If it ain’t broke, still fix it

If it ain’t broke, still fix it

As you can see I’ve just relaunched my website. It’s not a major departure from what was there before but I believe it’s tighter, cleaner and more attractive.

I’ve given it a mini makeover rather than a full-blown face-lift.

In reality there was nothing ‘wrong’ with my old site. It attracted and converted clients very well.

So why the redesign?

And is reworking your site four times in as many years overkill?

I think not.

And here’s why:

My business has changed

When I set up my site I wasn’t sure exactly what I was doing! (I was pregnant and my hormones were crazy.)

Should I keep offering production and project management services or focus on copywriting? Should I work only with small businesses or stick to large corporates?

Then there was the issue of whether or not my creative writing sat comfortably with my copywriting.

Now I’m a lot clearer on what my business is, and how I want to move it forward. As my business changes and grows, so my site needs to evolve to reflect that.

Website technology has evolved

I started with a simple wordpress.com template coded by a bloke in my office. (Thanks, Stefan!) Then I migrated to wordpress.org, and rebuilt my site with my own worn little hands.

I began with a free theme then upgraded to a paid theme.

As my coding skills improved I tinkered with my theme (and broke it many times). After a while it started to look a little lumpy around the edges.

Finally I decided to pay a design company (the totally awesome Volt Creative) to create a customised theme that met my own exact requirements.
WordPress can do so much more than it could four years ago; it seems a shame not to take advantage of the additional functionality.

My audience is different

I split my business site from my creative site about a year ago, so now my site is focused purely on clients.
Most of my clients come to my site with a problem to solve.
They don’t want the big sell – they want simple effective solutions. No one is willing to wade through monster-sized chunks of copy. It needs to be short and snappy!

I’m less focused on SEO

I’ve made it to the top of the rankings for my chosen keywords and nabbing clients is not a problem.

I now no longer care if my home page is the highest ranked page on my site. I no longer have to stress about squeezing the word copywriting into every page 72 times.
My home page has a branding and engagement job to do rather than just being there to please the SEO Gods.

I’m more confident

When I first started out copywriting full time, I wanted to be like everyone else. I looked at my competitors and tried to emulate their websites as much as possible.
Now I want to stand out. I’ve developed a distinct brand and tone of voice that, while not everyone’s cup of tea, is very much ME.

I wanted my site to reflect my slightly irreverent approach to business, so that it attracts the kind of clients I’d like to work with.

It’s good to keep things fresh

While reworking your website might feel like a big pain in the bum, it’s also challenging and invigorating. It was interesting to don my Information Architecture hat and look at my site through fresh eyes. In actual fact all I’ve changed is three site templates. (I still need to go through and review content pages and fill in several gaps.) But even this small evolution has reinvigorated me and upped my oomph.

So now my site is looking perkier, fresher and altogether more youthful and gorgeous. If only I could say the same for me.

What do you think?

So what do you think of my new look? Is there anything you’d change? Are you thinking about a new site design and, if so, what is your biggest challenge?

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If it ain’t broke, still fix it was last modified: by
  • I agree Kate and your new site looks FAB.

    I rejigged my copy last year with many of your points in mind. I am ranking pretty well and have a consistently full pipeline thanks to all my marketing legwork SO when I wrote my copy, I relaxed a little. I didn’t really think about SEO. Instead I tried to walk the walk a bit more on my brand personality and I’ve had very favourable responses.

    From a design point of view I think most business owners start the same way. I know I did. We do it ourselves until we can finally get a pro on the job. And the results are so much better. But we gain all that painful learning along the way so it’s all not all bad!

    You’ve made me all restless about my own site now but I am reminding myself that it’s ok and I can leave it alone … for now 😉

    • Thanks Belinda. I must admit that the copy on my site needs more work, some of it is lingering from that first relaunch in 2009. But it’s finding the time right? Too much client copy to write.
      And yes, as soon as I look at another website I start thinking about MORE things I could do to mine. But for now, I must be content.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.