Does your website need to be updated/changed to reflect the current needs of your business? If so, this type of change comes with looming feelings of anxiety, dread, and procrastination. So many questions need to be asked, and quite often it's just easier to put it off until you have more time. However, you will never have enough time to commit to this. You just need to make it happen.
In the last year, we have re-designed/launched four new websites, and I can honestly say, it doesn’t need to be that overwhelming. If you follow a few simple steps, re-designing your site can be done with minimal frustration and maximum results.
- Identify what you need the site to do–Before you go out and look for any web designer to help you, you must know what capabilities you need in the site. Is it a basic site, or one that requires specific capabilities housed on the back end? Knowing what the end result needs to look like will help you identify what company is best to work with.
- Find the right website developer–There are a lot to choose from, so getting a recommendation from your IT company/department is a great place to start. From there, interview several companies, and share with them the information you identified above to determine who makes the most sense.
- Select look/feel–Once you know what you want your site to do, you can start creating the look/feel for your site. Make sure to consider who is using your site when considering colors, font, and layout. And, make sure you are considering web colors/fonts. Not everything you create will show up on every computer.
- Keep it clean–Not everything needs to go on your home page. Social networking has made it available to share content in a variety of ways. So, be sure that your content is organized, and easily identified, but it doesn’t always need to be right on the home page.
- Training–Once your site is ready to go, make sure you have the proper training on how to maintain the site. I'ts great getting a new site, but you need to know how to update it effectively and efficiently to keep the site fresh and relevant to your readers. Most sites today are created to allow for regular and easy to make updates.
The process of re-designing your website, compared to just a few years ago, is substantially easier than it used to be. So, if you need an update just do it. By finding the right partner and platform, a new website will provide a fresh look and feel and should be cost effective at the same time.
Written by: Kasie Smith is a Michigan native. She was born in Traverse City, and now lives in Grand Rapids. She enjoys golfing, spending time in the sun, and watching romantic comedies with her very own leading men, her husband Jason and her twin boys. Photo: Ariel de Silva Parreira