A New Website Will Get You Much More Than a Great Design
Typically, most organizations when doing a website overhaul get really excited about updating their corporate design. Many of the calls we get from potential clients are so embarrassed with their current website that they tell their clients not to go there, or they preface the visit with “please don’t judge, we are working on a redesign”. Let’s face it; this isn’t the best way to start a professional relationship. What most organizations don’t realize is this is an amazing time to redesign their website. So much has changed in the web world the last eighteen months that web development companies have to provide much more in their standard design packages just to keep up with industry standards.
Let’s take a look at what has changed on the Interweb
It’s impossible to talk about websites now-a-days without mentioning a mobile solution. Two years ago most web companies had to build two websites for their clients interested in a mobile solution. With the introduction of Responsive Web Design, that is no longer the case. Responsive Web Design is a new technique that uses cascading style sheets (CSS) to allow your website to collapse and expand to the resolution of the device serving up the website. This means that you can build one website and it will work on every device. A few benefits of Responsive Web Design include cost savings, better search engine rankings, better viewing experience for users, and easier site management. With more and more users viewing the web from smartphones and tablets, these benefits are really now necessities. In late April of 2015, Google forced organizations to go mobile by playing favoritism towards mobile compatible websites. Basically they told the web world, “If you have a mobile website, we are going to improve your rankings in our search results”. That is a nice benefit, especially for industries slow to making moves to the mobile web. Responsive Web Design is affordable and efficient. Building two sites can be costly, and having all of your content under one web umbrella saves time on development and time on administration. You can use one content management system to make content changes, removing the daunting task of updating two sites, your mobile version and your desktop version.
Another big change has been the introduction of expandable drop down and mega menus. These newer navigation tools allow users to dig way deep into a site’s content without ever leaving the homepage. In addition, a lot of these menus allow you to add descriptive text and images to provide more insight into the available content living deep within your website.
Organizations interested in merchandising their products and services from their homepage have a great way to do so now. If you have spent anytime surfing the web lately, you’ll notice many sites offer an animated element on their homepage that provides unique messaging and calls to action to the important content living in the depths of their website. Homepage scrollers allow you to really take advantage of that seven second rule in getting the attention of your user, providing relevant information, and offering a clear path to get there. Homepage scrollers do a great job in all of the above.
Social Media Feeds
Although we’ve seen the social media bubble burst a bit when it comes to organizations putting a tremendous amount of time and effort into their Facebook and Twitter pages, it still pays an important role in many markets and can be an effective way to attract new users to your site.. Today, many sites are pushing their real-time Facebook statuses and Twitter tweets to their website home and contact pages. Most web design companies can easily add these feeds and format them to fit your branding requirements.
Another design change we’ve witnessed is the expandable footer, sometimes referred to as a sitemap footer. A space normally used for privacy policies and terms and conditions is now a prime location to allow users to see the breadth of your content. Sitemap footers allow users to see way deep into your content architecture and easily locate web pages not necessarily seen in a menu system.
Real estate is limited and valuable on a homepage; a great technique used to take advantage of limited space on the homepage is rotating, scrolling, or tabbed content. You’ll see a lot of websites that rotate their news, job opportunities, client logos, case studies, and other content types in a small area using a scroller or tabbed design approach. When you have a lot of content you want to present on your homepage, utilizing these techniques can really help, they look great and have high click through rates.
Ridding Yourself of Outdated Technologies
Another great reason to have your website designed in 2015 is to get rid of technologies that are outdated, unsupported, or just plain slow. Flash is a great example. Flash is dead and has no place on a homepage anymore. Besides being unsupported on a few browsers, it shows that you haven’t put any investment into your website in the last few years. Updating your web technologies can decrease the load time, provide better interaction, and shows your company is vested in the quality of your website.
Wrapping It Up
Today is a great day to explore the possibilities in upgrading your website. There are many more benefits than the ones I’ve identified above, and to be honest, the cost to build an interactive, robust site has come down. A great way to get started is to pick up the phone and ask questions. We here at DC Web Designers would love to speak with you about your project. Give us a call at 410-740-9181.