PJ Maynard came to me wanting website re-design for the PJ Maynard Consulting website.
What we did to plan PJ’s website re-design:
We talked about the aims and objectives. The main things she wanted were:
1. To be able to make updates herself.
2. To refine the job vacancies page and add a carousel
3. To keep the same “feel” to the site
4. To keep some photos as is and introduce some new images
5. To generally give the site a freshen up.
6. Add a blog
7. Integrate social media to the site
8. Keep the same newsletter system but improve access
9. Improve client experience overall
10. To retain all the SEO she had built with the old site and have a way of improving and maintaining it ongoing.
We identified a few issues in the usability of the old site, with some doubling up of the menu’s especially on the about us / what we do page.
The old site was built using traditional HTML which made it difficult for PJ and her staff to make the changes they needed. Particularly on the job vacancies page.
We discussed what specific elements of the “old” site she liked and which parts she wanted to change. We looked at OTHER sites she liked and for what reasons.
The Website re-design itself – What we did:
The first stage of the actual website re-design was the new banner. We came up with a number of different concepts and then refined the one she chose until it was perfect.
Every step along the way we sent though different options and choices with mock ups of how the different elements would work together. For instance in the secondary menu (under the banner “what our clients are saying etc), at one point PJ wanted to keep the icons from the old site, but when we looked at them in a mock up she decided she preferred the look without them.
Re-designing the job vacancies page with a carousel was a big part of the website re-design and the main push to take the plunge and make the change.
We chose one that was 3D revolving around the PJ Maynard logo, but when we put it on the site the images weren’t crisp enough. So… back to the drawing board! We ended up getting a custom carousel that was EXACTLY what PJ wanted. Perfect!
We got graphic design elements for the two different navigation menus and the sidebar images that link through to the newsletter and email contact.
We also did a custom manual for PJ’s staff on how to update the custom carousel including putting the cool reflective effects on the images for the carousel.
Blog and Social Media: We transferred all of the newsletters PJ had been writing each month into the brand new blog- dating them to their original “written on” date. We made the navigation more intuitive, without changing it completely.
We added links for RSS facebook and twitter on each page.
SEO: We installed a little program (plugin) available only to developers that checks the SEO of each page as you are writing it and gives a score based on 23 different factors. This is a VERY handy tool its gives you little ticks and crosses and a score card so you don’t have to learn it all! This will be great for PJ and her staff when they are writing their blogs in the future. (see image to the right)
When it was time to go live we did a “301 redirect ” on each of her old pages to be sure to retain the Google love and keep any old links that might be floating around.
We think we kept all the best parts of the old site in this website re-design and captured the unique personality of the business. Regular clients will still feel at home and new ones will find their way around easily.
How long did it take?
The first email PJ sent me to see if I could help her was on 7th July. The new site went live on 25th August. This was actually a bit longer than we anticipated because of the custom carousel.
The whole website re-design has been done via email and phone calls.
A big thanks to PJ for allowing me to blog about her job! Is there anything about your website that’s pushing for a change?