When is the right time for a makeover?

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Extreme Website Makeover

When is the right time for a makeover?

Your website needs a makeover when content on your website is fragmented – located in multiple spots and incomplete.  Navigation is convoluted and the general appearance gives the impression you are out of business.  Worse the montinization of your site over powers the content you have and is not in line with the overall focus of your company.

Montinization

Placing ads on your website to earn money from the work you done is a common practice.  However, unless you control the ads displayed it’s a crap shoot.  I know of websites that offer services from one vendor but because the website is montinized a competing vendors ads keep popping up. 

Remember the space on your website is like real estate.  What you put on your pages impacts your content.  If you sell a product, instead of placing advertising from other vendors, use the space to advertise what you offer or showcase the vendors you already partner with.

Navigation

If users on your website need to use abstract thought, have a degree in rocket science or must read through a laundry list to find what they want, they will not stick around.  A bad menu structure can kill a site fast.  If you are seeing high numbers in your stats but the amount of time spent on each page is in milliseconds you’ve got a problem.

Navigation has to be simple.  Start with your main navigation.  These are the top categories where content on can be found.  Beneath each category you may have a child – second level navigation, grandchild – third level navigation, and great grandchild – fourth level navigation.  If you need to go beyond the fourth level I recommend reviewing how your content is presented.  Laundry lists are a major turn off in navigation.  It provides too many options often causing the user frustration.

Fragmented Content

Content is the life blood for any website.  When a user comes to your website can they find what they want or is it fragmented and incomplete?  Are there links that lead users to the other fragments or do they have to hunt them down?  Do not depend on search to present users of your website with all articles written on the topic.  If you’ve chosen to use the WordPress platform to build your website, utilize plugins that will automatically place links at the bottom of your posts for related content.  Do not make users to your website hunt for content.  Your users experience must be the same high standard as the service you provide in person or over the phone.

If your online customer is not happy they will tell their followers.  Their followers will tell the people who follow them.  A poor user experience can kill your business.

Makeover

If you’ve come to the conclusion it’s time for a makeover start by thinking outside the box.  In other words do not look to duplicate your website so it looks and acts exactly the same only better.  If your website could be made better, you would not have decided on a makeover.

The simple fact is, a makeover is an opportunity to re-envision your image.  Your company is not the same as it was when your website was first launched.  Reflect those changes in the new design.  Ideally your website should be undergoing change on a regular basis as your business grows and changes.

What you don’t know can cost you

Recently I came across an ad for a frontend website developer.  It was clear from reading the laundry list of skills for the desired candidate the person posting knew nothing about websites.  In short the post was an invitation to get ripped off. 

What this person didn’t know had already cost the company when they hired a “business and technology solutions firm” in 2013.  A quick search showed the website had been moved from one server to another but no 301 redirects had been put in place and the pages on the old server were still live.  The videos showing users how to use features did not match the actual real time user experience.  Forms had pages and pages of spam.  Other pages had dead links or missing content.  A year after the “firm” had been hired the company website was worse off.  Hence the ad I found on Google+.

Remember a website is a living breathing document.  Understand how your website works.  You know how to run your company.  The same applies with your website.  This allows you to outsource the work with confidence allowing you to focus your energize on growing your company. 

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