Diary of a Website Overhaul – Week 1 : Analysis
With some big changes happening behind the scenes this year, a website overhaul is on the cards. So this is my little Saturday project for the coming weeks and I am going to document the process.
So before I get started designing and building like a bull at a gate, I really need to know what it is that I want to change with the website, what are my goals, what’s not working, what new things I want to add?
If you are contemplating overhauling your website (or even if you’re starting from scratch), this is a really good process to help yourself understand exactly what it is you are wanting to achieve.
This process is about asking questions. Questioning what you are doing, how you are doing and if it’s working for you and your users.
Why is it that you need a website?
Have a think about who uses your website, question yourself as to why you need it and who uses it. What is the ultimate end result you want from someone visiting your website?
If you are running an online store it’s to sell products. If you are running a blog then it could be to provide information & sell advertising.
My primary goal for my website is a marketing tool for my potential clients, it really needs to show off my teams ability whilst also providing information about the services we offer. The secondary goal for this website is to provide information source for my existing clients. My ultimate end result – more clients and happy existing ones.
So why the change?
I’ve never been 100% happy with our website. I’d even go as far as saying not even 60% happy. I probably never will be 100% happy with it. It’s always been one of those things that was knocked up quickly and has really been neglected, kind of like the builders house that’s never finished, or the plumber with the leaky tap.
Do I need to change the website? Probably not.
Is it working for me as well as it should? A big ol’ fat NO.
So a change is as good as a holiday right? right?… eh.. maybe not, but if it’s going to make my life easier and get me more clients then close enough.
So thinking about why I want to change I have identified 3 key things that are the catalysts for changing our website:
- the outdated design
- to make my life, as well as potential clients lives easier; and
- the addition of some new features to benefit my users
So let’s break it down…
Generally feedback about our website has been reasonably ok, so why don’t we like the design? Well..
- It’s too generic
- White text on dark background is harder to read (especially in the blog)
- Not reflective of the business we are (creative) and the clients we are wanting to attract
- We are part of an ever growing and changing industry and we need to keep up
Making life easier..
We almost never have time to update our website other than to quickly add our latest completed job or the occasional blog post should the mood strike. The home page slideshow often makes the site look out of date and we can never think of anything to go there. So we really need to get rid of it and find something that will fit in it’s place.
With each quote we write being specific to each business, and it’s incredibly time consuming. I find I often spend hours writing quotes only to never hear from people again. We need a strategy to get rid of the cool leads (aka. time wasters, quote fillers) so we can focus our time and energy on the people who value our service.
The Portfolio pages was kind of a bit of an after thought – and ironically it is the primary goal for the website. These pages need more information and images with calls to action (ie. get a quote).
Another aspect is social media – although Facebook is not one our main sources of gaining clients, it does tick the secondary goal box with our existing clients. So we need to some how better integrate this functionality into our website.
So now I have a basic brief of the things that I want to change.
• New Design
• Replace the home page slideshow with something that wont appear outdated
• Streamline the pricing section of the site
• Expand the portfolio pages
• integrate more social media
So if you’re following along at home here is your homework :-
• Define your Website Goals
• Determine what is not working for you or your users
• List any new features you would like added to better help with your overall website goals
Stay tuned for next week we’ll be looking at the results of my analysis and coming up with some strategies to overcome some of our issues.