So you’ve decided to take the plunge and redesign/revamp your website. If you are still deciding if a new website is a good idea, read this article to help you make up your mind. But what exactly needs to change, other than the obvious errors such as being unresponsive or a security risk? In this article we will point out a few things that should be considered when talking to your new web designer.
What platform was your website created on? What security is in place to protect you? What plug-ins are fighting the hackers off every day? Unless you have a very good web designer, (look no further than Dreamkatcha!) the chances are you don’t really know a lot about these very important features.
Has your website been updated on a regular basis, by this we mean weekly! Most plug-ins, themes and operating systems are updated as regularly as every week, anything not updated immediately is a huge security risk to your website. Make sure the latest security plug-ins such as Ithemes Security is not only in-place but updated as soon as a new version is released.
2. Add a CMS (Content Management System)
In todays fast paced and ever changing online market, it is essential that you can edit or expand your website yourself. With the addition of a CMS such as WordPress or Joomla, you are largely free to work on your own site for no extra cost, saving you lots of money for those little edits here and there. With a platform such as WordPress you can instantly improve the overal security of your website. It may be the most commonly hacked type of website, but this is largely due to the sheer number of WordPress installations out there. As long as it is setup correctly and kept up to date, you will have access to a great number of free plug-ins. Utilising these products can enable you to have valuable security measures in place that would otherwise cost a small fortune. Why not view some of our projects here.
3. Flexible contact solutions
Does you website have a contact form? The chances are your answer is yes, but is it performing to the bast of it’s ability? Simply having a name, telephone, email and message field will be taking the essentials, but it could be doing a lot more. Talk to your designer about other possibilities such as expanding your form criteria to things like area placement, company details, client budget and even more specific project requirements. This can help you build a better picture of the project at hand, before you make that initial phone call or email.
4. Email catchment and call to action
Two of the most common additions that we are asked for are opt-in email catchment forms and a call to action. These features have blown up over the last few years and everyone is using them. If you want to get someone’s email address for various reasons, such as newsletters or promtional work, then having a simple opt-in form is an easy way to facilitate this. A call to action on specific pages or in a focus area can give the viewer that extra nudge they need to make that all important first contact.
5. Speed up your website
If a website is taking an overly long time to load on a mobile device or computer, the chances are the viewer will simpy skip to the next website on the search engine. Most websites that were created a few years ago will have outdated code. This may cause the website to run more slowly or even display completely wrong on some devices. If the site was created by an amateur then they may have used the wrong types of images that are not optimised for web use. There could also be plugins that are unnecessary, incompatible or to bulky for your website. The list is almost endless, so make sure your designer understands that a fast website is crucial in these days of mobile website viewing.
6. User interface isn’t everything
Although surveys show that the number one thing viewers want from a website is good usability, don’t overlook aesthetics. Your website may be intuitive and easy to navigate, but a high bounce rate could point to a plain and lifeless design. Many web developers online will claim to also be a web designer. This is largely uncommon and the results will always be visible in the final website when posted online. The code may be of high quality and the site may operate perfectly to your needs, but if there isn’t the magic injection of creativity there, audiences will give it a miss. Think about when you are surfing the web – when you reach a page that has that WOW factor you instantly take an interested in the contact of the site. Make sure your site has good functionality, but don’t overlook the importance of creative web design.
7. Hosting and updates
Make sure that your designer (or you) is keeping your website updated. This will keep your site protected from hackers and malware. It will also ensure that your website is compatible with any plug-ins or external Apps that you are running. Also ensure that your web designer is using a reputable hosting provider such as Siteground. This will always leave you in the most capable hands when it comes to site speed, security and many other optional features that are largely unavailable or expensive with other providers.
If you really care about the success of your business, then looking into these few areas of your website will help gain high returns for minimal outlay. If you are interested in having your website redesigned or revamped, contact Dreamkatcha via our website