Social Web Dzine is a local website design and development company located in the beautiful Chain O’ Lakes area of Waupaca County. Since 2004, Social Web Dzine has built numerous websites for many clients throughout Wisconsin that range from small to mid-sized businesses to city and county governments and organizations. Just like a mechanic who never has time to fix his own car, I too have put the needs of my company’s website on the back burner. Last fall, I decided it was time for a website redesign. My strategy was to treat my website just like any other client and make it a priority to deliver an outstanding website.
The first step in any website redesign is to understand the scope of the project using a questionaire that helps me to understand the client’s goals. I completed that same questionairre for my website redesign and these are the goals which I defined:
It’s been about four years since the Social Web Dzine website had been redesigned. The old website still looked “okay” but lacked the creativity and inspiration I’ve added into my client’s projects.
I was a pretty tough client to please but I’d clearly defined the goals I wanted to achieve so I was able to create a mockup which very closely resembles the finished project.
After ten months of intense scrutiny over every detail I was able to move from the mockup vision to a live version that exactly matched the goals I’d defined. From the comments and reviews I’ve received, it’s clear I accomplished the goals and scope of this project.
Charles from Wisconsin Rapids summed it up quite nicely with his comment:
Its beautiful and informative, Rose.
Once the mockup was completed and had my approval, it was time to dig into the heart of the redesign by reconstructing the home page. The old website was cluttered with too much information. It lacked focus and didn’t give users a clear concept of important information.
My solution to this challenge was to distinctly highlight what I want new visitors to see:
As a result of defining my goals for the home page, it now walks visitors through important information gathering stages starting with “here’s what I can do for you” through the final stage of “let’s get started with your project”.
My “about me” page has always been a personal favorite where I enjoy adding personal flair. With the new website design I kept all the information from the old about page but moved every piece of information into it’s own clearly defined location.
With just a few steps, the new About page was beautiful, functional, and tells the story about me:
If you’re viewing this website on a mobile device, you’ll want to visit it on a laptop or desktop as the slideshow has been removed for increased performance optimization on mobile devices.
The old website lumped all the services into one page. Once visitors arrive on the website I want them to see the primary services I offer which are website design and seo. To accomplish this I added them to the main navigation bar. They are also included on the Services page along with other services I offer.
Every service continues to have a separate page which now provides more detailed information and explains why it’s an important part of your online marketing plan.
Pricing information was included on some of the pages which is hotly contested topic among website developers. Personally, I feel comfortable with giving my visitors some of my pricing info. I believe it helps you see my services can be an affordable fit with your marketing budget.
A drop down navigation list was added to the Services tab which was formerly excluded from the old website. While I don’t particularly like the aesthetics of a drop down menu, I realize it’s an important element many viewers use to navigate a website.
A website developer usually includes a portfolio page to show off their best projects. The old website achieved this quite nicely but was difficult to update with new projects.
I chose to create a more fluid design which was easy to update; I also included a call to action at both the top and bottom of the new portfolio page. To complete the page, a section was added to highlight recent projects which can be easily rotated.
The new project page design clearly defined sections which makes it quick and easy to replicate when a new project is added. These sections include:
Creating a focus for the project pages brought these pages to life. They focus the viewer’s attention to show important information.
A new Testimonial page was created to make it easier to read all the client testimonials in one location. I added new testiominals from recent clients along with their picture or company logo. Older testimonials were added to the bottom of the page along with ones from client’s whose projects were completed a few years ago.
Blogging has always been one of those things on my “to do” list but I’ve never been good at following through with it. For the Blog page, labeled News, a section for featured posts was created while the remaining blog post archive was split into two columns. This layout makes it easier to find blog posts without scrolling through multiple pages.
Creating new blog posts is definitely a work in progress as I start pushing myself to begin writing useful information. I plan to make this a place to answer your questions and give you information you need for your online marketing.
All the websites I develop are designed to be mobile responsive. This means the website resizes to fit on smaller devices. It doesn’t mean you’ll see exactly the same content on every device but rather you’ll see the best optimized version for the device you’re using.
When viewing the website on mobile devices, some slideshows and images aren’t loaded as this helps improve performance so it will load faster.
Just one week after redesigning this website, I’ve begun to see some amazing results. This case study has already received 14 shares on Facebook. This is much more than any other blog post I’ve created.
I hope you enjoyed this redesign case study. Please feel free to send me any feedback you feel might be helpful. This has been an extensive project; it has been critiqued and scanned for errors by my eyes alone so there might be a few things to be corrected. I promise, I’ll take no offense at any suggestions or corrections you send my way!
Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your feedback. If you have a critque or correction, please feel free to send it to me via the Contact page. If you like this project redesign, please consider clicking on the share button below and sharing it – this helps show Google you found this information to be interesting and relevant.
Thanks for visiting!