THE BLISSFUL BIZ PODCAST
BEHIND-THE-SCENES OF MY WEBSITE REDESIGN (AND WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN YOU WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE)
By Susanne Rieker
I just rebranded my website and in this episode and blog post I share all the big and little things I did so you can implement them too on your website. Before I get into all this good stuff, I wanted to share with you that I just updated my free masterclass “How to DIY your dream website”. If you haven’t watched it yet, definitely check it out.
Before I get into all this good stuff, I wanted to share with you that I just updated my free masterclass “How to DIY your dream website”. If you haven’t watched it yet, definitely check it out.
In this free masterclass you’ll learn:
- A simple process for branding and designing your website to match your personality.
- Six elements to add to your homepage that will help you convert your website visitors into paying customers.
- And finally, my step-by-step process for building your website.
- The best? This is a pre-recorded training that you’ll have INSTANT access to. You can start learning how to DIY your website right now and finally get the website you and your brand deserve!
When should you update your website?
So how do you know if it’s time for a refresh. Obviously, if you don’t have a website, yes, it’s time to create one. But a lot of you might be thinking about refreshing things.
Here’s my question for you. Is your website working for you? Is it doing what you want it to do? If the answer is “no” then it’s likely time for a rework.
Or are you in a different stage of business or offering something different? That’s also when you might want to update and refresh things.
For me, because I’m a website designer, having a great website feels more important. And there were a few things I wanted to change, for example being more strategic in directing people to my best content.
How I designed my new website AND kept my old website live
Because I wanted to keep my existing website live while working on my update, I created a copy of my existing website and installed it on a sub domain.
I think you can create a sub domain with pretty much every hosting provider, and the sub domain behaves just like a normal domain. This applies to WordPress. If you use Wix or Squarespace or a website builder like that it’s a different process, they don’t have sub-domains.
There are free plugins to help you migrate your website to a new installation, for example the free Duplicator plugin. I used the premium version of the UpdraftPlus plugin and that worked perfectly.
I didn’t start from scratch, I built on my existing content. This makes doing a redesign so much more efficient because obviously all the content was already there. All my pages, and forms, and nearly 150 blog posts. After all, I wanted to keep the majority of my existing content, I just wanted a redesign, not a complete relaunch.
This was easy because I was using the same premium theme again that I use for all my websites, my client websites and it’s what I teach you in my course Blissful Websites. It’s the Avada theme, and I love it!
If you are going to use a different theme for your new website, or you don’t have a lot of content yet, it’s probably smarter to start with a clean slate, set up a new WordPress installation, install your theme, and then start building your page.
What I changed in the design
A new photoshoot wasn’t possible due to the pandemic, so I knew I was going to use my existing photos.
But I wasn’t happy with my logo and the font’s I used, they just never felt 100% right.
I wanted something simpler and I also wanted more space for the content and my header with the menu to no take up so much space.
I decided to use just two fonts for my website, mainly the Montserrat font. I use it for my logo, which is now a very simple text logo, only my name in capital letters, and I also use it for my headlines and body copy. I love that font and I love that this automatically makes my website look so much cleaner and more modern.
For accents I use a handwritten font that I bought on www.creativemarket.com (Affiliate link).
Those are really simple changes that you can do for the whole website, so those changes will automatically show up on every page. For example if you change the font of your body copy, it will automatically be the new font everywhere on your page, unless you hard-coded a font in HTML or CSS and thus overrode the theme settings.
How I designed my new homepage
I added a new page and started building my homepage. I added all the elements I teach you to use, like a header image, a short welcome text, my main offers, a freebie sign up form, testimonials etc.
My goals were to direct visitors to my best offers and get them to subscribe to my email list.
For example, I used to always show my latest podcast episodes, and I changed this to show a selection of my favorite episodes, actually my most popular episodes.
Why did I do this? Well, when someone new comes to my homepage, I want to show them my best content.
We all have content that’s better. My podcast episodes, some are great, some are just okay, some are maybe only interesting for a very niche part of my niche audience.
I also added my courses and membership to my homepage, so people can see right away that I’m offering online courses.
Finally, I cleaned up my footer, that’s the part that you see on the bottom of every page. I show my Instagram feed in it and then I just have a line with my copyright and legal links and icons that link to my social media profiles.
I went through my other pages similarly. I cleaned up my about page. There’s a lot less copy on it now because who really wants to read that, instead I’m linking to some of my most personal podcast episodes where I share my story.
What I didn’t do is change the set-up of my blog posts. 150 blog posts and podcast episodes, that’s a lot, and I didn’t want to touch them all.
I was thinking about adding a side bar, but that’s why I decided against it and I now only have that on my blog overview page. It would have been a nightmare job to change that in every blog post, and that’s where I decided it’s not important enough and my time is better invested on other tasks.
I cleaned up my offers
I experimented offering coaching calls and website reviews, but to tell the truth I wasn’t excited about doing this and that’s probably why nearly no one signed up for it. Now I’m only offering web design as a 1-on-1 service, and my online courses.
If you are offering things because you feel you should, but they don’t bring you joy, see if you can stop offering these.
I can tell you that it feels really liberating, saying no to things that don’t bring me joy.
How long did this whole redesign take?
All together I spend 27 hours on my new website. Actually, this is more than I would have expected. Looking back, it seems like I really only did a few things, but yeah, there probably were some long evenings involved.
It really was a passion project for me, and I wanted to get it right. I’m still learning so much about web design with every project I’m working on, so it feels like time invested wisely.
I’m totally in love with my new website and I’m sure it will help me grow my business and also get more premium website clients, who are willing to invest more.
Should you redesign your website?
When you’re considering doing a redesign of your website, or even get started with your website, here are some questions you should ask yourself:
- What’s the goal of the website? What does it need to do?
- Where do you want to lead your customers? Once they come to the website, then what? Where do you want them to go, what do you want them to do?
- How can you make it easy for your website visitors to lead them down a path and get the most value?
- How do youplan to convert your traffic on your website? What are you doing to get them on your email list and then eventually into your programs?
These are some initial questions you should think about it, because those answers will influence how you set up your navigation, your content and your offers.
For me, getting people onto my email list and into my funnels is most important, it’s where my strategic focus lies.
For you it could be something different. It could be your private classes offer that you want people to sign up for, or if you focus on retreats it could be that.
The point is, you need to know what your goals are, what do you want to achieve.
If you’re ready to update your website or to get started, here’s your roadmap:
#1 Create a project plan
Will you DIY your website, for example with the help of my course Blissful Websites? Will you hire a website designer? Plan it out in different phases and set a deadline. That’s the first step and it’s really important.
#2 Get clear on your goals
What do you want your website to achieve? How do you want to convert your visitors into clients? All the questions I shared with you before.
#3 Create a style guide with your logo and fonts and colors, or a detailed briefing for your designer.
Look at other websites, analyze what you like and what you don’t like, take some screenshots, bookmark them, this will really help you get a picture in your head of what you want to build, instead of looking at a blank page with no clue what you should do.
If you need new pictures you could also schedule a photo shoot, this will always make a huge difference.
#4 Set up your development page
For example, a sub domain when you already have a website, or your main domain and a coming soon page so you can work on it in private.
#5 Start designing and creating your content!
If you don’t have a website yet, you really need to get started with it.
In this day and age, you definitely need a website. I call this your central hub.
You never, ever want to rely on Facebook or Instagram or YouTube as your central hub. They can change dramatically today or over the next year and you are going to lose your momentum. Do not bank on anything that is not yours.
But I don’t think you need a super fancy website. It doesn’t need to have a lot of bells and whistles. But it should represent you well. It’s should be easy to navigate and have a clean and modern look and feel. I think that is important for all of us.
Don’t forget to sign up for my free masterclass “How to DIY your dream website” where I share more with you how you can design a great website, like how to choose your colors and what to put on your homepage.
Thank you for listening
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