How to Ruin a New Website

There’s a bit of a misconception out there that if your business is schlepping along with a dinosaur of a website, literally anything is an upgrade and will be an instant success. While I hate to be the bearer of bad news, I’ve got a dirty little secret to share with you if are considering or in the midst of designing a new website:

New websites can suck too.

Just because you invest the time, money, and resources into improving your online presence with a new website doesn’t mean it’s going to be good. There are so many more factors that go into a new website greater than just a fresh coat of paint and some cool new doodads. These “improvements” can actually be steps back if you don’t handle your design process with care. Here are a couple ways you can unintentionally ruin the launch of your new website.

Trying to do too much

There are a lot of really, really cool things you can do with WordPress and Divi. That, along with the ease at which business owners can independently manage their own website over time,  are major reasons why we build websites exclusively with WordPress. You can create stunning layouts, drop down menus to display the depth of content on your site, accordions to attractively display the content on each page, embed videos to give visitors something to engage with and that isn’t even scratching the surface of all the cool widgets and plugins you can experiment with.

With all these options at your disposal, it can be tempting to try and do it all. You may think that by using every single tool available it will make your site sleek and “modern.” In reality, you are actually just making a jumbled mess. Don’t just put things on your website because you can, everything needs to serve a practical purpose. The choices in design and structure that you make need to be made with a few considerations in mind:

  • Does this help visitors accomplish what I want them to accomplish?
  • Does this make it easy for visitors to accomplish this?

If the primary goal of your website is for visitors to fill out a contact form, crowding your homepage with a bunch of distracting menus, videos, and a gazillion buttons rather that just putting a simple single call to action at the top serves only to make the experience harder and more frustrating for visitors. Make choices on what and what not to include on your website based on the function and flow of your site rather than vanity.

Not evaluating web copy

When you are planning your new website, you have a couple different options when it comes to how to handle the copy on your website. You can simply take what you have on your old website and transfer it or you can start the copy writing process from scratch. I’ll tell you, there is no wrong way to handle this process and it is perfectly acceptable to do either. The only thing that isn’t acceptable and can damage the launch of your new site is not evaluating your old copy at all.

With a bunch of different balls to juggle during the process, it may seem like the easy route is to just copy/paste your content and forget about it, but this is a major disservice to your new site. This exercise can make you miss out on giving your new website a potential SEO boost. If you don’t, at least  look over your old copy, you may indeed just be populating your site with copy that doesn’t score well in the keywords that you really want or need.

Then  you will end up with a fancy new website that no one will find, rather than a cruddy old website no one will find. If you stick with near identical copy on your new site you limit yourself to essentially the same structure as your old site and miss an opportunity to explore new ways to expand your site and offer new content.

Not giving your website’s copy a fair shake greatly limits what all your new site can be.

No post-launch plan

Your new website is ready to go, but what is your follow up? Just like rolling out a new product or service, if you don’t have a post-launch plan for your website you are going to have a hard time finding a return on your investment.

Before you even kick off the pre-design process, I strongly urge you to have a post-launch plan in place and have an answer to some of these very important questions. How are we going to announce the launch? Are we going to promote it over social media, an email newsletter, or a good old fashioned press release? Do we have a blogging or social media plan in place ready to continue to help grow and promote the site in the months and years to follow? Do we have an email marketing plan ready to keep customers coming back and aware of new updates?

Here’s a quick equation for you: new website ≠ immediate success and results. If you aren’t prepared to continue to grow, promote, and supply your website with fresh content and a means of generating traffic, the time and expense spent on your new website can be for naught.

Now that you know how to avoid spoiling a new website launch, are you ready for yours?

Your current site may not be cutting it and you don’t even know it. Take our free web audit and find out.