Over the next few weeks we’ll be working on an update of our website to help visitors like you get a better idea of our services.

A lot of people ask about website updates and making changes, so we’ll be publishing a series of posts to help you to understand the process, if you’d like to try it for yourself.

There are four key steps to the process:

  1. Choose your new structure
  2. Create imagery and plan your design changes
  3. Create the content – headings and text
  4. Implement your changes

This post will focus on the first two.

Choose your new structure

Most of the time when significant updates are needed to a website, it’s because you want to add content that doesn’t fit into the existing structure. You’ll want to consider how any existing content fits in with what you’ve already got, where you’ll move things around to and what might need to be re-named or updated.

We’re looking to add some new pages detailing the services we offer. Our main site navigation currently just has top-level headings: Home, Blog, Projects, About, and Contact.

We want to add three new pages, about each of our services – Digital Marketing Consultancy, Website Set Up, and Copywriting. However, having eight items in this menu would make it too wide for the space given to it right now. Instead,we can use drop down menus to help organise things further.

The new menu will have four main headings – Home, Services, About, and Blog. The Home and Blog items will remain as they are. Under Services will be three pages, each with information about a service, along with testimonials and case studies of relevant projects. The About menu will list an update version of the current About page, re-named ‘Our Story’, and the Contact page.

Imagery and design changes

The second step in the process is to consider any changes you’ll need to make to the design of your website, and what graphics you’ll need to create to go along with new content, page layouts, menus, and anything else.

Depending on your own design skills and your access to graphic design software, this is often the part of the project where most people feel inclined to get outside help. In fact, our research has shown that about two-thirds of small business owners would write their own copy, only 20% would do their own graphic design. You need to maintain a consistent brand across your site, so it’s worth the investment.

For this update, the visual changes we’re making are basic. The drop-down menus are a new feature, but the design for those are built into the WordPress theme, so we don’t need to make any changes there.

The main homepage layout below the header will be changing, however, so we’ve considered a range of different graphic options and changes.

The Get in touch button, leading to the contact form, received very few clicks, because visitors haven’t seen enough information by that point to make the decision to get in touch. In addition, a lot of visitors arrive through blog pages, so overall this use of space doesn’t make much sense any more.

The three images below that represent two case studies, and a second link to the contact form will be replaced by links to the new content pages on each service. They’ll be higher up the page, so we’ll make them taller than the current pictures, and will use text within the images to draw attention to the headings.

These images were created using design software called GIMP (GNU Image Manipulator Programme) which is free and open-sourced. The stock images came from Unsplash, and were also free.

Next steps

The next post in this series will talk about creating the text content for each of the new web pages, and updating existing content where necessary.

A third post will be posted after the updates have been made, so we can share some analysis of the impact they’ve had on the way people use this website.

How to make your own website better
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