The company was formed in 2008 by Mike Trozzo and Eric Smith after lots of coffee and lunch meetings in and around Santa Monica, CA. The name is a reference to European cafés and bistros where artists, writers, business people, politicians and others would exchange ideas, collaborate and do business in a relaxed and stress-free environment.
Mike (design) and Eric (programming), set out to create custom designed websites with easy editing capabilities (at a time when most websites looked like this), Drupal was considered cutting-edge (shudder), and we were still supporting IE 6, 7 and 8 (more shuddering).
While web standards and CMS capabilities have improved vastly since then, the mission is still the same: We want to marry beautiful custom design with lightweight programming systems that are easy for clients (and devs) to edit and maintain over time.
Today, Bistro is run by Matt Davis & Kristin Haswell, both 13+ year veterans with the company. Our goal is to make the web design and development process easy, intuitive, and friendly, and to provide long term access and support to our clients, regardless of their size.
We understand brands and the big picture
20+ years experience with design, consumer advertising and web
Expertise in crafting brand-driven website design
We value long-term relationships built on trust and shared mission
Expertise with custom WordPress themes & builds, including customized admins for easy editing
Full hosting and maintenance capabilities
Easy and friendly ongoing support
Managing Partner, Design, Development
We work with agencies and other studios in a support role, fulfilling the build, programming, and technical expertise on any given project. We can work as an invisible sub-contractor, or as a visible member of your team. Typically we get involved at the wireframe stage, consulting with the designer on things like animation, responsive elements, and how the admin might be set up for a particular element. From there, we build the site structure based on the wireframe, and then begin programming and styling as designs get approved.
Yes, we have all of the expertise to design, build, and manage projects on our own. Our process for larger projects is very similar to the agencies we work with. We have a brief discovery/planning phase, followed by wireframes, then design, then build/programming and content.
We love working with small businesses and organizations. We have our own WP theme that allows us some flexibility to build very simple sites, or to customize for just about any level of complexity.
Yes – for WordPress we have a dedicated server at WP Engine, which is an industry-leading WP host. You get built-in site-security, SSL, daily backups and multiple dev environments. We also manage WP updates and plugin updates, and are on-call for any hosting issues. We have several levels of managed hosting plans to fit your needs.