I got a little tried of looking at the old design for this website and decided to try update it and give it a more modern look. The website is called kvali briketter which can be seen here at www.kvalibriketter.dk
, and is an info page about firewood and wooden briquettes (or briketter and brænde as it's in danish). Updating the design of a website like Kvali Briketter, or any other site for that matter, isn't always just a simple task. At least not if you want to get it right in the first try. Here's a few of the things I had to consider before the upgrade.
Choosing a CMS system
Choosing a good CMS system for your website is a pretty big deal. There are many really good systems out there to choose from, but before you can pick one, there are a few things that you will need to consider.
Ease of use
How easy is it to do changes in the CMS system? Is it something your customer can easily do by themself, or does it often require professionel help to do the changes? In some systems it's really easy to add text and images, but a lot of other things will be a bit hard, this goes for systems such as Typo3 or SimpleCMS. Other systems enables you to do a lot of different things very easily, without knowing much about webdesign. An example of such a system would be Wordpress.
For some the price is important, there are a lot of really good CMS systems, that you will either have to buy a license to, or pay a monthly fee to use. Other systems are completely free.However the price of the system itself, isn't the only thing you have to consider when it comes to economy. It's also important to know if it's an expensive system to implement new features in, buy plugins for etc. If it's a big system like Magento, plugins are often more expensive, and hiring a programmer also costs more compared to hiring a Drupal coder. As the price was a big issue here, Magento was ruled out as once.
It's also nice to know if it's a safe system, or if you can expect it to be hacked within a few months. Especially the widely used systems, are often targeted by hackers, compared to small inhouse CMS systems offered by private developers. Some systems are updated on a monthly basic, while others are only updated every other years.
For the site kvalibriketter.dk we choose the Wordpress CMS system, because it's easy to use, and had the best price. However it does require frequently security updates, as it's often targeted by hackers.
Desiging the website
After picking the CMS system, it was time to create a design. I had an old template I had bought a few months ago, which would be easy to modify so that it fit the vision I had with Kvali Briketter. However there are also a few things you need to think about. when designing a modern website.
Who is the target audience?
It's always important to know who will be visiting your website. For instance if most of your visitors are teenagers, you will need a more fresh layout, brigher colors and something to keep them interested. If your audience is elder people, you will need a wide navigation structure, compared to a deeper one, which is more ideal for other ages. If it's mostly men, then a lot of technical facts could be a good thing, which women often prefers more images and visual impressions.
For a lot of designers, it's important that the website looks like a piece of art, something unique and interesting. But often you will need to cut down on the usability in order to reach that goal. If it's a portfolia type of website, then it's actually a good idea to make it look very creative, but if it's a webshop or information site, then it's more important that the customers can easily find what they are looking for, with as few clicks as possible. Having a simple site, can often boost your convertion ratio, compared to having a really fancy site.
Here by the end of 2015, almost half the visits to a website comes from people using a tablet or a mobile phone. This can be a problem for many websites, as you will often need to zoom a lot, or they simple doesn't work on screen that small. Because of that, more and more website are become responsive, which means that the layout of the website adepts to the device it's show on, so that you can visit a website on your mobile phone and still get a really good usability. Since a lot of the people who are visiting Kvali Briketter does that one a table or mobile phone, a responsive design was a must.
For Kvali Briketter, I went with the template I already had to save a bit of money, and because it would enable me to make a pretty simple site, where people could fast get to the information they were looking for, and because it was fully responsive. Personally I would have liked a little more design, something more artistic, but It would have required a new theme.