Building a Better Website

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I often say how important it is to be constantly evolving, both in personal life and in business. As the world turns, people grow and change, societies and industries evolve, and so must we — to stay at the top of our game.

My website is a testament to this adaptation; I’ve put it through such an overhaul lately that I’m surprised it doesn’t show stretch marks! Just kidding, but you get the idea. Below you’ll find details on this latest upgrade, along with some takeaway points to improve your own website.

Improvements Made

  • Expansion: Previously, I had kept the site small to accommodate foIks that were still using 800×600 resolution monitors. However, I recently read statistics that only 0 to 1% of the population still uses this size. So, I decided to enlarge the base design of the site, to make more room for content, and improve the view on larger monitors.
  • Better opt-in: I relocated my newsletter signup box from the sidebar to just below the main content area, to make a seamless transition from the content to the opt-in.
  • More effective navigation: With the larger site, I was able to increase the font size of navigation menu so that it’s much more prominent and easy to read. I also consolidated three of the links under one flyout menu (the “About” link), which saves space and groups the three related pages.
  • Added “Work With Me” page: This new page provides more in-depth information about my services, along with a form to request a free quote.
  • Unique social media buttons: I’ve made do with the generic buttons provided by the social media companies for too long. I figured it was high time I made some of my own!
  • Blog updates: The navigation menu here on the blog now closely mirrors that of my main website. I also made a few improvements to my header image, so it blends in nicely with the rest of the blog.

Takeaway Lessons

  • Make sure your website is keeping up with the times. If your website hasn’t been updated in a year or more, your customers are probably wondering why (“Is this company still in business?” “Do they not care enough to provide me with up-to-date information?”). Make sure they know what’s new with you, so they won’t drift away straight into your competitors’ arms.
  • If something’s not working, fix it. Is there a page on your website that is difficult to get to, so few people find it? Is your navigation menu confusing instead of helpful? Make it easier for your customers to find what they’re looking for (or, what you want them to find).
  • Look for ways to consolidate and make your site more efficient. Do you have too many pages? Do some of them have duplicate information, so they could be combined into one?
  • It’s never too late (or too soon) to make the switch. Have you been holding on to a particular way of doing things on your website? Like me and those generic social media buttons? Just change it already, and tell me about it in the comments!

Head on over to my home page to get the full effect of these new changes (NOTE: If you’ve viewed my site in the recent past, be sure to hit “Refresh” in your browser to see the changes).

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About Barbara Austin

As the graphic designer & founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara loves working with women entrepreneurs to brand their businesses. She shares a variety of small business advice and anecdotes here on the blog. Check back every week for new tips, inspirations, and how-to articles, or subscribe to get regular updates in your inbox each week!

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