Just recently I’ve made a new friend. Cary is a multi-gifted woman with a strong, entrepreneurial spirit. Since the business side of ministry isn’t my strongest suite, I asked Cary if we could barter some time for her to take a look at the Next Step site and give me suggestions.
It was such an eye-opener to sit down beside a knowledgable friend to look at the site together. The most interesting thing was that the items she encouraged me to refresh were the exact same things I’d probably tell you if I was looking at your site. But you know the saying… cobbler’s children with no shoes and all that!
After making a list of updates based on Cary’s expertise, I asked my business savvy friend Holly to take a look. I specifically asked Holly to try to look at the site as if she had never visited before. She had another list of fabulous insights which I added to Cary’s tweaks.
Finally, I called my nephew/techie genius, Jake, to ask for his input. Some of his suggestions overlapped with the others, but he also had some additional ideas based on his knowledge of what’s possible and what’s new in the web design world.
Now, I have to say that sometimes these assessments are discouraging to me. I’m starting to understand that web design changes just as quickly as fashion design. Updated sites have much more open space and go from one side of the computer screen to the other. Since I don’t have the time, energy or finances for a complete overhaul, at first I thought maybe I shouldn’t bother.
But in the end, Jake helped me to achieve a fresh look with minimal changes. I hope you’ll click here to view the website!
Following the suggestions of my fabulous friends, here are some elements I used to achieve a more up-to-date look:
1. We added a slider. Some of my most important information was buried on tabs people may not visit or way down in the sidebars. Although one techie friend told me that sliders are outdated, I love them for putting focal points front and center.
2. We highlighted Proverbs 31 Ministries. Holly pointed out that P31 is my strongest qualification for coaching speakers and yet it was almost nowhere to be seen on the site. I’m so proud to feature a ministry that I love so much!
3. We updated the social networking icons. Mine were functional but a little tired and not at all visible. Jake found some that I love and added them. If you haven’t joined us on either Facebook or Twitter, I hope you will today!
4. We made the “subscribe” button more visible. By simply changing the color and adding it to each page, we made it easier to find and made it draw your eye.
5. We made the font bigger. Many of you probably won’t notice this change if you get your posts via email, but recently my old eyes were protesting when I read posts on the website. I’m thankful for a 15-year-old who helped out this old lady!
6. I took down some outdated content. When we worked on this project, I went through every page with a fine-toothed comb and found some references to Karen and Suzie. Although I still love them dearly, but they haven’t worked for Next Step for over a year. It meant that a video I once loved (and paid to have produced) went away, but I want new visitors to have correct information.[Tweet “You can make some small website tweaks that will make a big difference.”]
Have you taken a look at your website with fresh eyes recently? I’m resolving to do it yearly now. I highly recommend starting this week on a refresh for your website. Enlist the help of some friends with sales/business/tech backgrounds.
Note: I’m so pleased with the new and improved Next Step site! Subscribers, if you’re viewing this in email, I’d love to invite you to take a peek.
If you have some friends who you think would benefit from the weekly tips or the coaching, would you send them a short email right now and let them know about Next Step? It’s been like doing spring cleaning, and now I’m eager to have new guests! 🙂