CIRCYL WEBSITE GETS A REFRESH
Once a website is built, that's it, right? Wrong. A website should never just stay the same forever; it should evolve and change over time to follow the company's vision and latest design trends.
While a brochure or leaflet is unchangeable once printed, a website is a more fluid marketing platform for your business. People will no doubt revisit your website and if they notice it change, then they will see that you are dynamic and proactive.
We like to keep up to date with design trends and new features that can be implemented on websites, and periodically relook at our clients' websites to see if it's time for a refresh.
This was the case with Circyl. During one of our regular meetings, it was brought up that the website was feeling a little old and could do with a bit of a reboot.
A new theme and page builder
Over the years, we’ve used several different themes and frameworks for building websites. Themes from WordPress or ThemeForest can often be quite restrictive, so we tend to use a theme with a page builder built in so that we can design the website from scratch, have much more control and offer clients a more bespoke website.
For a long time, our designer used Divi, which is one of the best-known WordPress page builder themes and a very versatile theme. However, recently he has switched to Beaver Builder, which has a much simpler user interface and offers a wider range of features.
The change to the new theme meant rebuilding every page from scratch. While this was time consuming, it meant we could really think about the design and implement some of the new design trends, like big text, overlapping elements and animation.
Although the content itself was kept the same, the new design boasts a more confident, modern and engaging persona.
A focus on content
When we initially built the Circyl website, the company was only just starting out and as such, they didn't have much news or any case studies to showcase on the website. 3 years on, they are now well established and producing content for their website regularly.
Therefore, the big push for the new website was to showcase their blogs, news, case studies and social media activity. This would show visitors that Circyl is a busy company with a wealth of knowledge that they’re willing to share.
We compiled the blog, news, case studies and resources pages under the heading Insights. This is a term we’ve recently started using on a few of our websites, as some clients wanted to separate the blog posts from the news, but didn’t want “blog and news” as the heading, as it was too long and didn’t look professional.
Since the blog and news both give an ‘insight’ into the company, we thought this would be an appropriate title. It also allows us to include other things like case studies and resources that will be constantly updated.
As well as moving these pages under the one tab, we also added live feeds for the blog/news and social media on the homepage. Now when people land on the website, they will see new posts, images and tweets each time.
“THE NEW WEBSITE LOOKS GOOD. IT NEEDED FRESHENING UP AND IT'S NOW BETTER FOR IT.”
– Andy McLean
Getting animated on the homepage
It could be argued that the homepage of a website is not as important as it used to be. Most people searching on Google will search for a service or keyword rather than your company name, so they will be more likely to end up on a blog post or a service page than your homepage. This means the homepage is no longer their first impression of your website.
However, some people will still land on your homepage and it’s where you will direct people to when speaking to potential customers, so it’s important to get it right.
The homepage should engage the visitor and showcase what you feel is important for visitors to know, whether this is a general message about what you do or a specific service you want to highlight.
As Circyl offer a range of services, we wanted to go for an overall message that summed up what Circyl do and what they can offer customers. Their services help businesses manage their workflows and processes through automation and Office 365 software. We summed this up with the headline “A 360 degree view of your business”.
Animation has become increasingly popular on websites recently, so we wanted to try and incorporate this into the header to make it more visually striking. We also liked the idea of having static elements within the animation, as this would look more visually interesting and the smaller file size would help with the load speed of the website.
Following the 360 degree theme, we initially thought of having a static background with something turning in the foreground – a car or a ballerina for example. However, this didn’t seem that relevant to the message, so we decided to flip it around and have a static foreground with a moving background.
We had a few ideas, but our favourites were an observatory and seaside binoculars. Rather than settle for one, we suggested to the client that we could do both. We used A/B split testing to show one of the two at random when a visitor lands on the website, going back to the idea of making the website more dynamic.
The management at Circyl were very excited and pleased with the new website, saying the website “needed freshening up and it’s now better for it” and all agreeing that the new design “looks good”.
With positive comments on the header animation and the new homepage layout, the refresh has helped keep Circyl modern and relevant in the ever-changing world of technology, and their continued efforts in producing content is getting the focus it deserves.
So while it’s important to keep your website new and exciting, it goes to show that sometimes you don’t need a completely new rebuild, just a bit of a refresh.