If you have a site that is starting to be a few years old, it may be time for a restyling. There are numerous reasons for tackling this change, from the simple now obsolete graphic appearance, to the fact that the pages are difficult to access from smartphones because the site is not responsive.
With these assumptions, let's see together some tips to avoid mistakes doing a WordPress website restyling.
First rule: the site must be responsive
There's no denying it: the majority of people carries out his own searches directly from smartphone or tablet, and computers in many cases have retired.
Precisely for this reason, websites must be responsive, i.e. able to best adapt to smaller screens. Users must therefore have the ability to navigate between perfectly readable pages that can provide the right information.
Having a responsive site, nowadays, it is essential for any type of business, even the smallest. The better the smartphone user experience, the higher the chance that the visitor will not immediately abandon the site.
Without forgetting that a website that is difficult to access also generates a certain distrust in the visitor.
But it doesn't end here, because a responsive site is also able to position itself better on Google, a truly fundamental aspect also and above all for small businesses that need greater visibility.
This means that before entrusting the task of restyling to a web agency, it is necessary to make sure that it is able to take care of this aspect in the best possible way.
WordPress, the most used CMS in the world, is able to return a good mobile viewing, but clearly there are numerous variables at play, and a website cannot and must not contain errors. However, if the programmer creates the site from scratch, writing all the code, the previous recommendation applies: it is necessary to make sure that he is able to make the pages responsive.
Second rule: the user experience of the site
From User Experience we talk about it more and more often, but it is an area that takes into consideration several factors. At the top of the list we find that of page loading times. In fact, the pages must load as quickly as possible, also to meet the needs of visitors who often browse in a hurry.
In the case of a e-commerce for example, just one second of delay can lead to huge losses.
But in reality this rule is valid for any type of website. If a potential customer has to wait perhaps more than 10 seconds to open the site, it is entirely probable that around the fifth/sixth second he will abandon the visit, looking for what he wants elsewhere, perhaps from a more far-sighted direct competitor.
This would clearly cause double damage.
But how to improve loading speed of a site created in WordPress?
The first useful tip concerns the choice of theme. Very often the pre-packaged ones are crude in this respect, or full of features that are not actually useful for that specific purpose: each of these will negatively affect page loading times.
Another useful tip is to avoid uploading an excessive number of images that are too heavy. This means that the uploaded images must first be made lighter without sacrificing their quality.
There are many online tools that allow you to obtain good results in this regard. Clearly too Site hosting is of paramount importance.
It is not necessary to put large amounts of capital into play to have a good service in this sense, but usually choosing hosting for a few euros a year is never a good idea. In fact, even if the site were created to perfection, the service would become a sort of bottleneck, negatively affecting performance, with all the resulting problems.
Another factor that greatly influences the experience of using a website are the menu and the Call to Action. Creating a navigation menu that is actually understandable is as important as the correct distribution of images, texts and videos within the pages.
The same goes for Calls to Action: the visitor must have an easy life to get to do what the site creator wants.
Third rule: graphics and SEO
As explained previously, in addition to the fact that the site must be responsive, for a restyling done to perfection too the graphic aspect must not be overlooked. The graphics of the pages must respect the company's mission, therefore taking up the colours, composition and logo.
If the combination of these elements occurs in the correct way, the textual part will blend together perfectly.
To better understand this concept, the website of a bed and breakfast will be very different from that of a dentist rather than a metalworking company. Another fundamental aspect that should absolutely not be overlooked concerns good positioning on search engines, which is only possible thanks to SEO optimization.
First of all therefore, the site must be liked by Google, used by the vast majority of users.
It is useless to underline that the part linked to the contents of the texts must also be updated, but not because the words can "get old". The real reason is only one: if the site was created several years earlier, over time the skills acquired or the services offered may increase, and for this reason copywriting must also become persuasive on the "news" introduced.
Fourth rule: site performance monitoring
After so much theory, and all the measures listed, how can we monitor the performance of the site and verify that the restyling has actually produced the desired effects? The first useful tool in this sense is provided directly by Google.
It's about Google Analytics, which allows among other things to view the site's bounce rate. But what is it exactly?
Let's talk about a value, between 0 and 100, able to express in percentage terms how many times the user "bounced" on the site and then left. This means that if in a given period of time the site recorded the 40% bounce rate, it means that 40 users have "escaped", and that only 60 users have instead decided to continue visiting the pages.
To access this data, you must enter a tracking code provided by Google.
Obviously a good web agency knows how to move in this direction, and for transparency it should enable the customer to access this data in total autonomy. Needless to say, how for a site staff, it is possible to proceed independently with the restyling, but only for one professional, the expert hand of an agency is fundamental.