Website redesign

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

OK, REALLY going to start that website redesign soon. Of course I am looking at templates and how others have used them. So, a couple of questions to you that you can base your answers on from the POV of a guest:

  1. How much real estate on the website home page should I devote to other, external sites like TA or FB or Twitter or even my blog? Should most of my home page be about the inn and why the guest might want to come here or more about Twitter feeds, FB posts, blog posts and TA reviews? (I lean toward my own content rather than external because I don't want guests wandering off!)
  2. Fonts and colors- should I stick to basic fonts and colors or try to jazz things up? I'm thinking I want to cut back on bolding unless it's really important.

Overall, I like the way my website looks now but I need to move away from the old technology. I like the colors but not happy about the font. I'm very 'square' when I work on the website but I really like curves when I see them on other sites. So, it's going to be a challenge!

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Highlands John's picture
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04/16/2010

That's weird, I feel the same way about our site. Ours is all square boxes and I think it needs curves.

I'm also aware that our home page is too busy for mobile phones so I need to do something about that too.

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02/08/2013

My two cents:

  • Use standard font(s), while it is possible to include font's they won't work in older browsers and it's another thing that needs to be downloaded.
  • I think the homepage should focus on your Inn and what you provide. I wouldn't personally include any content from third party sites (i.e. reviews etc) and just include links to them at the bottom.
  • Use a responsive template\layout if you can that way your site works on everything from a smartphone to a computer.
  • Limit Javascript usage, probably not an issue for PC but can seriously affect usability\performance on mobile devices (especially older ones).
  • Make sure your site is fully functional without Javascript enabled (i.e. you can at least visit every page and read all the content). This is also important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) since search engines parse your site without JavaScript enabled.
  • Make sure you test your website across multiple browsers and devices, including mobiles (I'd recommend installing a mobile emulator if possible such as http://www.opera.com/developer/tools/mobile/).

Also just out of interest what are you using to host the website? You mention templates etc so I assume your using a Content Management System (CMS) of some variety.

 

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

BE SURE to pick a responsive theme (template) that automatically formats to handle any screen size. It's WONDERFUL to get to forget about screen size!

If you pick a theme that looks good to you, you won't have to change a lot regarding colors or fonts. But with my own theme, it had the body text in an "in vogue" gray color that didn't stand out, so I switched it to basic black. Otherwise, I trust the theme to have better taste than I do on most appearance decisions!

Most of your homepage should definitely be about the inn, with wording designed to make people want to stay there, and taking SEO into account. If you have TA and FB stuff, I'd put it either at the bottom, or in a narrow sidebar.

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Iris's picture
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06/08/2009

Haha, that is too funny.  I started working on that this past weekend.  I want all new colors and a whole re-do. It's exciting!!  My website is from, dare I say it, 1999 and only text and pictures have changed. I am so sick of the look.  

Have fun with your new design Smiling

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

I don't put TA on my web page at all. I don't see why I should link to them for free... they don't link to me for free. I have a link to our FB and Twitter. But TA... nope. Why should I send people to a website that tries to get them to book with others?

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

All good points. So, if I want to attract a different market I need to put more social stuff on my home page. Because right now I have about zero guest interaction on FB or Twitter. And less than 1% on review sites.

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10/07/2008
  • As for the font, if you use a template, there will be font styles that you use throughout. You can use the standard or change it. For example, my regular paragraph text was 10pt I think, I upped it to 12pt.

 

  • But to keep a flow, set your fonts in your style sheet and go with whatever is there. That is not an easy decision, colors and fonts, etc. I wanted to jazz it up a little bit, but not too much.

 

  • Any font that is not a standard font, unless it is ON a Gif of JPG will not be seen by everyone, so all these really cool fancy fonts, they are useless on a website. (Unless in or as an image) then use 'em danno!

 

  • Now as for website HOMEPAGE. I look at overseas sites, and no offense, please, but they try to cram every icon and logo on the page that they can and it is massively confusing. That is the OLD WAY to do it. We no longer use "publisher" style icons and things as such. So I would only keep on the home page what you want on the home page. 

 

  • Make sure the page is sized correctly. if you have a page that extends way below my BROWSER window I will get ticked off probably. Yes, we can scroll down there, but this isn't a spread sheet, so we should have to!

 

  • A feed to your Social Media is not a bad idea at all, as long as it is kept simple. I would click on that I assure you to learn more about the inn and area.

I cant wait to see the progress as you go along, I am excited! Smiling

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Offline
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05/22/2008

With the new theme templates, you can now use Cufon fonts, fontfaces and google fonts and they will be seen by all. It is part of the design and they load with the theme. Personally I haven't found any I like using particularly well so I still stick with basics.

As an article someone referred us to not too long ago. It is not about Above the cut anymore.  SEO encourages lots of text on the home page. I don't go crazy but some scrolling is not out of line. You just don't want to waste the space, make it count.

You have to devote some space to social media...you just do.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

I was at a tourism conference a couple of weeks ago and the rather young guy talking about mobile websites said pretty much the same thing about scrolling. People will do it and probably more so on the phone because they are used to it. But, important stuff at the top!

What I don't want, because I don't like it (is that even a reason???) is most of my home page taken over by a big block of TA reviews or my Twitter feed scrolling by. Maybe my blog would be ok and links to FB and Twitter and reviews, but I get bad reviews and I don't want them on my home page.

I ended up removing bb.com's review widget because the last review I had on there was 2 years ago. So that means no one has stayed here in 2 years, right? Isn't that what the guest would think?

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05/22/2008

you dont have to have the feed showing. In most themes these days, they just use the little icons for the social links. you can also have some themes so flexible you can change each page look.

no need for their widgets, use a graphic

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06/24/2008

You should first think of the demographics of your guests... what type of guests do you attract? 

Are these the type you want to continue to attract or are you looking to attract say a younger set? 

You should design your website to meet the style of the demographics you want to attract.  A large devotion to FB and other social media on your homepage, as well as a new spunky font will attract to the younger crowd.  

This of course is my opinion and not someone considered to be 'in the know'.

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