Over the past five years we’ve built nearly 70 websites. Some have been from scratch, but many are conversions of sites that needed updating, a more modern look and feel, or to better reflect the shifting work our client is now doing.
I remember one in particular where our client insisted over and over that the information on their current (dated) website would simply transfer over to the new design we were doing. No matter how often we asked, we got the same answer. They would not need new copy. When we showed them the new look and feel, they started reviewing the copy more closely. Suddenly there was a list of services they no longer performed and products they didn't sell. In fact, I recall they actually thought we had made up new content for their new site before realizing the same information was on their current (at the time) live site. It delayed the project by months and actually caused us to resort the new navigation.
Most websites are designed with the thought that it will be updated every few years, so the old fashioned “refresh” is rather routine and happens regularly. I’ve noticed a pretty consistent pattern and it got me thinking it would be a wise nugget to share.
Often our clients who are looking for that updated style simply want the current website’s copy to “move over” to the new look and feel. In spite of our prior suggestions to review their current website, the language on it ends up being dated or doesn't match how they currently conduct business.
Clearly, it's critical to gather your leadership, a team of employees, or an outside marketing firm with whom you are aligned to review your site for copy and other critical details. Make sure now, while you are using it, that what is on there best aligns with your current work structure, mission, passions, and the way you want to do business.
Websites are best served when they are reviewed at regular intervals, and when a variety of invested people have a hand in the overall content and direction.That way, when you are ready for that modern design, you have copy and all the other important elements in place that fit just right.