Your Website is Like a Houseplant

Or how to keep your website from withering away

Recently I’ve completed a couple of redesigned WordPress websites for local businesses in Windsor. It got me thinking about how easy it is for business owners to forget to keep your website up to date.

Pretend your website is a houseplant: You don’t buy it and think, Whew – done!… Then forget to water it. Or maybe you do – in which case, you might want to invest in succulents. Websites need that fresh intake just as much as your houseplant does.

And to be sure, it’s easy – especially for entrepreneurs – to feel overwhelmed with all the hats you have to wear. Too frequently, that website is probably the last thing on the priority list – not because you don’t think it’s important, but there’s just SO MUCH to do before you get to it! And then, regardless of the CMS your site uses, you have to add in the learning curve of how to use it. Even though WordPress is a relatively easy platform to use, if you’ve never used it before it’s a new skillset. Without practice, it can fade quickly and then updating your site seems like an even bigger chore.

But that’s where outsourcing can save the day and revive your plant – and your website. My web design services can range from full-service turnkey products to buckets of hours that can be applied to your own project. There’s even a low monthly update option that can take care of most of your “watering” needs.

Case Study

The website for The Spoke & Note is the perfect example of how your business can evolve past your website to the point where the website is no longer serving you well. Your website needs to be kept up to date, just as your business does.

The Spoke & Note – music and bikes in Windsor

In 2018 Tony & Ashley Wood opened a brand new shop in Windsor, focusing on offering services and products for bike and music enthusiasts. At that time, I provided them with a very simple, one-page WordPress website that was low on budget and intended to effectively get them online and into the various search engines.

But after a year of operations, The Spoke & Note has evolved far beyond the needs initially served by their first, simple website design. As their web hosting was coming due for renewal, we decided it was definitely time for an overhaul.

The website

Having set up this website for The Spoke & Note last year after they opened, it was a real treat to suggest a total revamp when their hosting was coming due for renewal. Their business has evolved and expanded significantly, and their first design was not serving them well anymore. Their website had a lot of room to improve!

Now their new website is bright, with lots of white space, and still prominently featuring their penny farthing rider logo. The biggest difference is a LOT more content, to help drive the SEO of the website – and to really top off the functionality improvement, we added an e-commerce catalogue. Now folks will find their website more easily and also see the range of products and services they offer.

Using e-commerce with WordPress is a great choice as there are so many ways you can customize your online shop. In this case, we chose to disable the online shopping feature for now, and use the online store as a catalogue only. Although the store carries far more products than are included on the online catalogue, we chose to showcase select categories of items to give visitors a sense of what they might be able to find if they come by.

The Design

beaver-builder-logo1

I was pleased to use this website redesign as a pilot project for a WordPress page builder that I’ve been wanting to try for some time. Beaver Builder is one of the highest-rated website builders that has a strong focus on accessibility. Rather than use WordPress’s Gutenberg editor (which I feel is still loaded with problems and design issues), Beaver Builder will allow the site owner to customize their site after it’s completed without losing the branding and visual focus that has been created.

And as a convincing bonus, if we ever switch away from using Beaver Builder, all that hard work and content won’t be lost or scrambled – which is often the case with other page builders.

Features

  • Responsive & Mobile-friendly
  • Fast, clean design
  • WooCommerce functionality
  • Instagram feeds and other social media integration
  • SEO optimization built-in with schema markup and compression

Go check it out! And while you’re at it, be sure to like and follow their page on facebook to keep up with their events.

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