It’s scary how quickly a website that once looked so sparkly begins to appear tired and old-fashioned.
Nowadays more organisations upgrade their websites on a regular basis, with a new look and feel every 12 to 24 months. This is particularly true of organisations working in highly competitive spaces and those wanting to project an image of being at the leading edge of technology.
Often the launch of a new product or range coincides with the decision to commission an updated, re-skinned or brand new site. Among the new things companies are asking for at the moment for their sites are:
- A fresh new look
- Snappier, more strategically-focussed content
- More video content
- A simple content management system so that edits can be made in-house
- Mobile and tablet compatibility
- Improved search engine optimisation
- Faster loading times
- A blog embedded in the site
- Integration with social media
The new Resmed.com.au site, upgraded August 2014.
Looking at it from the content writer’s point of view, upgrading a big website is a logistical challenge, especially for companies without a system in place for processing copy approvals on a mass scale. I’ll often spend three to six months working in-house on a big website upgrade. During that time, hundreds of pages will be upgraded or discarded and new ones created from scratch.
It’s an exciting process for me because of the steep learning curve at the beginning, the feeling of camaraderie that builds as the team works together and the satisfaction of ticking off each page on the site map as the copy is completed and approved. If that sounds like an idealised picture of how it all comes together – you’re right, it is.
The upgraded Avant Insurance site
Learning about a company’s products is the easy part. Understanding how they’re sold in different markets and to different audiences can be more of a challenge. Overlay that with working out who in the organization does what, which country/office they work in, their working hours and when they can find time to review the copy – well that’s a whole other thing. I’ve left out the weekend work, the late nights and the overseas conference calls at the crack of dawn. Then there are the fraught meetings with the web developers when the company has a last minute change of mind or the panic about the possibility of missing a deadline.
Armstrong Legal has recently upgraded the corporate crime section of its site.
It’s extra fun when the developer’s office in India gets flooded or their whole city goes on strike…yes it does happen! But the excitement of the go-live moment when the crisp and crunchy new site is revealed always makes it seem worthwhile. And, for me, after helping with the post-go-live fixes, I pack up my things, book a week at a health spa for myself and my long-suffering partner and spend my cache of content cash!
The new HiQCell website for Regeneus
Have a look at these website upgrades I’ve written content for: