Five Steps to a Better Website

Want to improve on your website but don’t know where to start? Many website owners think that the only way to achieve a better website is a complete overhaul – a brand new design. In some cases that may be true, but there are also hundreds of improvements you can make on your own to bring your website from bland to beautiful.

Here are 5 steps you can take that will get you well on your way to a better website:

1. Figure out why you have a website

This may seem obvious but it’s often overlooked. Ask yourself these two questions: What are the goals of my website? What do I want the people who visit my site to do? Once you’ve got the answers, make sure your site addresses them.

2. Consolidate your navigation

Do you have twelve items under one category on your navigation? If so, you might want to look at tidying up. A cleaner navigation makes things easier to find and when things are easier to find, it creates a better experience for your site’s visitors.

One easy way to accomplish this is to take a look at the items in your navigation. Are any of them similar? Could they all fit under a general heading? If so, create a page with that general heading. Then combine the content from those similar pages into your new, general page.

3. Give each page a purpose

Every page on your website should be intended to make your visitor act on something. Maybe it’s to get them to watch a video, fill out a form, or direct them to an enrollment page. Whatever it is, make it obvious to the user.

4. Remove the clutter

Do you have the Harlem Shake playing on your homepage? Or maybe you have images for the sake of having images that don’t relate to the page’s content? Remove it all. Why? Nobody likes clutter and it distracts your visitor from the page’s intended goal.

5. It’s weird to be weird

We all have our favorite websites and every day new and mind-blowing techniques pop up on the web. But remember, your website is part of a bigger picture. It should, at least in part, fall in line with the branding guidelines set forth by the OU Homepage. As current and/or prospective students browse from department to department and from college to college, we want them to know that we’re one big, happy family.

As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, sometimes all the tweaking in the world won’t get you to a place where you’re comfortable with your website. Luckily, if that is the case, the University has provided a (free!) resource that you can take advantage of. Contact your friendly CMS Migrations manager and get set-up with a meeting to discuss a new design and what that entails.

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