Like most businesses we often get caught up in doing work for our clients that we put off doing work for ourselves. As the annual Christmas slow down started we decided that it was time to make some site improvements. There was a long list of needs and wants on the list running the gamut from simple copy tweaks, image updates, to more complex changes like updating our theme to more streamlined SEO-Friendly code. And while the final result visually isn’t radically different from what it was, it still represents a major upgrade.
Here is what we did with our WordPress Website Redesign
We Updated the Site Theme
For the last couple of years we’ve worked with the Genesis framework and have built many sites using the Epik child theme. Epik is easy to customize and provides a ton of widget options on the home page. Over the last year we’ve also started to use a WordPress plugin called Visual Composer which allows us to create customized pages without having to do a lot of heavy coding. So far so good.
The problem arose when we realized that Epik was not working as well as we would like with Visual Composer. And the combination caused some other conflicts, that while minor, we would rather not deal with. So while we still recommend Epik and its still in our tool box, we’ve chosen to use the bare boned Genesis Sample theme when using Visual Composer on newer websites. All of that to say that the first major change in our redesign project was converting from the Epik theme to the Sample theme (free if you own the Genesis framework).
The sample theme does not have a lot of the bells and whistles that Epik has, but that also means that it’s light on code. And light code is fast code which helps us from an site speed perspective. Plus we can add back any functionality that we need.
Re-focused the Home Page
Previously the home page focused on explaining the concept of Inbound Marketing, with a goal of getting the visitor into a conversion path based on their needs. The revised direction focuses more directly on those conversion paths by speaking about the components of Inbound Marketing rather than the concept. The home page now provides conversion paths to website design, content marketing and conversion optimization which comprise our three core services. We also explain how our conversion optimization background makes us unique, why its important and how it help our clients (you can read the home page but the short version is that we are one of the few web design and marketing firms that started out focussing on conversion optimization. Our conversion testing experience means everything is viewed and designed based on how it will lead to more downloads, sign-ups, leads and sales). We’ve also focused more attention on the B2B resources that we share with visitors to our site. These include project summaries with details about recent projects, available white papers, case studies and infographics.
Each of Our Services Pages Were Converted to a Landing Page Format
One of the things we focused on was to present the B2B marketing services we provide in a more clear and concise manner. Each of the service pages are now broken up into sections that allow us to explain what we do, show the benefits, and provide relevant information to address questions. You can quickly understand what we provide and why it might be relevant for your company or marketing efforts.
Create an Improved Viewing Experience With Our Project Portfolio
We’ve always included before and after photos of projects on our site. We’ve just gone a step further to help you understand what we’ve done with each project. We include a graphic that shows the site in a tablet and smart phone format, provide project details including the problem and solution, use standardized icons to represent the project scope, and off course present a slide shows before and after comparisons.
Added New Mobile Navigation
While the Epik theme comes with a mobile navigation built into the theme, the Genesis Sample Theme does not. Not a problem. In the past we’ve simply coded our own based on some code from the Genesis development community. This time, though, I decided to test out SuperSide Me, a mobile navigation plugin I’ve been wanting to try. The end result is a clean simple mobile navigation menu that slides out from the side.
And those are the highlights from our recent WordPress website redesign. We’re still doing some tweaks to the background to improve speed. And we’ll be moving the whole site to Siteground for hosting. We’re keeping notes so maybe we’ll share some details once we finish that part of the project.
If you’ve been considering updating your website we can help. Call us at 678-951-9506 or download your “10 Step Checklist For Your Next WordPress Website Redesign”.