. The site itself is fully responsive, adjusting to viewers’ technology and allowing a wide range of devices to display the site with ease. Built in our Web Builder content management system, The Shapira Foundation site can be quickly and easily updated by Foundation staff whenever they choose. This allows them not only to change content at will but saves them a considerable amount of money on web updates as they don’t need to hire a web designer in order to make simple changes to their site content.

In addition to new logos, new branding and a responsive approach to the site, the team here at Stellaractive also included some 3rd party code for the HugPatrol section of the site. The Shapira Foundation uses WizeHive to handle their applications and grant tracking for HugPatrol and we were able to embed the login and account generation fields right into the HugPatrol application page.   This easy transition allows for a greater level of engagement with applicants and also supports the worthwhile work being done by cutting down on data entry work for The Foundation.

Few organizations are as effective as The Anne and Eli Shapira Charitable Foundation while keeping such a clear vision. It was a pleasure working with them designing and creating their new branding and website and we’re looking forward to supporting The Shapira Foundation with excellent customer service as they continue their worthwhile work.

  • Logo Development
  • Branding
  • WebBuilder Content Management System
  • Site Redesign & Rebuild
  • Responsive Site Design
  • 3rd Party Code Embedded

MICA Corporation launches ecommerce website for international network

Mica-CorpStellaractive developed a user friendly eCommerce website for MICA Corporation that will increase their sales and streamline their order and fulfillment process.

MICA Corporation manufactures and supplies water-based, user-friendly products that offer adhesion or other properties to plastic, metal, and paper surfaces in continuous web applications.  Their new website is built on the PrestaShop platform which makes adding new products, updating products and managing inventory quick and easy.

The website features an online catalog of their product line for the public and a powerful ordering system for their international network of clients.  Clients who are approved to log into the site can view additional details about the products and download spec sheets.   The checkout process was customized for MICA Corporations unique purchase order process so that it integrates seamlessly into their internal processes for payment, shipment, and client relations.

We love the custom designed interactive map that displays US and international sales territories as well as office and vendor locations.  This custom map module provides MICA Corporation and easy to use CMS that allows staff to edit and update it when needed. Finally, we incorporated a blog that is perfectly integrated into the Prestashop eCommerce platform and can be updated quickly without any knowledge of blogging or HTML coding.

HMK USA Outdoor Gear Launches Dynamic eCommerce Website

stellar_pfolio_hmkHMK USA, Hood River Oregon had an outdated eCommerce website that integrated poorly with their fulfillment and shipping department and didn’t accommodate their growing product lines. The site needed an updated modern design that aligned with their well-developed brand personality and included Sasquatch.

Stellaractive developed an ecommerce system that displayed their products in large gallery pages that emphasized the quality and features, and added rollover navigation to view each product in every color option. Now HMK customers can clearly view products and information for a clean and simple shopping experience.

One of HMK’s goals was to use their website to interact with their loyal customer base and alleviate delayed responses to customer questions. We installed a Live Chat module that also provides live navigation and referral statistics while chatting with potential clients.

To support the new HMK ecommerce website as a direct communication tool for the HMK Outdoor Ecommerce Storecompany’s marketing department Stellaractive installed a national dealer locator, giving customers the option to purchase local instead of online. We also integrated the website with Mail Chimp, Facebook, and other social platforms to keep their website perfectly in tune with all of their marketing efforts.

PacMe – Custom Cake PHP Ecommerce Web Development Project

pacmePacMe is our latest custom cake php web development project. PacMe is a startup company who’s business model is to reduce the cost and trouble international clients have when they make online purchases from US retailers. Many online retailers don’t ship overseas or if they do the international shipping is very expensive. PacMe’s mission is to make it easy and affordable for people worldwide to buy online. They provide international buyers with their own US mail box located in Sherwood, Oregon, then the customers have their purchases sent directly to their box tax free. Then PacMe photographs the incoming package, takes inventory, and stores the package until the customer has finished shopping. Next PacMe consolidates all the packages by carefully repacking everything in one secure box and shipping it to their customer’s doorstop.

Stellaractive worked with PacMe on a complicated set of business rules that required more than 200 pages of wireframes. The website includes: a customer portal where customers can view details on all the incoming packages, chat with PacMe customer service, create a special request for a package, create multiple consolidations where they can choose from various shipping or packing options as well as create their customs lists, and manage their address book and payment methods.

Stellaractive also built an admin area that includes a CMS with full control over carrier mark ups, pricing, system rules and more. We built 4 shipping apis for Fed Ex, UPS, DHL and USPS as well as 2 payment gateways, Paypal and

Finally, Stellaractive built a web-based software to run the warehouse where packages are received, stored and consolidated. It includes detailed reports to show movement of packages and any possible hold ups in their processes.

Creative Director, Rupert Edson, created the PacMe logo and the design for their website.