We are excited to announce that Anglin PR has launched a new website this month! We are proud of the improved navigation, new look, and updated color palettes. A giant shout-out to our digital design team, Emily Noble and Lesley Reed!
Website renovation is a lengthy process and requires you to see your organization through the eyes of an outsider. Navigation, design, copy, and imagery must clearly tell the story of who you are and what you do. We create beautiful and functional websites for clients all the time, but undergoing the process ourselves offers a whole new perspective. We thought this was an excellent opportunity to talk through our process and the major considerations of launching a new website. If you’re interested in talking through your website woes, you can reach us anytime. In the meantime, here’s the general process we take:
Admitting you have a problem
First, some soul searching. Does your website work well, and does it look good? Is it relatively new? Is it producing the results you want? Are new customers finding you, contacting you, and can they easily navigate to what they need to know about you? If the answer to any of these questions is no, it’s worth considering a redesign, or at least some rearranging.
Consider whether minor edits will work or if you should start from scratch. The advice we generally give is that if it’s hard to navigate- start over entirely. If your site is under five years old, we can go into your existing structure to spruce it up and rearrange it a little. If your site is seven years or older, you should probably scrap it and start with a fresh site.
The User Experience
As a research-centered firm, Anglin PR begins all projects with data. We need to understand who your audience is and whether you’re reaching the right people. We will spend a lot of time with your analytics to assess which pages your audience visits, how much time they spend on each page, and whether they are compelled to take action the way you want them to. We use that information to meld what matters to our audience and the message you want to convey.
To use our recently redesigned website as an example, we found that the majority of traffic visits our staff page, so we didn’t make any significant changes to it, and we removed one step so that the page is only one click away. We noticed people were spending over 2 minutes on the “our work” page, and often, if people spend too much time on one page, there may be something wrong. We realized the page could be clearer, so we made major overhauls there and provided a lot more context in the rewritten copy.
Once we understand how your current site is being used and your needs, we start thinking about a structure that will ensure users can find what they need in just one or two clicks. Now we are getting into your wireframe, which will serve as a basic map of your website. You live and die by that wireframe through your website's construction because it is created using lots of detailed data. Don’t be tempted to stray.
We rely heavily on SEO tactics to create your wireframe and consider what titles, terms, and topics users are most interested in and what will draw them in. We optimize the design based on the history of your site traffic and what we hear from you about your customers. To again use our new site as an example, most of our traffic comes from Google, so we made sure our “Google my business page” looks good and matches our wording and branding choices.
This phase is where the majority of work goes in. We’ll begin the heavy lifting of writing copy and assembling your design. Through this phase, it’s best to keep the group of critics small. We can not emphasize enough that too many cooks in the kitchen will complicate the process, and frankly, do not result in a better product. We have seen otherwise simple website designs stretch on for months simply because of opposing input from far too many people at once. Make very specific asks of everyone involved in reviewing your website through this phase.
The last step before your site goes live for the world to see is serious internal testing. This is the moment when we need your most critical eye. We present the finished website to an internal audience to find any inaccuracies, and mislabeled photos. Once you feel confident about your internal review, we will work with your team to make any needed edits before the site goes live.
The Big Debut
By this time, you have put in a lot of work, and it’s time to show off! Make a plan for your announcement: share to social media in your newsletter, and certainly don’t forget any essential audiences like board members, staff, donors, etc. We like to launch our new sites a day or two before making any announcements or drawing special attention to the page to be sure everything is published correctly. But we spend plenty of time tooting our horns soon after.
Creating a new website is a big undertaking, but the result is worth it. For a consultation or review of your website, contact us. Our process is thorough, and our talented digital design team personalizes each website we create to your specific needs. A strong web presence can set you apart from your competition. It can serve the public with transparency and accessible information. And it establishes a level of professionalism for your organization.