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31.10.2021   /  DESIGN

Website [re]design: Why it was time for a reboot

About three months ago, we started to entirely revamp our company website for the first time in about five years. We’d had a placeholder site in place for a while as we reconsidered the site’s usefulness, and the previous design was a basic one as we considered what to do. 

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Belinda D'Alessandro

Comparing our current design now to its former design is like night and day transition – it was time to hit refresh and bring our website into the present. We’d been thinking about redesigning our brand’s website and adding back a blog, but we weren’t sure if it was worth the time and effort. 

Our website was looking a bit old-fashioned. And it became a bit slow and cumbersome. Did we want to restart blogging? Did we want to integrate that new shopping cart functionality to sell directly from our website?

Here’s a look at some of the reasons we wanted to update our site.  

Design and functionality

It was a no-brainer, really. We wanted our “shop front” to look and run the best it could. We wanted a clean, professional website that provides a succinct journey with clear communication and calls-to-action for a user experience, with key content signposted and instinctive navigational structures. We also wanted our colour palette and typography, and imagery to be consistent and cohesive.

Site performance

Having the most beautiful and interactive website in the world isn’t matter if it isn’t optimised for search engines and can’t be found when you’re looking for it.

Search engine optimisation is a constant and evolving process. It needs continuous attention and small, incremental steps. So we took the opportunity of redesigning our website to update our SEO and bring the site up to date with current SEO best practices.
We wanted to make sure our site was clean and fast, so we took measures such as compressing images compressed, reducing HTTP calls (CSS and JavaScript references) and render-blocking scripts, caching, and other criteria.

We also wanted to create more well-written, unique, and informative content.

Functionality and content management

We wanted to thoroughly review the current functionality of our website, both for visitors (the front end) and for ourselves (the back end), to make everyone’s life faster and easier. Technology and fashion are constantly changing, so it was critical to provide visitors with up-to-date content and to give us the ability to make updates quickly and easily.

We wanted to minimise the need to have a developer on hand for day-to-day updates and support and have complete control over the content. In addition, it would save money on monthly costs and increase flexibility and lead time when making significant updates, such as blog posts or content creation of campaign pages on our website. 

To enable us to make regular updates or create new pages (for SEO reasons), we updated to a solid, dependable, and simple content management system (CMS) to handle the job. We're currently using Mobirise for our website builder: it's a free offline app you can use to easily create websites, landing pages, and portfolios.

The free templates included, the majority of which are interchangeable , allowed us to start building our new website. Once we started, we wanted to start using more and more, so we upgraded to use some of the paid solutions Mobirise offers.

Mobirise is a great tool for non-techies who aren’t accustomed with the intricacies of coding and prefer to work visually and, if you're like me, you've got some knowledge of HTML but you're not pro-coder. You can drop site elements to your page, add content and style it to look the way you like but you can also use the Code Editor for deeper customization.

Better Security

In some ways, appropriate security is an obvious extension of SEO, particularly given that Google prefers sites that use HTTPS via secure SSL Certification. However, it was just as crucial for us to consider the end-user experience and to ensure that any data processed by our site is secured.

Our web hosting was also due for renewal, and we were using the same basic package we’d started with when we set up the website, which was scheduled to be retired by our hosting provider. After discussing the options with our hosting provider, Vodien, we decided to upgrade to a package with faster, uninterrupted enterprise speeds and protection that Google prefers.

It was a step up from the basic web hosting plan that we’d been using for some time. The team at Vodien also helped us migrate from our previous package to our new package and kept us updated along the way. The migration was so seamless and fast, and done in what seemed like an instant.

We also wanted to make sure our site receives regular updates, making it easier to update in the future. We also wanted to make sure it didn’t become vulnerable to malicious attacks if we didn’t keep it up to date with regular updates as soon as they become available.

At the end of the day

Redesigning our website was about more than just an artistic update and making it more visually appealing. It was just as much about making a more functional and secure site for our visitors.

Comments?

What are your thoughts about website design and optimisation? Share them in the comments section below.

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