5 Things To Consider With Website Redesigns

5 Things To Consider With Website Redesigns

Define Your Goal(s)

It’s important to have a an accepted end point that you and your team share, and then you can build the roadmap to how to achieve it. Having clear and defined goals help to ensure the success of your efforts with the redesign. It also will bring into scope what content, functions, specific designs, and other elements that will be required and allow you to break each goal down into silos with milestones and tasks.

Create Attractive Content For Your Audience

The best content is content made for specific individuals. The idea of generalized media with a spaghetti on the wall approach is meaningless and a waste of time (and money). So instead, do some research on what your custom avatar is challenged with and how your MVP is going to address their issue(s). You’ll want to lead with that on your home page, then provide proof of concepts, examples, case studies, and testimonials. If you have some big partnerships or known influencers, leverage their contributions and feedback as well. All of these can greatly help change a potential client/customer from kicking tires to frantically looking for a BUY NOW button.

Design For Mobile Use

The data shows that more websites are viewed on a mobile device over desktops. Yes widescreen monitors are nice and I’m sure your brand graphics could look amazing on them. But going back to the goals, what is the main function your online visitors are expected to want to do? Are they mainly going to pull up your website to see graphics and ponies scroll across the screen in a parallax or slider? Is that going to make them more inclined to use your call to actions or sign ups? If so and you can make all that work on a mobile device using average network speeds, go for it all. Otherwise it may be worth to disable some elements that are useful on the desktop but not necessary for a mobile experience so that your content loads even faster and satisfies the ever dwindling patience of today’s society.

Make The Navigation Flow Easy

A hamburger menu is those three lines at the top corner of the website – on mobile – that help visitors click to show a full menu of pages and subpages to navigate or jump to. If your site doesn’t have this as a feature, you’ll certainly want to incorporate it. Being responsive and Google Mobile Friends is also key for SEO purposes and for Accessibility. Those are the technical, but let’s also take a second to consider how your visitors “should” be navigating from page to page like as if they were reading a book. Will you have landing pages optimized with content that you’ll be using ads and retargeting so that when visitors do “click” and get to your landing page(s), they’re offered a seemless experience and then can easily tell what their next steps should be? Are large buttons and large arrows necessary? Or do images alongside content helping the eye navigate along a page clear interaction points shown. PRO TIP: On your current website, install a Heat Map so that you can see how and what people are using their mouse and spending time on for each page on your website.

Create Multiple Landing Page With Specific Strategies

I’ve hinted about landing pages above, but let’s talk a bit more about it here. Landing pages serve singular purposes, and that’s to provide information on a product or service with a clear and sometimes repeated offering or call to action. The normal top or side page navigation menus are not aways displayed because we’re hoping to keep the visitor focused on just what they see on the page. There may be an introductory video, infogrpaphic, product images, before and after photos, you name it. All of these along with supporting text that better describes a need or challenge that the visitor can have solved by taking another step. Maybe that’s to sign up for a newsletter, purchase a product, subscribe to a newsletter or mailing list. There’s no limit on the amount of content needed on each of your landing pages or a limit on how many landing pages you can or should create. Having multiple can help with A/B testing, segmenting your audience, providing variations for your digital marketing ad traffic and audience and more. Consider your landing page almost like a deal closer that can speak to anyone in your target audience, but in a specific way that they’ll understand individually and appreciate.

I hope that you found these points useful and relevant if you’re going through or planning a redesign with your company website. Each business is different and there are many other things to consider. If you’d like help with a strategy for your own redesign be sure to contact us.

 

 

How to Install a Reading Progress Bar

How to Install a Reading Progress Bar

In this short video, I show how to create a reading progress bar using a free WordPress Plugin called Reading Progress bar from Jean-Baptiste Audras. This is ideal for websites with blogs or long form content where your readers will see their progress as they scroll down reading. It keeps a custom colored progress bar at the top of the screen just below the URL address bar of the browser and scrolls from left to right as the reader continues to scroll down the page.

When Doing Your Own Redesign Takes A Long Time

When Doing Your Own Redesign Takes A Long Time

We’ve all been there. Some of us more than others – yet still the idea of a redesign initially starts out with great aspirations, then leads to feverish or lackluster enthusiasm weeks later. Let me back up and explain my story.

It’s been probably three or four years since our last redesign of the Design Theory Website. Years ago I can remember when I first tried WordPress and had a blog in a sub-domain while having our main website in HTML on the root. It worked out better than I could have expected and within about nine months I was ready to convert everything into one site on WordPress.

Fast forward to present day, and I can honestly say that I’ve been working on this redesign for about two months. Not consistently, more on-and-off. Reason being is that, well, we’ve been busy. Being busy is a good thing when you’re a creative but only to a certain point. Some of our best ideas get filtered into our client websites and strategy efforts, meanwhile our own website gets the cold shoulder.

Why Are We Taking So Long

To be honest and short, we want a really good and clean experience for you. We want all of our services laid out in a way that is easier to navigate, lead/sales funnels created with purpose, and products easier to identify and purchase. What we’ve learned over the years is that the customer experience is what matters the most in any website. It kind of needs to be catered to them more so than what I think the website should be designed like.

Another reason for the redesign is to make the new website load much faster than the current one does. Realizing that more web traffic is done via mobile browsers than desktops, we have to make sure that our website loads smooth and fast on hand-held devices. Make sure that it’s also Google Mobile Friendly is key too. It’s important to make sure that the almighty Google deems our website acceptable.

Lastly, we believe it’s time for a refresh. There are a lot of ideas that we want to do that include a rebrand, but we’re going to have to hold off on some of those bigger and more time intensive initiatives to be able to focus on tangible goals and a timeline. Good ideas are great but they’re truly a dime a dozen. It’s really about executing and to be able to launch some of our more necessary ideas we have to stay focused. When it comes to our customer redesigns we treat them the same. We come up with a lot of great ideas from improved functionality, new software, and new graphics, but we also stage things out in milestones so that there is always something to look forward to over the next several weeks and months.

As you can see we’ve got a lot to consider with our redesign. It’s more important to us that it’s done right than just putting together a new design and layout without constructive though behind it for usability. Have you been thinking about a redesign of your website? What is holding you back from getting started? Let us know in the comments below or contact us directly if we can help.

Developer and Client Transparency Presentation [VIDEO]

Developer and Client Transparency Presentation [VIDEO]

A couple of weeks ago I presented at WordPress Orlando on Client Transparency in Creative Development. For those of you who weren’t able to attend or wanted to watch the presentation below is the video. Be sure to watch all the way to the end as the Q&A session was also recorded at the end of the video, as well as some commentary from other members of the WP Orlando community. Of course if you have any questions please feel free to Contact Us and we help.

Featured Image Credit: WP Orlando

Client Transparency in Creative Development

Client Transparency in Creative Development

Earlier this week I did a presentation at my local WordPress Orlando MeetUp about Client Transparency.¬†This talk was a really open look at what it’s like being a creative, dispelling some perceptions on the creative lifestyle, as well as some insight into the thought process of a designer or developer working with the average client. I’ll be honest and say that most of these views are my sole perception, however many other creatives have echoed the same emotions and feelings.

The purpose of this though was to bring some light and understanding to both sides of the table when it comes to working through creative projects. The better both creatives and clients understand and respect each other, the better the development process will be and increase working relationships for long terms.

If you were unable to attend the live presentation, it was recorded and will be shared soon.

5 Websites for Free Photos to use on your Website or Blog

5 Websites for Free Photos to use on your Website or Blog

Your readers are more visual now then ever. Captivating them with great headlines is key, and so is capturing their attention with an interesting photo or graphic that goes along with the headline. Full disclosure, we actually use these websites along with paid RF websites like iStock and 123RF for our projects as well as client projects. Reason being is that there are a good amount of free resources for images online with creative commons licensing, but there are times when you’ll need to purchase a specific image that just isn’t found anywhere on the free market.

Pixabay

pixabay

Free images and videos you can use anywhere

All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty free for anything you like, even in commercial applications. Attribution is not required.

What I really like about this site is the free videos. Don’t get me wrong, they have a great library of photos to choose from with a broad range, but lets face it video is where it’s at these days and getting to use some HD quality ones for your project will make a great impression for your viewers.

StockSnap.io

stocksnap-io

Hundreds of high resolution images added weekly. Free from copyright restrictions.

This is a very clean and easy to navigate and search user generated stock photography website. It’s easy and quick to create an account, and I encourage that you do so that as you download photos you take the time to “like” the photographs that you come across. As a photographer this means a lot to us!

PhotoPin

photopin

“Search millions of Creative Commons photos and add them to your blog posts easily.”

Their headline pretty much says it all. Catering to web creatives and bloggers alike, you’ll find plenty of great images and photos to use on your websites here.

Stockvault

stockvault

NEED FREE STOCK PHOTOS FOR YOUR NEXT PROJECT?

We are a stock photo community where photographers & designers can share their own photos and artwork with people from all over the world.

If you’re looking for really great high quality photography from photographers around the world, you’ll enjoy this website. I’ve seen a bunch of highly edited and HDR photographs posted here for free use.

StartupStock Photos

startupstock

Startup Stock Photos was started as an outlet for photos we were already taking on a regular basis. It’s grown to be much more than that. People and organization all over the world have used these photos to make some really awesome things. We’re happy to have helped.

If you’re looking for photos and images with that “startup” or agency look, you’re going to enjoy this website. From wooden desk tables to white board and monitor screens, you’ll no doubt find an image or two to fit your project. While there isn’t a search feature or a huge library of photos, the ones that this photographer uploaded for your free use are fantastic.


What did you think of the list? Hopefully this helps you if you were looking for some great sources for photography and images. Remember to give credit back to the website/author of the photos you choose to use. While what you find may be free, what it does cost time, expertise, and skill to do photography. Having credit and recognition goes a long way!