When we were contacted about making over the site for a local Christmas festival, it was easy to see things that could be improved. The site had used one of the popular do-it-yourself “Web site builders” which limited the look of the site (shown below).
The first thing we noticed was the large number of menu items across the top of the site. It is simple enough to put them into sub-menus so they aren’t so small and crowded. It also seemed odd to be dominated by colors that aren’t associated with Christmas. Our mission was to rebuild the site using WordPress while giving it a facelift at the same time.
A huge challenge was having a very limited budget and thus very little time to spend on the makeover. So while it is easy for us to see ways the site could be even better, we had to focus on doing everything we could in the limited time allowed by the budget. Below is a section of the home page after the makeover.
This particular event is made up of a series of events with different organizations leading the sub-events. Of course each group feels their portion is the most important part of the overall event and we tried to give them all equal billing on the site. As with many projects, getting photos, text, logos and other content was a challenge.
The best sites, and those that easily come in under budget, are those where clients are very active in providing content for the site. Even pulling photos from the previous site wasn’t a great answer because they were of a low quality. Trying to feature them on the new site showed they were low resolution and less than optimal.
Another heavy focus of any site makeover is to make sure the new site works great on mobile devices. Why? Because around 65% of all visits are coming from mobile devices. If you only view a site on a computer, you aren’t seeing what the majority of visitors will see. In many ways, the new version of this site looks better on a phone than it does on a computer!
Do you have a site that is overdue for a makeover? Please contact us with an overview of your budget and needs and we’ll get your site looking and performing great!
Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.