Liz King Events officially started in the middle of 2010, but the LKE website was launched a full 8 months prior at the start of the new year. By then, I knew I wanted to start an event planning business, but I first had to get things off the ground. I created a website with a blog as the primary category and left pretty generic information on the other pages. It was a great website for where I was as a company. Thankfully though LKE has grown a LOT in the last few years. We have an amazing team who works with us, our blog became such a great resource that we launched it on it's own at techsytalk.com, and we got a LOT of experience. So - as we were looking at the site in the past year or so, we realized that it no longer represented us well. It was an outdated design, didn't show a great portfolio of work and definitely didn't showcase why we were really good at what we do. Or, what we even do for that matter. So - we resolved to launch our new website and learned a LOT of lessons along the way. I'll share the lessons we learned and a link to our new website below!
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
While we knew that we wanted to re-do the website long ago, it took us some time to think about what we wanted to do. We sat back a while and thought about what we liked and didn't like about our current site. We thought about our business and how we wanted to portray ourselves. When the time was right, we knew we were ready to move forward. This was an internal movement that meant our team was on the same page and ready to rock! We could have done the site earlier, but I don't think it would have made sense. We wouldn't have been ready or motivated to make it happen.
PICTURE THE IDEAL
When building a new site, it's important to think outside of the frames. What do you want the website to convey? What do people need to know about your brand? Answer the important questions without worrying about where exactly it'll all fit or whether it's technically possible. This kind of brainstorming helps you make sure you get all the important pieces of your site. You'll figure out how it all works later.
We looked everywhere for inspiration. From other brand websites to fonts we liked on ad campaigns. We found inspiration from all kinds of sources - many of them having nothing to do with websites. We were looking for inspiration on design, but also content and the way things are worded. What makes people love a brand? And we also looked at the things that made people hate brands or websites - the annoying things that we didn't want to do for our site.
CONTENT IS KING
The content of the site was a doozy - it's not just about what you need to say, but how you need to say it. Our team spent hours on a very small amount of copy on the site. Though we have a mostly visual site, the copy was really time consuming because we wanted to make sure it compelled the reader to action. We wanted people to feel something when they saw the site. Though we spent a lot of time, it was worth every second!
THINK OF THE UX
The other thing to spend a lot of time on is the user experience. Where should buttons be? Where should your contact info go? If you look at enough websites you'll see that there is a system to where things go. Pay attention to this so you can make sure that your users aren't looking for information.
Finally, don't be afraid to launch slowly. Share the site with trusted advisors and get their opinions. We shared this new site with about 20 people before launch and made a ton of changes thanks to great feedback. When you build a site, you simply get too wrapped up in it to know where improvements need to be made. So - don't be afraid to get critical feedback. Plan to tweak the site over and over again based on feedback until you have something that you love. While you may launch on a single day, the overall launch process is actually quite lengthy and that's totally okay!
And now, without further ado, here is the