The Benefits of a Website Redesign for a Local Artist
James W. Maddocks is an accomplished, internationally known Cape Cod artist. His gallery is on Rte. 6A in the beautiful town of Brewster.
We were asked to simplify the existing site, taking it from dozens of pages down to just 4 pages. “Make it simple” was the most important requirement.
That turned out to be a simple assignment. Once we moved the site to modern website standards, most of the extra pages were no longer needed.
Why is a Modern Website Design Better for a Small Business?
Modern website designs have a lot of advantages for small businesses. Old-fashioned websites look outdated and less impressive. Modern sites show that your business is thriving right now, even when it has been around for decades.
Improved User Experience
The overall appearance was dated. Older-style, all caps block letters made up the header (the top of every page). Wide and dense paragraphs.
The new website design has a more subtle background color, shorter paragraphs, generous space between areas, and more images.
Missing navigation menu.
Yikes… the old, failed technology hid the menu, so it was pretty difficult to move around.
These new design elements may seem “simple,” but they go a long way toward making the website more pleasant to view and easier to use.
Better Display of Products
Displaying the Artwork Better
Maddocks paintings are beautiful, but you couldn’t get a good look at them.
The existing site did not let visitors click on an image to view an enlarged version. Because all the images were small, it was difficult to see the detail in each painting. The website redesign includes an enlarged version of all of the images, so visitors can view them more easily.
For instant visual interest, the artist chose a favorite painting to display in a large size at the top of each gallery page. Take a look at his Original Paintings page, for example.
Replacing the outdated gallery of paintings
In the previous design, each picture of a painting was on a webpage all its’ own. Clicking on a painting caused a new webpage to open.
With the new design, visitors have an easier time navigating through Maddocks’ artwork. The large images show up with navigation arrows. One click takes you to the next image.
Location and Contact Information: Making the Gallery Easier to Reach
Links to the Maddocks Gallery location in Brewster were added in several places.
A Google map is displayed on the About/Contact page. Visitors can click on the map and immediately get directions from their current location.
The phone number is clickable and will automatically open a phone app.
Better Search Engine Rankings
Old Web-building Code Replaced with Current Standards
Not to get overly technical, but the site was using HTML code from 1999 (HTML version 1 – current is version 5).
Search engines recognize outdated code and will ding you in their results. Rightly or wrongly, they think old code means your site has content that isn’t as relevant as newer sites.
The site also used the now-abandoned Adobe FLASH technology. In the old days, FLASH was used to create “movies.” It’s not used now because it makes it easy for hackers to get access. All modern browsers block it.
All of the old code was replaced. We moved the site off of the old HTML to the very popular WordPress platform.
WordPress is a Free Content Management System
The original design had no user-friendly system for managing content. Adding and editing any of the content was very complicated.
We moved all the content to our favorite website “platform,” WordPress.
With the old site, it was impossible for an average person to make additions or changes. You had to a) know about writing HTML code, and b) have the tools that let you do that. The new website build eliminates that problem.
WordPress automatically organizes content of all kinds, making it a great option. WordPress is also easy to learn, which is why it’s used more than any of the alternatives… 41% of ALL websites. Many small businesses love WordPress because they can do their own edits and additions – no need to hire (or wait for) a developer.
WordPress usage stats reported by W3Techs:
“WordPress is used by 64.9% of all the websites whose content management system we know. This is 41.7% of all websites.”W3Techs – Web Technology Surveys