I get a lot of questions about how clients can improve their own websites. And while I wrote a nice article about how to make your website work harder for you that is full of ideas, I thought it might be of some benefit to share the things that I decided were important for my own site.
Some of the bigger changes are:
- Responsive design: This means that if you narrow your browser window (or look at it on a smart phone) the website responds by rearranging itself. Since there is a 50% chance of someone looking at my site on a mobile device vs a desktop computer, this became really important.
- Availability and Hours: Now you can see when I’m working. The top of the page features a note to let you know if it is during office hours or not. With many clients in different time zones I get a lot of “when are you available?” questions.
- Sticky Navigation: As you scroll down the page, the menu stays at the top. It’s funny that this was all the rage a few years ago and somehow, we (web designers) forgot about it. It’s a great way to help your visitors get around your site, so I added that.
- Clean things up: I adjusted the text to be larger and easier to read. I adjusted the design by eliminating a lot of elements that I decided were unnecessary. Less clutter means it should be easier for visitors to get around the site and find what they want.
Things I wanted to maintain:
- Sense of fun. I really enjoy Cam the Chameleon. He’s fun to draw in different ways. I updated his looks and plan to sprinkle him around the site in a few other places.
- Portfolio. Visitors really care about whether I am a good fit. The best way to do this is to see samples of my work. So, I kept the portfolio, but recreated all the slides with some better graphics so you could see the products better. I will continue adding new projects.
And yet, there are still things on my list, which I am constantly adding to. This way I don’t forget whatever it was, and then I get some time to sit with it and see if it is something I want to implement. Sometimes I remove those items or think of better ways to accomplish them.
The main question to ask yourself when dealing with website upgrades is “How will this affect my clients?” Will it make their visit more enjoyable, fun, or easier? The answer to this question could even be making your own life easier. If posting your hours (for instance) leads to you having to answer less questions about it – then it means more time for your clients.