Website Design

Can You Rescue Your Website?

July 2017
Melissa Sorini

Does your website need rescuing? You might be underwhelmed by your website, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s no good. Familiarity breeds contempt, and it’s possible that your site simply needs a good spring clean or a mini-makeover – nothing that some new copy and fresh new images can’t fix.

Before you throw the baby out with the bath water, it’s worth taking a good look at your website in terms of how well it functions and how well it ranks in SEO terms. Does it get good feedback from your customers and clients? Not every website can be saved, and sometimes it is simply more economical to start over again and rebuild.

Let’s take a look at some of the things that you can fix yourself – and some of the things you can’t.

Things that you CAN fix

There are a number of fairly simple things that you can do with a little bit of basic knowledge, and here are some examples of DIY changes you can implement  yourself (though some may require a bit of research beforehand).

Fonts and colours: depending on your content management system, changes to fonts and colours are very easy to make at the back end, particularly if your CMS is WSYWIG (what you see is what you get).

Images and copy: the ability to upload new images or delete old ones is fairly straightforward, as is the option to make changes to text. It can be as simple as pasting or typing new copy into the relevant text fields.

SEO: you’ll probably need to do some research beforehand but it’s easy to do your own basic SEO, encompassing things like meta descriptions, title tags and long tail keywords.

Logos: logos are uploaded as image files, so it’s one of those changes that you can do yourself. However, logos and company branding are incredibly important to get right, and best created by a professional designer.

Company info and contact: these are simple text changes that can be made at any time. Given that the web is open 24/7, it’s incredibly important to make sure that any changes to your contact details are updated immediately.

Add more pages: most content management systems have been designed with the express purpose of being user-friendly to the layperson, so the option to add pages is usually a very simple process.

Things that you CAN’T fix

Generally speaking, anything that changes the overall structure of the site or the way it works is something that needs professional expertise. These aren’t things you want to tinker with because the risk of site malfunction is high.

Mobile responsiveness: responsive web design uses CSS and HTML to resize, hide, shrink, enlarge, or move content to make it look good on any screen, and is not something an untrained person can do themselves.

Turn into ecommerce site: this one is definitely best left to the professionals, because the security of your customer’s personal and financial information is imperative – not to mention the smooth running of your online sales.

Adding online bookings: this is well beyond the scope of the layperson. Poorly implemented booking systems can have a serious impact on the revenue stream, overall operation and public reputation of your business.

So the question of whether can you rescue your own website is more a question of should you. Outside of very simple changes, the serious mechanics of your site should always be managed by professional web developers. You can save yourself a whole lot of stress by outsourcing the bulk of your web development and maintenance to the experts, while you get on with the business of doing what you do best – running your own business.

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