Hate Your Outdated Website? Here’s How to Refresh Your Site
Hate your outdated website? So do your customers – Here’s how to start again and what to keep in mind with a refresh to your site.
If your website has been around for some time now, the chances are that it needs an overhaul. Website design is definitely something that both you and your customers can see is outdated. Having an outdated website that looks old can be quite detrimental to your business.
Just like with people, the first impression your website leaves on a new visitor can play a major role in whether or not that person comes back to you again. However, if you’re opting to redesign everything, there are some things you should keep in mind during the process. Let’s take a closer look at what your new site should look like.
What should your new website have?
A fresh look, quality content, helpful features… all those nice things. And a blog. Yes, a blog. Adding one can have loads of benefits for you – number one, you are putting out new content that will entice people to check you out more frequently.
Second, you can go much more in-depth in a blog post on a particular subject that you mention on your website but for whose deeper analysis you don’t have enough space on any other page. Well written blog posts will make your readers stay longer, which will boost your SEO significantly.
Suppose you’re running a hotel. Your blog can cover the sights of the city you’re in, provide tips, discuss the food your hotel offers etc. Be creative, but most importantly – provide helpful content.
Apart from this, make sure your website is running smoothly on mobile devices. Create redirects where necessary.
You’d be surprised how many sites have a problem with this, and considering that these devices are being used more and more to browse the internet, getting this right becomes crucial.
Links are also important, so check if all of them are performing as expected. It’s quite easy to miss out on the one that’s not working. Furthermore, if you haven’t been doing so, start linking internally, maybe even consider creating cornerstone content. Not only does that help your visitors reach the info they need quicker, but it also makes you more attractive to search engines.
Use the right tools
Now, redesigning your website is not something that should be done hastily. You should test out new themes, see how the design you chose fits your brand, choose the right plugin and see how they perform… There’s a lot of work to be done, and the chances are you’ll sometimes have to wipe the slate clean and start anew.
It’s just how developing something new goes. Fortunately, there are things that can save you a lot of time, not to mention that your patience will be tested a lot less with them. One of these things is WP Reset.
WP Reset is a tool that is meant to help you debug your WordPress website and help you develop it, no matter if you’re a pro or not. As the name suggests, with it you can reset the website you’re working on with a single click. And not the whole website, either – you can actually choose which parts of it you want to keep. So, what doesn’t work for you, you simply return it to default settings. What works, you keep it.
Seeing how we have more things to cover here, I won’t get too technical in this paragraph, but suffice to say that the people who developed this use the product themselves and provide support for it. On top of that, WP Reset is able to check how compatible your website is with any WP version, which can be of utmost importance when setting things up.
Consider your website’s loading speed
One of the quickest ways to spot an outdated website is its sluggish load time.
When redesigning your website speed should be one of the primary points of concern. Every microsecond counts, and if it takes too long to load, your visitor will simply look for what they need somewhere else. So try not to overload your website with any huge files or anything of the sort. That being said, do not strip everything away, either. People expect a pleasant user experience these days, which means that you will have to strike a balance between loading speed and the amount of features your website has.
To shorten your loading time, be careful what size the images you’re using are (you want smaller images, obviously). Also, check if a plugin is running that you’re not using at the moment, and browser caching will go a long way in helping you with all of this, too.
Stay in touch with your visitors
If you’re website needs to be taken down while you’re conducting its redesign, the last thing you want your visitors to see is that dreaded error 404. That’s just a disaster for you because they will either think that they are not on a safe page or that your website has been removed for good. There’s an easy fix to this problem, though, and it’s called Coming Soon.
Now, Coming Soon is a plugin that allows you to create pages which notify your visitors that the website they’re trying to visit is under reconstruction. What’s nifty about this tool is that it allows you to design this page in an attractive manner and helps you maintain your SEO rating.
Not only that, but you can even entice your potential clients to start communicating with you by e-mail even when your site is down. And don’t worry, you don’t have to know anything about coding – everything can be done with a few clicks.
Redesigning your website is a task that is not to be taken lightly. If you haven’t done that in a while, there are probably plenty of details you need to update. It can take some time, but there are plenty of great tools for WordPress websites out there that can make your job a whole lot easier. Be thorough, efficient and creative but simple at the same time and you will quickly see the results of your efforts.