#hub

Is now the time for a re-design?

#hub

Is now the time for a re-design?

Are you unsure whether your website needs a re-design? View our checklist to find out

Like technology, the internet is forever evolving with websites needing to adapt to modern web design standards & compliances.

Think back 10 years ago, the qualities of a well-designed, accessible website are very much different to today’s efficient websites – this is why it is critical that your website no matter what line of business is up-to date and doesn’t appear outdated.

Help is at hand! You may be confused whether your website needs a lick of paint or a full re-design. We have compiled a checklist to help you decide if the time is right for a change.

Pages take an age to load (Like waiting for a bus)

Let’s face it, we have all become impatient – no longer will we sit patiently, waiting for pages to load with fancy graphics and animations. Most modern websites are optimised for speed & performace to the extent that they load their entire content in just a few seconds!

It’s not rocket science, simply time your pages on all devices (desktop & mobile platforms) – if you find that your twiddling your thumbs then it’s definitley time for a website upgrade.

In all honesty, on average if your pages are taking longer than 4 seconds to load then not only are you driving potential customers away, but also losing a footing on Google rankings (today, the algrithm takes into account website speed & performance for search positions).

It just looks outdated and old
Your website reflects your business online – first impressions last and why it’s important your website looks modern.

Some examples of very dated web design are:

  • Header images and advertising banners with titles and content embedded into image.
  • Deprecated media, such as Flash animation and gif images
  • Background audio files on load
  • Unresponsive layouts
  • Slow loading

It’s not only how your website looks to deem it outdated, your content has a big imapct too – it’s easy to become lazy and not update your website content (such as current events & recent work), visitors are likely to turn away quickly from your business!

This also applies to your social media platforms – if your website has a blog/latest news section, make sure new content is published regularly so that customers can see the website is active.

Your website is un-responsive
Over the last decade, with the introduction of smart phones (and tablet devices) there has been a huge shift towards browsing on the move – our ?? has changed….

As of 2020, Mobile and tablet traffic combined make up more than half of all web traffic globally. Businesses can no longer disregard hand held devices and just have websites that perform and function on dektop/laptop computers.

What ensures a good mobile experience:
-Make sure all images are optimised for online browsing – they should load quickly and fit to screen size used.
-Text should be scaleable and adapt to the width of the screen – words including titles should not lead-off the screen.
-Layouts should adjust to the screen orientation and size. Sections with several elements on a desktop might display them side-by-side but on a mobile screen they should be stacked in a cohesive manner, one under the other.
-A menu system designed specifically for mobile/table devices. For example no full width menus that span across the screen (like a desktop), visitors having to zoom into the page to click on a link or drop-down menu.

Be in sync with your brand identity
To be a successful business you need to know when to adapt yoour brand identity with the times, asking questions such as ‘Is my current branding still suitable for my target audience’?

Alternatively, if your business has recently undergone a change in branding your website will need to reflect this and fall in line with the new brand direction – if your website branding differs from your general brand, visitors will be confused as to the message your business is sending and portraying.

Lack of traffic and visitors
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a huge weapon for businesses, it allows them to be seen by potentially thousands of visitors each day.

Googles page-ranking algorithm is forever changing and adapting to keep in line with societys browsing habits. As a result, it is vitally important that your website is up to date and modern – Google punishes websites that are slow, unresponsive (not mobile & tablet friendly) and displays outdated content.

Struggling to update your own content
All modern websites are built with a Content Management System (CMS) in place – the most popular platform been WordPress, used to power millions of website globally.

A CMS allows website owners to update all content from page copy, uploading/changing imagery to writing blog articles themselves without the need of expert help.

Without such a system in place, you wont be able to update your website frequently. Doing so would be time consuming and costly, having to pay web developers for changes and updates when required.

High bounce rate
What is a bounce rate? A bounce rate is defined as the proportion of your website visitors who browse only your Homepage before leaving/moving on.

With this in mind, you want to achieve as lower bounce rate percentage as possible – as a low rate indicates that new users are navigating to your other pages, making them interested in the content or services you offer.

If you have a high bounce rate (70% or higher) this indicates that the vast majority of visitors are leaving your website after viewing the homepage.

Obvioulsy this needs addressing quickly and there could be a number of reasons why your bounce rate is high – including outdated web design, slow loading times or visitors have found your competitor sites to be better and more resourceful.

Looking for a new website design?
If you are looking to build or redesign a website, then Armerdesign can help. Get in touch with us today to see how we can get your project off the ground!

It’s something I’ve wanted to talk about for a while but didn’t want to be one of those people who go “I’m going to use my platform to do better” as there is a fine line between capitalising on something that’s deemed to be of the moment. Mental health is not of the moment, but it is the right time, because everyone is becoming more accepting and understanding. It is never going away so I figured I need to talk about it, for me as much as anyone. My daughters are 16, 14 and 13, and until recently I haven’t talked to them about what’s gone on in my life because I wanted to protect them. They were the only real barrier stopping me talking about it.

What is your history of mental health?

The best thing is to go back to the start. For me, mental health is a bit of nurture and a bit of nature. Both my mum and dad suffered from mental health issues and actually met in a psychiatric hospital. They were in and out of hospital sporadically throughout my childhood.

At the time, you’re a kid, so you don’t really think about it, you just get on with it because you’re doing all the things kids do. I spent a lot of time at my dad’s sister’s. Looking back, my mum may have been struggling to cope or either she or my dad were in hospital. This was the late 70s to mid-80s and back then no one sat down with me to talk about it.

My dad worked for the Yorkshire Water Authority. He was loving, great, quiet, quite reserved but had a great sense of humour, some similarities with my own personality. However, he would go through bouts of depression. I think it started when he was in the army. During an operation in Germany, his comrades were killed while crossing a bridge in a truck, where there was no room for him. I never spoke to my dad about it but maybe his depression was sparked by this, resulting in what would now be identified as PTSD. Can you imagine seeing that and going on with your life? I can’t imagine he received any counselling.

My dad got paid on a Thursday and gave my mum 75 per cent of his wages. He would get changed and go to the pub with his mates. He wasn’t an alcoholic, I only ever saw him drunk once. But his life was – work, home, wash, shave, pub. By Monday his share was spent and he’d ask mum for money. He’d get upset. She’d get upset. There would be arguing. If I had any money, I would try and give it to him to keep the peace.

My mum would tell him to take responsibility which would have added to his depression. I don’t know what treatment he had but I know he received electric shock treatment on at least one occasion which resulted in him having to be resuscitated.

My mum was really struggling. My sister, who lived in Australia, told her to come out, but she didn’t want to leave me. I was 16 and due to sit exams. We went out for six weeks. I wasn’t really aware of what was going on. If I was an adult, I would have been like “What about Dad?” But my mum was at the end of her tether and had to think about her own mental health.

When we came back, things had got worse. My dad had deteriorated and he was taken to hospital on a Sunday afternoon. He packed his case and as he made his way to the car, he grabbed me and told me he would never see me again. That was the last time I saw him. I didn’t go to visit him in hospital because it was in York.

It felt like a while after, but it may have just been a few weeks, when we got a knock at the door. It was our neighbour, who my mum didn’t like, accompanied by a policeman. I knew as soon as I saw them what they were about to say. I think it was my neighbour who told me that my dad had died. He’d taken his own life while he was in the hospital. I can’t really remember the aftermath of it.

When I think back, I had no memory of sitting down having a conversation or even a cup of tea with him. He had his life, his set routine and I was growing up, doing all the things a teenager does. I couldn’t really tell you what he was like and that is hard. I feel guilty about that.

You would assume I’d have received counselling, but there was nothing. I think I probably went back to school the next
day. Only one teacher asked me about it, but that’s the time we were living in. Kids were embarrassed to talk about it for fear of upsetting me. You were just left to get on with it and I didn’t talk about it.

I failed my exams. Three years later, I had finished sixth form college and I was going to go to Australia to take a year out. I was working in the B&Q in Grantham and I had a meltdown when someone spoke to me aggressively. I became anxious, tearful and felt like I’d reverted back to being a little boy. It was embarrassing but I just wanted to get home. I had panic attacks. All I was doing was crying. I think I had a breakdown of some sort.

Looking back, you could say it was to do with my dad although I didn’t feel like I was grieving. I shouldn’t have gone to Australia – the doctors told me not to go – but I went. My flight was on New Year’s day, as it was cheaper. I cried all the way.

I was in Australia for six months and I couldn’t stop sobbing. My sister was brilliant. She was one of the first Ten Pound Poms. She went there when she was 18 and set up her own business selling second-hand clothes. She showed me tough love and would drag me out on trains, walking, just to keep me moving.

I was soon playing football with a local team. I lasted one game. I didn’t know what was going on. It was like an out-of-body experience. My mental state was frazzled. I was crying on the pitch during the match. I came off at half-time and sat in the changing room inconsolable. However, there was no embarrassment. I wasn’t self- conscious. That was gone. I just couldn’t stop.

Slowly I started to feel better. I can’t remember if I had started taking anti-depressants at the time but I remember one day, I was going swimming and I walked down the steps and felt this sort of lightness, like something had lifted. I felt euphoric. I can remember vividly being under the water and it was gone. It was a really strange feeling. A real sense of optimism I hadn’t felt for some time.

I came back home. It was 1990 and everything was happening with music and fashion. I was going to college in the September and things picked up, although I was always prone to bouts of it and I still am. There are times when I feel it coming – like at the end of the football season.

The things that get me into an anxious or depressed state are the ‘what if?’ scenarios. I beat myself up about the way I feel and I overthink. You wake up and that thought is there. You think you can beat it with rational thinking, but you can’t.

It’s like having a reception area in your head. When you’re feeling great and have balance in your life, the negative thoughts stay in the reception area. But if you’re not feeling good, the thoughts get in and wreak havoc, gnawing away and debilitating you. You are in the room but you are not in the room. Is this how I am feeling or is this how I THINK I am feeling? It becomes a constant battle between your sub-conscious and your conscious brain. The next day you might think “Why was I worried about that?“ But at the time my brain won’t let me rationalise it. I’ve found ways to deal with it.

It’s something I’ve wanted to talk about for a while but didn’t want to be one of those people who go “I’m going to use my platform to do better” as there is a fine line between capitalising on something that’s deemed to be of the moment. Mental health is not of the moment, but it is the right time, because everyone is becoming more accepting and understanding. It is never going away so I figured I need to talk about it, for me as much as anyone. My daughters are 16, 14 and 13, and until recently I haven’t talked to them about what’s gone on in my life because I wanted to protect them. They were the only real barrier stopping me talking about it.

What is your history of mental health?

The best thing is to go back to the start. For me, mental health is a bit of nurture and a bit of nature. Both my mum and dad suffered from mental health issues and actually met in a psychiatric hospital. They were in and out of hospital sporadically throughout my childhood.

At the time, you’re a kid, so you don’t really think about it, you just get on with it because you’re doing all the things kids do. I spent a lot of time at my dad’s sister’s. Looking back, my mum may have been struggling to cope or either she or my dad were in hospital. This was the late 70s to mid-80s and back then no one sat down with me to talk about it.

My dad worked for the Yorkshire Water Authority. He was loving, great, quiet, quite reserved but had a great sense of humour, some similarities with my own personality. However, he would go through bouts of depression. I think it started when he was in the army. During an operation in Germany, his comrades were killed while crossing a bridge in a truck, where there was no room for him. I never spoke to my dad about it but maybe his depression was sparked by this, resulting in what would now be identified as PTSD. Can you imagine seeing that and going on with your life? I can’t imagine he received any counselling.

My dad got paid on a Thursday and gave my mum 75 per cent of his wages. He would get changed and go to the pub with his mates. He wasn’t an alcoholic, I only ever saw him drunk once. But his life was – work, home, wash, shave, pub. By Monday his share was spent and he’d ask mum for money. He’d get upset. She’d get upset. There would be arguing. If I had any money, I would try and give it to him to keep the peace.

My mum would tell him to take responsibility which would have added to his depression. I don’t know what treatment he had but I know he received electric shock treatment on at least one occasion which resulted in him having to be resuscitated.

My mum was really struggling. My sister, who lived in Australia, told her to come out, but she didn’t want to leave me. I was 16 and due to sit exams. We went out for six weeks. I wasn’t really aware of what was going on. If I was an adult, I would have been like “What about Dad?” But my mum was at the end of her tether and had to think about her own mental health.

When we came back, things had got worse. My dad had deteriorated and he was taken to hospital on a Sunday afternoon. He packed his case and as he made his way to the car, he grabbed me and told me he would never see me again. That was the last time I saw him. I didn’t go to visit him in hospital because it was in York.

It felt like a while after, but it may have just been a few weeks, when we got a knock at the door. It was our neighbour, who my mum didn’t like, accompanied by a policeman. I knew as soon as I saw them what they were about to say. I think it was my neighbour who told me that my dad had died. He’d taken his own life while he was in the hospital. I can’t really remember the aftermath of it.

When I think back, I had no memory of sitting down having a conversation or even a cup of tea with him. He had his life, his set routine and I was growing up, doing all the things a teenager does. I couldn’t really tell you what he was like and that is hard. I feel guilty about that.

You would assume I’d have received counselling, but there was nothing. I think I probably went back to school the next
day. Only one teacher asked me about it, but that’s the time we were living in. Kids were embarrassed to talk about it for fear of upsetting me. You were just left to get on with it and I didn’t talk about it.

I failed my exams. Three years later, I had finished sixth form college and I was going to go to Australia to take a year out. I was working in the B&Q in Grantham and I had a meltdown when someone spoke to me aggressively. I became anxious, tearful and felt like I’d reverted back to being a little boy. It was embarrassing but I just wanted to get home. I had panic attacks. All I was doing was crying. I think I had a breakdown of some sort.

Looking back, you could say it was to do with my dad although I didn’t feel like I was grieving. I shouldn’t have gone to Australia – the doctors told me not to go – but I went. My flight was on New Year’s day, as it was cheaper. I cried all the way.

I was in Australia for six months and I couldn’t stop sobbing. My sister was brilliant. She was one of the first Ten Pound Poms. She went there when she was 18 and set up her own business selling second-hand clothes. She showed me tough love and would drag me out on trains, walking, just to keep me moving.

I was soon playing football with a local team. I lasted one game. I didn’t know what was going on. It was like an out-of-body experience. My mental state was frazzled. I was crying on the pitch during the match. I came off at half-time and sat in the changing room inconsolable. However, there was no embarrassment. I wasn’t self- conscious. That was gone. I just couldn’t stop.

Slowly I started to feel better. I can’t remember if I had started taking anti-depressants at the time but I remember one day, I was going swimming and I walked down the steps and felt this sort of lightness, like something had lifted. I felt euphoric. I can remember vividly being under the water and it was gone. It was a really strange feeling. A real sense of optimism I hadn’t felt for some time.

I came back home. It was 1990 and everything was happening with music and fashion. I was going to college in the September and things picked up, although I was always prone to bouts of it and I still am. There are times when I feel it coming – like at the end of the football season.

The things that get me into an anxious or depressed state are the ‘what if?’ scenarios. I beat myself up about the way I feel and I overthink. You wake up and that thought is there. You think you can beat it with rational thinking, but you can’t.

It’s like having a reception area in your head. When you’re feeling great and have balance in your life, the negative thoughts stay in the reception area. But if you’re not feeling good, the thoughts get in and wreak havoc, gnawing away and debilitating you. You are in the room but you are not in the room. Is this how I am feeling or is this how I THINK I am feeling? It becomes a constant battle between your sub-conscious and your conscious brain. The next day you might think “Why was I worried about that?“ But at the time my brain won’t let me rationalise it. I’ve found ways to deal with it.