The website in question is for a real estate company, specifically one of their apartment complexes. Although the site is a bit outdated, they are receiving a minimum of two inquiries every day about wanting to lease a unit or go on a tour. Now, different businesses have a different measurement as to what they would deem successful. But if you are managing an apartment complex, having no vacancies is what you strive for. And the fact that people are constantly inquiring, leads you to believe that the site is doing its job.
In my example above, the site doesn’t look terrible. It is just that after a few years with technology constantly on the move, we can typically build a nicer site. BUT, if your site is just dreadful looking, my recommendation if your site is performing well in searches, and you are getting out of it what you desire, you can move the existing content into a better designed site. But, you need to be careful, as we cover in the next section.
I was recently dealing with a company that had a beautiful WordPress site up for over 15 years. Someone sold them on moving to Shopify, and they lost so much of what they had built up in terms of search engine optimization. The company that built the site didn’t redirect the old URLs or bring over any of the old content. So the company ended up starting from scratch trying to regain its success in search rankings. So if you re-design your current site, try and keep that URLs the same if possible and if not redirect them to the new pages on the redesign site.
This depends on what you are using, if you have a WordPress site, I would not recommend switching to a different platform as you will never find a content management system as a search engine friendly out of the box as is WordPress. However, if you are using one of the WordPress “wanna be” platforms, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to switch over. I won’t mention them by name, but they are typically either free or subscription services whereby when you decide to get off their platform you lose everything. I won’t get into one of my rants about not owning the con tent on my website, but I would never recommend using a platform like that.
Business is about making money, plain and simple. So before you jump in and build a new website, be sure that it is the right time. I can’t tell you how many times somebody comes to me and tells me they built the new site and all of a sudden they lost all their search engine rankings. Sadly, a lot of people in my industry are just out to make a quick design fee and not taking a holistic approach to the customer’s business. So, as I said earlier, was it a good move of mine from a business standpoint to tell a customer NOT to build a new site? No, probably not, but we have built RooSites on doing the right thing and in the long run that IS profitable!
I recently ran into a situation where I had to make a decision. We have done some design and development work for a non-profit and there was a page that was sticking in my craw (as the expression goes). It was one of those pages where displaying the information properly just wasn’t easy from an information architecture standpoint. There was so much content and I had to figure out a good way of displaying it. The pages were just too long, and the fear was that people would never see the content well past the fold. But the organization wanted people to be able to see all the info on one page and not have to click on 5 separate pages.
For my second attempt:
I got an idea to do these toggles. It was a good way of displaying the different sections in such a way that people couldn’t miss the content were looking for. Unfortunately it just didn’t look right. It looked a little dull, and not much to entice people to click.
For my 3rd attempt:
I decided on a different approach to building the pages. I switched to a tab layout. As they say, the third time was a charm and the page looks great. A visitor to the website can easily find the information they’re looking for and click between the tabs. Now some experts aren’t crazy about using tabs in web design, but used correctly tabs work well from a usability standpoint.
The time I spent on these pages amounted to 2 extra days and is not something I am going to get paid extra for. As I charge on a project by project basis, not an hourly rate, this will not be a profitable move for me and my company. But, by doing the right thing and going the extra mile the client is thrilled and I expect I will get some referrals from this website. And after all, referrals are the lifeblood of my business, and many others.
So when you’re thinking about a business decision, take the long view, you will be happy you did. And, If this is the kind of service you are looking for, contact us.