If you don’t have a budget to do a web redesign, don’t fret, there are a few things you can easily tackle or ask someone with some basic web skills to help you out with to bring your web presence a little more up to date.
Here are easy suggestions to bring your website a little up to date and not break the budget.
1. Add Social Media Icons top front and center
If you have a small budget hopefully you are promoting yourself with what is free! What social media networks do you update? Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus? You need to get these icons and links to the forefront of your website. We prefer the top right hand corner. This way they are right there to entice your visitors to click. There are lots of great free icons on the web for you do download and put up. Here are a few ideas:
Free Icons from Elegant Themes – I love elegant themes, they always have great freebees! Get them here.
I love grey, what can I say! Here are some great minimalistic icons. Get them here.
2. Add a Contact Form
Make it easy for people to contact you by adding a contact us form to your website. If you have a WordPress website, this is very simple to do by adding a form plug-in. We prefer Gravity Gorms. It is so simple to use and has a visual form editor for newbies and non-developers.
I prefer a small box with just a name, email and inquiry embedded onto the main pages, but a button linking to a contact page will also do.
For websites done on HTML platforms, or programs such as Adobe or Dreamweaver there readily available software to help you create a form on your website. I like Free Contact Form, their website that walks you through the process of creating a form on your website. Go to Free Contact Form’s Website.
If you have issues creating a form, there are still free options for you. You can call your Internet Hosting company, sometimes they will help you resolve issues. Or call a web developer, it should only take them less than an hour and hopefully not break the bank. If you need help, we will help you with this process contact us firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Add a Subscription Box
Whether you are doing email marketing or not, you should have a box on your site to collect emails for current or future email marketing. Adding a box can be easily done if you already subscribe to an email program such as Constant Contact, Mailchimp or Connected View which offers more than just email. You can create a piece of code from their customer interface and easily just paste into your website and the emails will be automatically added to your list. If you are not emailing currently, you can subscribe to these services free of charge for 30 days.
4. Add a Non-Flash Slideshow
A slideshow is an easy way to update homepage graphics, photos and messages. If you are using WordPress there are various slideshow plugins but my favorite is Slider Revolution. It allows you to style the text easily over photos and has an easy pop-up option to change styles. It also uses a Wysiwyg interface, meaning you can drop and drag things around.
For those not using WordPress WOW Slider works great on all platforms. You can download it here.
5. Add Simple Commerce
This does not apply to all businesses, but if you have something to sell online, tickets to an event, downloads or products you can add a payment button to your website using Paypal.
Paypal is a trusted payment source that you can easily embed onto your website by creating code on their website. There is no credit card processing application and gateway or shopping cart setup. Simply add button code from Paypal to the products, events or services you want to sell and there you have it, Ecommerce in ten minutes. You can even customize your Paypal buttons to look like your website or download Buy Now buttons to match your website. To create custom buttons go to our tutorial on creating custom Paypal Buttons.
This is a great way for you to get started selling products online. Once you have some success you might want to move onto a Merchant processor.
We would love to hear about your success in implementing these updates to your website. If you professional help, give us a call at (508) 439-4781.