Website Re-skin

Website Re-skin

Web News

Re-skin Your Website

What Is a Website Re-skin?

Businesses change over time. Some change faster than others. A problem many businesses run into in this situation is that while their business has changed their website has not. A website “re-skin” can solve the problem of their (now outdated) website. A re-skin includes layout changes, updates to graphics, photo updates and a range of other modifications that fall short of a website redesign. And this costs far less than a new website.

When should you re-skin?

Time is not the issue when determining when to re-skin your site. Changes in your business and changes in your market are. A company that starts out in lawn maintenance may grow into landscaping in their first six months. If they continue into the next six months without making some serious modifications to their website, like putting it on their home page and adding a new page to their site, think about the business they are losing. A redesign to a little company like that may cost $300 to $500, but if they gain two landscaping jobs in that first six months then their investment should be paid for times over.

Opportunity Cost

It is hard to measure the cost of lost opportunities. But the longer a business waits on re-skinning, the greater the cost of the opportunities that have been lost. And for the landscaper that loses those two new clients in that second six months, that cost is multiplied because those clients went somewhere else and, in the future, they will get their landscaping and lawn work done with a different business.

Contact us and let’s discuss re-skinning your website.

Web Content Selection

Web Content Selection

Content is King

In January of 1996 Bill Gates, a co-founder of Microsoft, wrote an essay that holds true over two decades later, just in a slightly different context. The “Content is King” essay referred to the process of selling information over the Internet.  In 1996 less than one percent of the world population was using the Internet. The essay was written before most people knew anything about the web.

What is Web Content?

Web content is the textual, visual, or aural content that is encountered as part of the user experience on websites. It may include—among other things—text, images, sounds, videos, and animations.

Wikipedia

website content examples

A business has many options in the type of content it can present on the web.  The two primary elements of web content are text and media. We all know what text is. Media includes several elements. Those are images, video, animation and sound.

In creating web content, text is the first thing most of us think about. But, the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” rings as true on the web as anywhere. And the presentation of a quality video can raise a presentation to another paradigm.

Today, on the web, the impact of animation and sound can be very good or very bad. Poor animation can simply be ugly. Unexpected sound can catch visitors off guard and simply piss them off. Be extra careful when using these mediums for your web content.

Web Content Management

Content is king, especially on a website. A beautifully designed website is inviting to new visitors. But, quality content is what gets them to stay on the website and, in most cases, come back repeatedly.

Business Website Content

Content is the key element that makes a business website. It needs to be created thoughtfully and carefully through effective web content management.

Businesses need to update the content of their websites on a regular basis. Old content carries a range of liabilities. It chases away regular visitors to your site. It sends harmful signals to the search engines. And it brings your commitment into question. Updated content can be enticing and encourages them to visit in the future.

Blog Content

Blogs run on a timeline. Content is updated in younger blog posts. Older posts serve as a record of the past and don’t always need to be updated, especially if newer posts update content that is outdated on older posts. Creating a link from the older post to the newer one with a little explanation of the changes helps visitors and has a positive impact on your search engine ranks.

Republishing is another option for older posts. But, they need to be updated and the post should reveal that it is an update. Blog content that is no longer relevant, or out of date, should be deleted and/or replaced when republishing.

Selling Website Content

Many people consider “selling content” as selling a subscription to a blog or selling ad space on a blog. Gates predicted in his 1996 essay that this type of content provider could “expect a lot of disappointment in the short-term as content companies struggle to make money through advertising or subscriptions.”

He went on to predict:

In the long run, advertising is promising. An advantage of interactive advertising is that an initial message needs only to attract attention rather than convey much information. -Bill Gates

Today, that “initial message” comes in the form of the title and description of the website. These are the first things a searcher sees when they get results in the search engines. If their content quality attracts the attention, then the visitor will click through to the site. Next come the quality of the websites first headlines and text. Their quality determines whether the visitor scrolls further on the web page. Then the quality of the web page determines whether the visitor goes to additional pages.

deck of cards stacked up

As you can see website content can break down at many points. Quality web content management helps avoid this.

Contact us if you need help with your web content.

Affordable Websites

Affordable Websites

Small Businesses Need Affordable Websites

Too many small businesses got burned on their websites years ago. They were led to believe that a simple site would require a costly investment, an investment so high that many decided to go without. Those that took the risk got burned. Over time the costs of sites have gone down. Part of that is due to more competition, part is due to improved technology and a lot is due to the improved awareness of business management.

These photos are of businesses that use websites.

Different businesses have different website needs.

What Does A Website Cost?

This is the primary question we are asked when potential clients contact us. But before we can give them a number, we need some details. A website that has a single page with a few images and several paragraphs of text can run as little as $300. A site that sells 100,000 products online, posts regular blogs and manages social media can cost millions to build and requires the hiring of several employees to maintain it. Give us details and we can give you an estimate on the cost of a website.

What Do You Need?

The first thing you need to do is determine what kind of website best meets your needs. To do this you need to answer some basic questions. And the primary one is “What is the purpose of the website?”

Determining the Purpose of Your Website

The possible functions of websites for small businesses are great.  Different businesses have different motives for creating a website. Some use it as a tool to communicate with clients and/or employees. Others use it to promote their business. And some creates sites to do both. The sites required by most small business fall in three primary categories. Those categories are information, marketing and ecommerce.

Different websites have different functions.

Business website categories include information, marketing and ecommerce.

An Information Website

Some businesses simply want to use a website to get information to their clients. For example, a window treatment business may want to post PDF files that give the customers instruction on installing products. Creating such a site requires some effort on the way the website works and the process for posting content. Something like this could be done at low cost in a blog format.

A Marketing Website

If you are promoting goods and services on your site then one of the best places to start in determining what you need is other websites in your market. It is ideal to have the best site in your market. But, some businesses cannot afford to make that investment. Even so, it is a good idea for a business to create a site that is compatible with others in its market.

An Ecommerce Website

Selling products online normally requires the most significant investment. If it is managed properly in the right market, then it can also provide the greatest rewards. Creating such a site requires the design of a marketing website, the installation of a shopping cart and the process of posting products on the site. Deciding to create an ecommerce site should be reviewed carefully before putting significant resources at risk.

Starting Small Can Be a Good Option

For a business that has no history with a website, a relatively safe possibility is to start with a small website. From a single page site to one with several pages, a custom website can be created without putting too many resources at risk. And as you see the need you can always grow the site over time.

Websites Viewed on Mobile Devices

Websites Viewed on Mobile Devices

The Web Viewing Shift to Mobile First

It was not long ago that most Americans felt they needed a personal computer in order to stay in touch with the world via the web. Today, most of them are able to do everything they want on a tablet or a smart phone. So why should they spend their money on a desktop computer? Website designers are creating sites with this in mind. They know that over time more and more sites will be viewed on smart devices while fewer will be viewed on desktops. So the place they need to invest their time is in the mobile design. Today this is done in the “mobile first website design” format.

What is Mobile First Website Design?

For years all of the sites we have designed have been mobile friendly. That means they have pages that will operate on mobile devices. As the share of website views has shifted from desktop to mobile, the primary method of website design have shifted to mobile first. A mobile first website design begins with the layout of the website in a mobile device. After the mobile design is completed, the site is modified to accommodate the desktop screen.

Mobile First Website Example

We recently finished a mobile first business website for a new client. J & J Marine asked for a new website. They knew that most of their visitors would use mobile devices. So we approached their site with mobile first website design.
We designed the J & J Marine site in the mobile first format. When a website is designed in mobile first format the designers focus on the layout and look of the site on mobile devices. Then they modify the design to accommodate desktop screens. This is a good way for businesses to create their websites today. The reason is that most site visits today are made on mobile devices.  

Mobile Focus Will Increase

In the near future the share of devices sold is expected to increase for mobile devices and decrease for desktops. Take a look at the predictions made by statista:

Old Sites Need a Mobile First Website Redesign

There are still many small businesses that have websites that are not mobile friendly. In order for their websites to live up to their full potential, they need to be redesigned in the mobile first format. We offer mobile first website redesign services. If you have a website that needs to be redesigned, then give us a call. We will review what we can do that will make it mobile friendly.
Redesign Outdated Websites

Redesign Outdated Websites

Many Small Businesses Have Outdated Websites

Over ten years ago many small businesses were creating their websites with a lot of excitement. They were excited about getting on the web and gaining new business from those sites.  Today, too many of those businesses have lost that enthusiasm and have done very little to keep their sites up-to-date.

The Old Desktop Design

A decade ago the premium website was designed for desktop devices. But in January of 2007 Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone. And we all know what happened after that.

Mobile phone visitors were able to view websites on the small screens of their phones. In the early years those websites were hard to work with on a smart phone. This created a problem for some small businesses and an opportunity for others. Those that didn’t redesign their websites lost mobile visitors. Businesses that invested in site redesigns picked up those visitors.

Website redesign in the early years was expensive. It required web designers with special skills. In effect, two websites had to be created. One for desktop devices, one for mobile devices.  As a result, many businesses did not update their sites.

Small print on mobile devices is hard to read and must me manipulated.

Redesign is Cost Effective

Today website redesign is not nearly as expensive as it was years ago. Software and code improvements have been created to make website pages automatically adjust to the viewers device. Businesses that have outdated websites need to consider redesigning those sites. This will improve their search engine positions and will help them acquire new visitors. And it won’t cost as much as it did several years ago. Improvements in technology have caused the cost of website design to go down.

Mobile friendly sites are easy to read on various screens.

Learn more about website redesign.