Top Tips When Updating A Business Website | Big Red Digital, Glasgow

Top Tips When Updating Your Website

Category: Web Design

Over the last few months, among all our client projects, the team at Big Red Digital been working hard to update our own website. We are so pleased with the results so feel free to have a look around!

It’s been a labour of love, and for once, the shoe was on the other foot; as the main person in Big Red who was creating the content for our site, I was able to see the website build process from a client perspective. It gave me a great insight into what it's like to be at the other end of my sales process! And I think this will help me prepare clients better, knowing what's involved.

I thought it would be helpful to those about to embark on an upgrade/starting afresh with a new website to give some tips that might make the process easier. Please note this is not a technical overview in any way - the team at Big Red managed this project in the same way that we would have for any client. This is more for those developing their own content at the request of the web designers.

Be Organised

It helps to plan everything out, up front. When you set out all the content required, it also shows you what is missing. As we were only updating our site, rather than starting from scratch, we already had a page plan/wire frame containing the main content. I then added additional pages/menu items to update our growing capabilities.

Once this was finalised, I was able to plan out what content areas were required – images, icons, text, downloads/additional information etc. This gave me a ‘to do’ list, which I was able to methodically work through in bite-sized chunks.

Collect all your content up front, as this is the most time-consuming aspect of your website refresh/overhaul. It’s always better to have too much content (that you can eventually whittle down) than too little. So get your creative hat on! You’ll thank me in the end.

Be Concise

As a sales person, I find writing easy, and I have an incredible passion for what we can offer as a business. This means I try and cram in as much information as possible to show off our capabilities! The major thing I have learned when refreshing the content on our site, and adding new content, was that it’s really hard to be concise. To engage your user online, you don’t have a long time, and paragraphs of text are likely to put people off reading.

Once I had written down everything I wanted to say, I then passed this across to our content team. I know I’m lucky in Big Red to have access to professional copy writers, but even if I didn’t, this is something I’d recommend outsourcing. What they’ve taught me is that what I want to say doesn’t matter! It’s what our (potential) customers want to hear that is important. And usually that means less detail of how we do things, and more detail on what we achieve.

website planning

Testing is Important

Not everything on our site is exactly how I imagined it would be when I started, and for good reason. Some things just don’t work. Visually things won’t appeal when you put them on a screen. Colours clash, shapes mix and the balance on different-sized screens needs to be worked out.

Our developers test, test and test again. And once you start testing, you learn what actually works. This can be a lengthy, and often iterative process. Lots of back and forth before you get one page right. And remember your website is likely to have significantly more than one page! Get it right at the testing stage however, and then the other processes become much simpler.

Let It Go

Not wanting to plagiarise advice from a certain Disney princess, but some things you just have to let go. Whenever you read over something, you’ll want to change a word, or a sentence. You might want a more engaging image. You might want to wait until you’ve written enough to create a whole separate page for something that just merits a small content area at the moment.

If you do, you’ll never publish your website. At some point you have to draw a line under what you’ve done, and let the world see it.

The beauty of our own CMS, built upon our own Big Red Platform, is that you can constantly go in and change things when it’s live. So, to quote my MD Steven Blood, "A website is never finished, simply published". I’ve heard him say this many, many times to clients. And now I ‘get’ it!

We as a team will continue to add to our website – it doesn’t have anything about our Events Management Platform (yet), we have loads more case studies to publish from our recent projects, and as bespoke software developers at heart, we will continue to add to our portfolio over time.

But we wanted you to see it! So have a look around and let me know what you think.

Tools Utilised

I used a few different tools to manage the process:

Trello - a Trello board helped me organise my content, set my to-do lists, share relevant ones with the team to keep the project on track.

Dropbox - we have an overall Dropbox folder for our website, and sub-folders for each page on the site. I dropped in content as it was ready to be published, and our designers added it to the site.

Phones/tablets etc - even though desktop versions can you show what things will look like responsively, there's nothing better than testing on as many different devices as possible.

Pen and paper - don't knock it - writing things down, drawing out plans etc, I found so much easier to do with a pen and paper, then discuss with the development team. A picture tells 1000 words after all!

Need Help?

If you’re planning on a full website overhaul, or a small update and you need some help, drop me an email here. I can discuss the process in detail, and support you along the way.

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About The Author

As Big Red’s Sales Manager, my role is to ensure our clients see demonstrable results from their website and digital marketing strategies. I work closely with our clients to help establish specific targets for their online activity and translate this into sales/conversions.

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