It’s Time for a New Website.
That’s a pretty bold statement right? I don’t know anything about you. I don’t know your business, your current web design, your background, how recently your most recent website was completed, but I am already telling you it’s time for a new website design? By now you may already think I am just another sales person trying to sell you something. While of course I would love you to work with UpTrending, I am not on our sales team, although I am sure they’d be happy to be introduced to you!
So how do I know you need a new website? Well first of all you are here. People don’t tend to stumble across a web design blog. Unless you share our odd passion for the web, I am sure you weren’t out googling “web design blog” for a little light, afternoon reading. Secondly, I know how fast the web changes. Nothing is a better expression of the ADD Millennial generation than the internet. I often am explaining to people that our turnover rate is 18 months. Meaning that what we were doing 18 months ago is now totally different than what we are doing today. This kind of rapid turnover means that more than likely your site is already out-of-date.
So if my basic premise of you already needing a new website is correct, the next logical question becomes, how do I future proof my website and use the best website design so I am not constantly behind? Below are five basic tips that will help ensure you are an industry leader and not behind the times.
Your Content Needs a Home
Content Management Systems (CMS) are an industry standard now. At a very basic level a CMS allows you to store your website content in a database instead of directly inside of code. This provides a number of advantages over programmed content, with the main advantage being that a person without HTML and CSS knowledge can update and make changes to a website. This helps decrease your cost by not having to pay for each individual change to your website.
The most popular CMS on the market today is WordPress. Wordpress is an open-source CMS with thousands of contributors, constantly adding features and making sure the product is secure. It operates under a GPLv2 license making it free to use, meaning you will never have to pay a licensing fee (monthly, yearly, etc) to just have your website.
When deciding to build a new website you should take the time to research different CMS and/or contact a web design agency to get feedback about what might be the best possible fit for your organization.
Keep Your Information Fresh
You need to be constantly adding new content to your website. This serves three main purposes. The first reason is that most businesses are not stagnant. They are offering new products or services, they are running new specials, things are changing constantly. Those changes need to be reflected as soon as possible in the content of your website. Often times a website is the first interaction a possible customer will have with you and having the correct information helps drive sales. The second reason is to help draw the attention of returning visitors. If somebody has come to your site before, but hasn’t made a decision to contact you, having fresh content or updated information may drive that consumer to actually reach out to you. Third, having fresh content is extremely important for your search engine rankings. When search robots from places like Google crawl your website, if they see the same content over and over again with no changes they will lower your rankings and put your competitors above you in the results. So maintaining fresh content doesn’t only help explain to your customers who you are, but it also helps potential customers find you.
Understand Your Audience
Understanding your audience is critical. Why do your customers come to your site? Are they able to easily get to the information that they are seeking? A good combination of your business knowledge and your web design partners ability to help you diagnosis analytics, should be able to answer both of these questions.
This also has a direct impact on the previous point. Understanding your audience also should help drive what fresh information gets added to the site. It doesn’t make sense to add content or make it prominent if it isn’t something that your audience wants or needs.
Depending on your site and industry, whether you are ecommerce or enterprise, there may be times you need to figure out a way to balance multiple audiences. This could be because of different product lines or because you have information for both existing and new customers, or any number of other reasons. This is where making sure you fully explain your audience to your web design agency is extremely important.
Web Design Never Stops
As your content changes and you are constantly refining to your audience there will be a constant need for new design. Whether this is creating new homepage banners, creating landing pages or doing entire section refreshes your site design never stops.
The design of your site should never be considered “finished”. You should think of your website as more of a living environment that is constantly being updated and changed to reflect changes in your business and the industry you work in.
By making these small consistent web design tweaks. You are extending the life of your site significantly. Also, as the site matures by using professional design services you help ensure the site stays fresh and doesn’t begin to look old.
Find a Trusted Partner
The last thing you should do is find a trusted partner. A company that can provide not only design and development services but engages you and helps with suggestions for future enhancements.
A trusted partner should be able to give constant suggestions, meet with you regularly, take your feedback and improve on your suggestions and suggest even better ideas.
With the web becoming the main source of introduction to so many businesses it is important to treat your website as a line item on your marketing budget.
If you are looking for a team to work with, UpTrending would love the opportunity to discuss how we may be a good fit for your team. Please feel free to contact us today!