Over the next few weeks, I’m treating you to an insider’s view of how we breathe new life into old, stale websites. We’re not just going to perform the operation in front of you, we’re going to offer a number of tips on how to build a website, telling you WHY we’re doing what we’re doing. Hopefully, it will help you strategize, plan and implement changes to help you build a website or rebuild what you have out there because, really now, who wants a musty ol’ stale website?
So, without further ado, our patient: The Laguna Coffee Company. These folks are the must-visit coffeehouse in Laguna Beach. They have a number of uniquenesses they need to capitalize on, and they want a site that better reflects their personality and direction forward. Got it.
First things first, here’s a “BEFORE” image of what the existing Laguna Coffee site looks like.
It was done several years ago in Dreamweaver and, while Dreamweaver was the go-to HTML thing of its time, what’s built here is much like having a car that runs on leaded gasoline in an unleaded world.
Secondly, it loads extremely slowly. Any site that takes more than 3 seconds to resolve is a slow loader. This one takes closer to 7 seconds, even if it’s cached. What does that mean? Old code. Conflicting code, possibly. And probably hosted on a server that is WAY too overloaded with too many websites.
So, what does that REALLY mean? People are going to give up waiting for your website to show up. The world moves on at a very fast pace these days. You don’t want to lose them for this technical foul.
First order of business?
Transfer the site to our servers (where we house just 6-7 sites per server instead of what their existing server is doing, likely hosting hundreds of small sites.)
Second order of business begins the Brand Strategy.
In our first session with the coffee crew, we want to keep them comfortable and excited about the site’s “facelift.” Before we dive into the more tangled questions, we start with The Four Basics:
What do you like about your website?
What don’t you like about your website?
What do you like in other websites you see? (this is a good way to explore their initial thoughts on how other websites appeal visually and content-wise).
What do you want to be accomplishing more of through your website?
Based on their responses to the last two questions, we take them through a handful of websites we’ve created for clients with a focus on the web strategy behind why we created this feature because this client needed this solution, or why we put this feature there because that client needed that solution. This helps as a great warm-up to shift the client’s thinking toward the website as their ultimate sales tool.
You see, websites aren’t just a Yellow Pages listing in the phonebook.
They can certainly BE one if you so choose, but they have the ability to be your best business development manager, you best sales team member and your best sales team closer EVER as long as you consider these two items:
1. You know where you want to go
2. You’re willing to look at what could be bolstered in your business overall (not just your website but your business, period) to get you there.
At Armitage, Inc., our goal is to create greater visibility, obviously, but our REAL goal is to help our clients create greater profit margins across the business, in as many divisions of the business as possible. When we’re able to hone in on what makes your business tick, and what could make your business tick a lot faster and louder, THEN we can create a website that does just that!
Next Blog Entry:
What We Ask in The “Real” Brand Strategy Meeting
Graphing Two Visual Options for the Site – which one do you think the client chose?