The First Bowhunter Website Redesign
In buying Bowhunter Websites I have taken on a portfolio of sites in need of updates and improvements and, in some cases, a full website redesign. The owner of the Charnwood Tavern Pub and Touring Caravan Site at Winthorpe was one of the first to contact me as it is reopening after being closed for the last two seasons. The website’s content needed updating to show that the Tavern is open again but, for now, not serving food or hosting functions. It was immediately obvious though that the site would benefit greatly from a complete redesign.
Opening a Can of Worms
Having been mothballed for two years, due to the closure of the business, this website was particularly outdated. On investigating I found it didn’t have very much information and what it did have was spread across 14 pages. This is a problem as search engines are not impressed by pages with ‘thin content’ and it is frustrating for the user to be forced to navigate multiple pages for little reward. As we needed to remove the information about the food and functions the problem was about to get even worse.
Behind the scenes, the code on every page of this hand written site needed significant work to correct errors and omissions. Since the visual design was also past it’s sell by date it was beginning to look like a complete website redesign was needed when what the customer required was a quick fix.
The Website Redesign
We decided the best solution was to consolidate the relevant information onto a single page using the popular design pattern of different coloured rows to define each themed section. This avoided the need to fix the code on the old pages or produce the extra content required to make them worthwhile.
A common pitfall with this approach is producing a page that is too large and therefore slow to download. This is not only a problem for the user, who is quick to hit the back button, but also for Google which penalises slow sites in the search results. Fortunately I am aware of the issue and have a range of technical tricks to avoid it.
As we generate more content (e.g. when they start serving food again) I can easily re-introduce multiple pages and I made a point of including a menu in the design to facilitate this. The next priority is to take some pictures now the business has reopened but, crucially, the site is up and running with clear and accurate information, a contemporary look and all the technical problems solved. The more professional appearance will also help customers sense a fresh start under the new management which is important given the previous tenants did much to harm the businesses previously good reputation.
The customer got a quick fix and we have a solid platform which can quickly and easily be built upon as and when required. If you have an out of date website and need a quick solution, get in touch with MGC Websites Ltd and we’ll get you back on track in no time.
Visit the Charnwood Tavern Website and see the new design for yourself.