Tips for a better website

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Stop the presses - we've got a new website!

I'm amazed how many companies still think it's necessary to announce the redesign of their site on the homepage.

Example 1

As I may have noticed? How could anyone overlook a makeover of such magnitude? You're rocking a whole new look! And a new navigation!

By the way, don't sweat the little stuff. You know, like pages still in progress and losing my password.

I'll check back frequently to see if you've got it all sorted out.

And register again. Happily.

I mean, it's not like I have a life or anything.

Example 2(.0)

Oh my God. I had always hoped you guys would go 2.0.

And now, after 2 years of strugling (sic) - not quite sure what that is but it sounds like hard work- you've gone and done it. A better news section and even an agenda.

You know, I thought you'd start with something simple but no... 2.0 all the way.

And on top of all that: improved SEO. Well, that is just the cherry on the cake.

Thanks, you guys.

Why is an announcement about your new site a bad idea?

  • Nobody cares
    I understand that you've worked hard on your new website. For you and your team, getting the damn thing online is very important news.

    But it isn't for your visitors. If you think it is, you need to have a big slice of humble pie. Because really, it totally isn't.

    Half of the people who visit your site are probably there for the first time. They don't even know what your site looked like before.

    And admit it, even your most faithful visitors probably only spend a couple of hours a year on your website. Don't hassle them with news they don't care about.
  • It's not news, it's your job
    People who come to your website expect to find what they're looking for fast. They expect your navigation to be user-friendly. And your check-out process to be swift.

    Constantly updating and improving your website is not news. It's your job.
  • It makes you lose money
    Usually, the 'news' about a website redesign is put on one of the most important pages of a site: on the homepage, above the pagefold, in the top left side of the content area.

    A lot of the time, that message pushes the site's real content, the products and services people visit the site for, out of sight.

    If people can't see what you've got to offer, they'll leave. And visit your competitor. Who doesn't bore them with news they couldn't care less about.  

P.S. A clear view of the strengths and weaknesses of your website, intranet or app?

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