A new website can be a game changer. Here’s why I redid mine and why you should consider it too.
It’s no secret that redoing and relaunching a website is a large commitment. It’s for this reason that a lot of people avoid it like the Black Plague. They invest time and effort into it one time around and then let it gather dust for months and sometimes even years.
From an organizational and personal branding standpoint, this is an egregious sin for two major reasons:
- We live in a digital age where people formulate their opinions on you based on your website.
- The way marketing is performed in today’s digital revolution places a huge burden on websites to attract and convert visitors to customers.
I Was a Hypocrite
I’ve been involved in companies that handle enterprise-level website development projects and so I’ve talked and blogged about why it’s important to have a constantly updated website.
You know what though? When it came to my own website I was the biggest hypocrite of them all and shuttered at the thought of someone uncovering mine.
So finally, I decided it was time to get serious about what I was preaching.
Here are my top three reason why I redeveloped my website and maybe why you should too:
1.) My Focus Changed
When I first developed my personal site, my focus was on creating an additional digital portfolio to house my brand.
Due to this specific focus, the way I developed it was very different than say if I was looking to sell products or create an active content platform.
Recently, however, my focus changed dramatically.
Rather than a portfolio, I wanted to create a platform to house articles and ideas on a variety of topics I’m passionate about and hope to pay forward.
Yes—there was a small place to include some blog articles, but the architecture of the site itself from creation wasn’t built to house an abundance of articles.
In order to fulfill my new focus effectively and correctly, a complete redesign from scratch was required.
2.) It Remained Static
The expectation put on websites nowadays is different than it was even just a few years ago. In order to remain relevant in today’s digital revolution, you have to be generating content on a regular basis.
This isn’t only to remain relevant in the eyes of you audience, but also in the cyber-eyes of search engines who put a tremendous amount of stake in whom is creating regular content. It’s no secret that search engines like Google rank websites producing regular streams of quality (keyword: quality) content higher than those standing still.
Again, I created a portfolio with a minor focus on blogging. This didn’t put me in the mindset to be actively creating content on a regular basis, and didn’t give me a direction or theme for doing so.
To break the static trend, and to shake up my habits, I had to redesign this from portfolio to platform.
3.) It Needed to Better Reflect My Brand
This may be a scary thought at first, but your personal brand is going to evolve and transform over time.
So often we think that having a personal brand is about maintaining a singular image for as long as we possibly can. It can also be tempting to believe that for some reason changing your brand along the way is a sign of weakness or uncertainty.
When I developed my original site three years ago, I was at a very different stage than I am now in more ways than one:
- My endeavors had me dressing very formally all the time. I was known for suits, ties and pocket squares.
- I had just launched my own agency and didn’t have access to the experience and lessons I do now.
- I didn’t fully grasp the idea of what a website should do and how it should behave. In all honestly, I was a bit of scrub on the topic.
These are all factors that had a tremendous effect on the way I built the first version of my site.
Nowadays, my business endeavors are no-less serious, but are a lot more casual when it comes to dress code. I’m still dressing to impress, but not so many suits and ties are involved.
Also, these past three years have dramatically changed my perspective on career, personal branding, being an entrepreneur and agency life. Having my own agency, managing clients and projects at another and being part of a software start-up has taught me a lot.
Not only do I have a different view on websites, but I have the skills to build my ideal digital destination.
I found myself questioning my own site and that was the push for me to rethink it and redevelop it.
OK—You Need to Follow Suit. What’s Next?
If this sounds like you, then don’t panic. Redeveloping your website will take some time, but with discipline and determination, you can do it and do it well.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you think through a redesign:
- Who is my audience?
- Who are you writing for? If you don’t specifically sketch this out, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
- What is my brand?
- If you have a clear handle on your brand then cool—you’ll have a lot of influence to bring into your redesign.
- If not, it’s going to be vital to develop this. Here’s a formula to help:
- Your unique experience + your audience = your brand’s unique offering
- Do I need to rebrand in the process of redoing my website?
- Maybe like me, your brand was a little bit behind your present day identity. This calls for a complete overhaul.
- How can I creative an effective website that showcases my brand?
- What is your brand about? How can you bring that concept and those values to life with a website?
- How much time can I set aside to do this every week?
- In order to get this done, you’re going to have to plan and allot yourself time to do this. Break it down into bite-sized pieces. For me, it was setting aside two hours a day for a few weeks until it came to life.
- Should I consider hiring someone?
- There is a tremendous value in strong brands that deliver on the internet. You want to make sure you do this correctly to properly represent you and what you have to offer. It’s OK to admit that you don’t have the direction or particular skill set to brand, rebrand and/or redevelop a website. If this is the case, don’t be afraid to seek help.
If you’re evaluating a website redesign or a whole rebrand, I’d love to help you through it. Let’s get in touch!
Here’s to a kickass website,