Lionfish is our WordPress starter theme. It’s what every project is started with when we …
Lionfish is our WordPress starter theme. It's what every project is started with when we reach CMS development. Our normal process sees responsive UI development happen first, then that is built into a WordPress theme. So this is meant to start from a point where static is already completed, but you could certainly start using this in pretty much any workflow because it's built to be fairly opinion-less.
Lionfish is built to be lean, no-frills, just basic get up and go WordPress starter theme.
Things you wont find in Lionfish:
- Comments Template
- Search & Results Templates
- Archive & Category Templates
If it's not something we use 99% of the time, then you wont find it here.
See something you think should be added or would be beneficial and fits into the idea of "lean & no-frills" - let us know!
Check it out on Github:
If you have an older outdated website for your business, you could be leaving money on the table and driving customers away.
Here are 4 things to consider or evaluate that might be triggers that you need to redesign your website.
4 Reasons To Redesign Your Website
- It feels old, outdate, or difficult to use - A great user experience will help communicate what you do and help the user navigate the site.
- It’s not mobile-friendly - This is critically important, so many visitors come to your site via mobile devices and make decisions there.
- Visitors aren’t converting - A non performing website is useless, a redesign can gear in on fixing that .
- Your systems or tools have changed - Your site no longer integrates with business workflow.
First Impressions Matter!
Sometimes I come across sites that I actually wonder if they are still in business, or if the site is just an old remnant left behind that nobody bothered to shutdown.
That’s not a good impression, is it?
An old outdated feeling website doesn’t really instill confidence for a visitor. Why buy or engage with a business if you’re literally unsure about their presence?
Creating a Better User Experience
Bringing your site up to date will give your brand a fresh modern feeling, communicating to potential leads or buyers that you care about the users experience (UX).
Focus on making the site have a better experience for users by thinking deeply about the following:
Make it easy for visitors to find the content that matters. Have a clear navigation in both the header and footer of the site that makes sense.
Prominent Calls To Action
Having obvious CTAs in various prominent parts of the site is critical to converting users to clients or buyers.
Selling a product? Showcase the product near the top and provide a way to quickly funnel the user into the purchasing process.
Offer a service? Explain it clearly in a sentence or two and give the user a way to learn more.
The less distracting or confusing something is, the easier it’s going to be to use.
It’s OK to utilize a lot of white space, it helps users focus on the important parts of the site.
Let’s take a look at Dropbox.com for example:
- Simple illustrations
- Very readable font treatment and large font sizes
- Short description text with an option to expand a section to learn more
Mobile Friendly (Responsive & Adaptive Design)
The majority of web traffic (over 50%!) originates from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, so it makes sense to design an experience that lends itself to that traffic effectively.
Even Google is now putting a priority on ranking sites that are responsive and mobile friendly.
If you’re site is outright not mobile friendly, or doesn’t have a great experience for mobile users, you are going to lose customers.
SmartInsights wrote a great in-depth post on Mobile Marketing Statistics if you would like to read more evidence about why this is so important.
Responsive or Adaptive?
This is highly contextual to what your market looks like and the type of product or service you have, but at a minimum the site needs to be responsive.
Responsive means the site works on all devices from handheld smartphones to large wide screen desktops.
Adaptive means the users get different content or experiences based on the device they access the site on. So for desktop we may show more interactive features, which we trim back for mobile users to not cloud their view.
Your site doesn’t perform well
The whole point of most websites is to convert visitors into customers. There are a slew of reasons a site may not perform well in converting visitors, but some things to consider and re-evaluate during a redesign include:
- Content - does your messaging clearly communicate what you do?
- Funnels - are you using funnels to convert visitors based on content that appeals to them?
- Organization - this goes back to having a clear navigation, can users find what they are looking for easily?
- Adding CTAs - are your forms and compelling offers prominently visible?
- Actual performance - does the site load fast? This is critical for mobile users. You can get an idea of how your site performance is rated by using the website speed tool at Pingdom.
Introduce New Tools & Workflows
A big advantage to a redesign is this is your chance to bring in new tools & workflows that can save you time.
Maybe your old site doesn’t connect to your new CRM? Maybe it doesn’t send incoming leads to the right destination?
Is everything going to a general inbox and then manually being sorted? That’s time consuming, and your site should work for you, not against you.
Some simple form routing based on user selections can tackle a lot of this.
We also recommend using tools like HubSpot to manage incoming leads, which will also give you insight to what your users are doing like what pages they visit, along with re-marketing tools to send out offers to segmented groups of users.
These are just a few things to consider and implement changes for during a re-design or even a full site overhaul. Most of this is pretty surface level but can have HUGE impact if done properly.
The most important from this list in my opinion is ensuring the site works well on mobile devices. That should hands down be your #1 priority on any new sites being built.
We spend a lot of time on mobile experience for our clients because it can make or break the effectiveness of a site, so consider that above any other reasons in this post.
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If you’ve put even any effort into marketing and your site, you know how tedious and time consuming it can be.
Creating content, marketing it, and sharing it takes time and you don't want to lose that.
Here are some tips and tools we use during a redesign to make sure your content doesn’t lose its social and search engine value.
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems around, because of this it powers almost 27% of the web.
It is free, can be used for blogs and business sites, and it has an incredible selection of plugins and themes.
However, because of the nature of Open Source it can be difficult to figure out how to get help with WordPress support for site issues if you run into trouble with the CMS.
We've compiled a list of troubleshooting steps, tips, and links to help you figure out what to do and where to go for assistance if you run into issues with your WordPress site.