Last week I finally launched my newly redesigned Animal Reiki Source website (yay!). I’ve wanted to do this for years, but I kept putting it off for some very real reasons: because I thought I didn’t have the time (I didn’t), because I wasn’t tech-savvy at all (confession: I’m still not), and because I thought it would cost me a fortune (it wasn’t exactly cheap, but I was able to find experts to work within my budget).
Before this redesign came to be, I made small updates here and there over the years. But as time wore on, something kept bothering me in the back of my mind: My site, which launched way back before smartphones became ubiquitous, was seriously showing its age. And I began to wonder if my “vintage” website (to put it nicely) might actually be getting in the way of my work connecting people and animals with Reiki.
I decided I couldn’t wait any longer. So one day I rolled up my sleeves and decided to make this makeover happen, with immeasurable help from my webmaster (and Reiki friend) Linda Patrick. The process was a long one (and I’ll spare you the boring details of the project), but I do want to save you some time and share with you three super important features I learned every website needs to compete today. The good news is you don’t necessarily have to redesign your entire Reiki website—just make sure the following three features are incorporated within:
1. A mobile-friendly experience with shareable content: Everyone uses smartphones these days (well, pretty much everyone!), but that’s not the only reason why your site must be mobile-friendly. Even more important: Websites not optimized for mobile devices suffer dearly in Google’s search results. But people aren’t just accessing your site with their phones—they’re sharing inspiring pictures, articles and links on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t get left out: Even if you can’t redesign your site to be mobile-friendly right now, at the very least make sure your social sharing buttons are plentiful, and easy to find and use.
2. An image-heavy design: Users love beautiful pictures (especially when they’re of animals!), so it’s no wonder this web design aesthetic has taken off in the past couple of years. If you compare my old website to my new website, you’ll see that my new site incorporates more graphics and imagery than ever before. I like to use Canva to create my own shareable quotes (as seen on my website and Facebook), and Fiverr for super-affordable graphic design services. A couple of things to keep in mind, though: Make sure your photos don’t take forever to load, and don’t focus so much on images that you forget to invest in quality content. (Before you start your redesign, check out Template Monster for tons of easy-to-use WordPress templates.)
3. The right tagline: Creating a tagline isn’t easy—I can tell you that from firsthand experience. My old website’s tagline was “Guiding animal lovers to peace & wellness.” In time I realized my tagline wasn’t really communicating my core message to customers—and that’s a problem. With a little finessing, I ultimately ended up with “Healing Heart to Heart With Animals” for the new site. What do you think? (Click here for more tips on writing powerful taglines.)
Has your Reiki website undergone any recent transformations? What are your best tips?