How do I make my website better? I already have a website but it needs tuning-up and modernizing. Is that something you can do?
Yes, but it might be a more cost effective and elegant solution to start from scratch with a new template and transfer all your website content onto the new template, updating things as you go along, especially if you don't currently have a website template that is, “responsive”.
Can I keep my existing domain name?
Yes of course. It is probably better that you do that because having a mature domain rather than a brand-new one is considered more S.E.O efficient. It is said that Search Engines place a mature domain in higher regard than a newer one.
What about the URLs of all the old pages. What happens to those?
If the website update and upgrade is straightforward, each new page would still retain the same internet address as the old page was using, and of course, brand-new pages could be added too. All you'd be doing is swapping out an old-design page for a newly designed page and keeping the same URL.
If the website update and upgrade is more complicated, then all the old pages would be redirected using a 301 redirect at the server. This, “301 redirect” would happen automatically, seamlessly and the person browsing your site probably won't even notice! Using a “301” re-direction is a must-have for efficient S.E.O (Search Engine Optimization).
If there are old defunct pages with URLs that you don't want to keep anymore, the old page's URL can either be redirected to load a brand-new page with similar page content as the old one had, or, simply abandoned so as to generate a customized 404 error page, which informs folks who are browsing your website that that page they were looking for no longer exists (for whatever reason) and then offers to help them find the content they were originally seeking on your website, by suggesting options.
Is that all that needs to be done to get my website running better?
It's a very good place to start! Once your website is loading smoothly, the page navigation (moving between all the pages) works well and the website looks fine and dandy on a desktop computer, tablet, and smartphone and in every popular browser, then it's time to get cracking on the next stage. Content. Not the sort of happiness, peacefulness, blissfulness kind of content, but in a computer environment, the word content means data — it's what your website contains.
So how important is website content then? — Won't a few pretty pictures and a few well-chosen words do the job? Answer: Nope, not at all. Thirty years ago perhaps but not nowadays if you want a website that truly competes in your marketplace.
Here's an analogy to try to explain the importance of website content... Question: What three things are a top priority when buying property? Answer: Location, Location, and Location! — do you remember that old adage? Well, if that example is applied to website development, it would be Content, Content, and Content!
So “website content”, is to mean the words, data, and images; and these website features, in the right quantity and combination, are what makes a winning website. “Winning” to mean your website can be found easily by internet users based upon searches for the content it contains, and not somebody searching merely for a term that is unique to you only such as your trading name or domain name.
To explain the difference between a Competitive website and a Qualifying website.
If your website is soley intended to supplement and support your calling card, the emphasis on content is much less important. Its raison d'être is to qualify what your calling card says. This sort of website may include a map, a summary of the features and benefits of your service, your mission statement, your credentials or professional qualifications, opening times, general availability, meeting dates, seminars, exhibitions, contact details, etc. This kind of website is not published with a view to being competitive, but to bolster your profile published elsewhere in a different format.
Why bother doing a, “qualifying” website at all? Simply because it can add polish! You can append your domain name to printed material, and where possible, on social media. Folks will be able to discover a lot more about you and what you can offer.
Read more about website development in another Riches Informatique Question and Answer.