A major expense most business owners face with marketing is the updating of the website. Long gone are the days when you could leave your website parked and getting stale for five, six, seven years. Today we share with you this interview-style post with Heather Morin. Heather is our web designer, and she has great tips to make your website update a little easier.
1) Heather, can you list a few key signs that your website is due for an update?
- You do the Google Mobile-Friendly Test and it fails: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
- You’ve taken your website URL out of your email signature or business card re-run because you are too embarrassed at how outdated your website is
- You are getting phone calls that could easily be answered on your website
- Your website looks like it was designed in 1995
2) What’s the maximum length of time you can go without updating your site?
I would say definitely three years. But actually, 2 years would be ideal, because that is how fast trends and technology are changing.
3) Can you give a ballpark figure of the cost of a basic website…without e-commerce or super fancy bells & whistles?
I don’t like throwing estimates out there because it really depends on the business, competition, goals etc. You can find basic websites for $500 – $10,000 depending on where you look (and you can see that’s an enormously wide range.) You can even do it yourself on squarespace.com or wix.com. But if you want a professional website that is mobile friendly, has Google tools installed, has basic on-page SEO, on a system that you can update yourself with training, that works well for your business: I would recommend budgeting minimum $2500 for a basic site with a pre-developed theme, and $5000 for a site with a unique custom designed theme.
4) can you list some specific ways a client can prepare to meet with you-so the work can start and end quickly?
Absolutely. Clients can prepare by answering some of these questions:
- “Who is my ideal client?”
- “Who are my top 3 – 5 competitors; what do/don’t I like about their sites?”
- “List 3 – 5 websites I like and why?”
Also, if the content is being supplied by you, have it ready in advance. This will save both time and expense.
5) What’s the average time for a website to be updated (from an old one)?
About 6 weeks, depending on communication turnaround time. Keep in mind that 6 weeks starts assuming that all the content and photos are received and ready to go.
6) Do you have specific advice for people as far as their content and their photos are concerned?
- The more organized content and photos are, the more time and expense are saved. Have the content altogether in a Word file with each page titled. Have image names inside the content for which photos you want to go where. Organize photos in folders with the page or gallery name, at as high resolution possible (the web designer can resize and optimize them for the website).
- If you want an edge on the competition, have your content edited by someone who knows how to write SEO friendly content (we can help with this).
- If renaming photo files, use keyword rich names with dashes, for example my-best-keyword.jpg
- If the website is bilingual and the original content is English, it should be translated into French (or another language) by a professional translator.
- As mentioned before, if we receive the content and photos before the mockup stage, things typically go much smoother.
7) Personally, what are services YOU don’t provide that a client might think you do…and stalls the project?
- Sifting through endless emails with snippets of information, text, photos and video to organize what should go where. The client should have the content organized by the time we talk and set delivery deadlines.
- Going through a client’s large bank of photos to pick out the best ones; it should be narrowed down in advance in most cases.
- Long brain storming sessions about “where I am going with my business” that start to overlap into business coaching; this should be done in advance of the website design
- Here’s one of my favourite links about what should NOT happen with a website design, LOL: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/design_hell
And there you have Heather’s tips for updating your website. If your website is in need of TLC, simply contact us and we’ll be happy to help!