Six simple ways to refresh your site without redesigning

Whether you’re the resolutions type or not, it’s hard not to think of each new year as a great time to make improvements and plans for your business. We always get lots of redesign requests at Aeolidia in the new year, as well as people wanting to start with something new.

Maybe a redesign isn’t in your budget right now, or your site is looking and working just fine, but could use a bit of sprucing up. Here are some ideas for improving your site without doing a full redesign.

Spruce up your content

Idea #1Add photos or wide banner graphics to the category pages of your site. You can use this area to feature certain items or show the items “in action” or just make nicer looking titles for each category. Most website software will allow you to add images and text to category pages.

Category page banner example - Olliegraphic
Category page banner example - Olliegraphic

Idea #2

Work on your product descriptions. Could you adjust your text to make it so your customers just have to have the item in question? Here are two great articles from the Oh My! archives:

Improving Your Product Descriptions  and Product Listings With Personality.

Idea #3Is it time for new photography? Here are some articles from Oh My! that are worth looking through again:

Four Tips for Capturing Drool-Worthy Product Photos
How To Control & Balance Your Photography Light
Sprucing Up Your Product Photography with Photoshop

Refresh your site

Rather than redesigning, here are some small changes that will make things look fresh (but still familiar):

Idea #1Add a slide show to your home page. This is a great way to feature big, beautiful photos of your work, and link directly to them. For the techie biz owners, here are a few options to install on your site: SlidesUltimate Fade-In Slideshow

Idea #2

Adjust the width of your site. Perhaps things are feeling cramped and you’d like an extra couple hundred pixels on either side to make room for larger photos or additional content? It’s good not to go too wide, but if your site is only 800 pixels wide or so, there’s room for growth. This is not exactly a simple change, depending on how complicated your site design is, but a good way to adjust without surprising your customers too much.

Idea #3Change your category navigation. Have you added lots of categories or subcategories this year, or decreased your offerings? Maybe it would make sense to change how your shop navigation works. For instance, setting up category menus that drop down to display subcategories when you hover over them. So many options for how to do this from scratch, but hopefully your shop software offers this as an option or an add-on.

Hover navigation example - Bailey Doesn't Bark
Hover navigation example - Bailey Doesn't Bark

Some of these things you’ll want to tackle yourself, and you may want to find help for the things that are out of your area of expertise. A website consists of so many separate pieces, all requiring different skills to do well, so I know it can be quite a task to try to do them all! Please do get in touch if we can help.

  • http://adrianawillsie.com Adriana

    Oh man, I’m filing this article away in the “DO THIS the second you have a free afternoon” folder! Thanks for the wonderful tips!

  • http://www.starstruck-designs.co.uk Kerri Miller (Starstruck Designs)

    Its amazing, that having just finished re-designing my website, this article has still managed to give me MORE ideas for what to do next! Thank you! x

  • http://www.createasfolk.com Laura Simms

    Great tips! I did a spit ‘n polish on my site a few months ago, and it made things so much nicer.

  • http://www.imadeitmarket.com Carrie

    Great post. I love all of the ideas. I have to try some on my site.

  • http://aeolidia.com/ Arianne @ Aeolidia

    Thanks, ladies! It’s always nice to do some spring cleaning on the ol’ website!

  • http://www.sweetbeadstudio.com Cindy

    These are great tips, Arianne! Thanks for sharing!