This week marks a month since we launched the new JGPR website. Getting to launch was a group effort and a long time coming, with each staff member pitching in to write content and build pages. The previous website, about 7 years old, had outlived its purpose. It worked for when JGPR was starting out and had one employee (John) a handful of clients and services; but now that we’ve grown to 10 full time employees with an extensive menu of public relations, marketing and communications offerings–and more than 300 clients–we needed a refresh.
Additionally, more people than ever are using mobile phones to browse the web, so the mobile experience needed to be as solid as possible.
A website is the front door online to your organization, and just as you want your brick and mortar location to be well-maintained and welcoming, you want your virtual entryway to offer the same experience. Our new homepage features a well-produced video that shows how our public relations work has resulted in client television interviews and media hits, and also highlights some of the other services we offer in a creative and absorbing way. The intention is to immediately show visitors to the site that we are a professional organization with high standards and proficiency.
As the visitors scroll, they will learn the JGPR company pillars, which are Content, Strategy and Standards. They will see what services we provide, who we work with, some of the projects we’re most proud of and client testimonials. Finally we have a running list of our daily press releases for the media to access. The goals of the new site were to demonstrate to a potential new client the work we do and how to get in touch with us, while also serving the primary visitors to our site—the media. I believe we accomplished both of our goals with this redesign in a visually attractive way.
The most difficult part of the redesign was deciding how to organize the information. We knew what we wanted to say, but not necessarily exactly how we wanted site visitors to move through it. We decided to customize the Business Pro WordPress theme designed by SEO Themes. This is a hallmark of our company. We are able to take stable, clean, well-supported WordPress templates and customize them uniquely for each client and based on each client’s individual needs. This results in an invoice that is a fraction the size of a completely custom website built from nothing. The same philosophy served our internal purposes as well. The Business Pro framework had all of the features we needed and was already thoughtfully organized, but it still gave us the agency and inspiration to customize it to our needs.
The second biggest challenge was getting the content written on top of our existing company/client workflow. To troubleshoot this I divided all of the site content up and then assigned it to staff members, making sure there was someone to write it and someone else to edit it. I gave everyone a deadline for when the writing was due and when the editing was due, and that resolved the content issue. It was a simple solution for what seemed like a daunting task at the start. When in doubt, break it down into small steps!
Developing a new website or doing a website redesign requires persistence. It’s kind of like cleaning out and then reorganizing your basement. It’s a massive undertaking, but if you do it methodically and thoughtfully, you’ll be pleased with the results. At JGPR we’ve made about 150 websites over the past 7 years, and with our own site redesign behind us we’re even better equipped to guide you through the process no matter how “hands on” or “hands off” you are.