How to Get a New Website on a Limited Budget

The furnace in my house is old. It’s so old that the last HVAC technician who came in to service it stood back and chuckled. He may have even said “Wow.” But I did get him to admit that it still works. And as long as it’s working, it’s kind of hard to come up with the cash to replace it. After all, there are a lot more pressing (or fun) things to spend money on each month than a new furnace. And you can always put on an extra sweater, right?

An aging website is a lot like an old furnace. It’s easy to tiptoe around its little quirks, its decided lack of fashion, as long as you can convince yourself it’s still functioning. But like an old furnace, an outdated website can cost you unseen money every month. Only websites are worse, because unlike my family (and the occasional house guest), your customers don’t have to put up with subpar performance.

And study after study affirms that they won’t. Web shoppers today are notoriously impatient. Three seconds of the “spinning cursor of death” and they’re history. They definitely won’t wade through error messages, dead links and bad navigation to get to your content, no matter how great it is. They will not happily put on your old sweater and politely hang around while you’re banging on pipes and hauling out instruction manuals and promising that spring is just around the corner, no matter how badly they want what you’re offering.

Unfortunately, websites grow obsolete much faster than furnaces do. Most websites need a refresh or rebuild every few years to keep pace with changes in browsers, platforms and devices. A website built just five years ago is out of touch, while a site built ten years ago is basically chugging along on whale oil or coal.

But what if your budget doesn’t include money for a complete redesign every few years? How can you keep pace with changing technology and competing websites on a budget?  For some clients, a website refresh might be an option.

Morphy Auctions in Denver, PA recently faced that dilemma. Morphy had a lot of detailed content spread over more than 40 pages. “The site content was a bit jumbled, the user experience wasn’t the best and their business had changed since the original website had been built,” says Bobby Deraco, Synapse’s founder and lead strategist. “The website no longer reflected their business. They wanted a new site, but they didn’t have the budget or the time for a full rebuild. They only had a budget to redesign the home page.”

Synapse analyzed the traffic flow of Morphy’s site and the audiences they were trying to reach. The site was built on a Drupal platform, and it looked like this:

By strategically mapping out and wireframing the site, Bobby was able to create a new home page structure that could be integrated into Morphy’s existing CMS. “We managed to carry the look through the entire site without a ton of code because we thought it through,” Bobby says.

Morphy’s new home page looks like this:

“Their site went from confusing to clean and structured, from hard-to-navigate to very clear,” Bobby says. “The new site has a lot of character. We’re really proud of the way it turned out.”

Synapse carried the design through all of Morphy’s pages without fully rebuilding them. This is what a typical content page looked like before the refresh:

And this is what it looks like now:

“Originally, Morphy Auctions thought they could just afford a new home page,” Bobby says. “Instead, they basically got a new site for about a fifth of the price of a full build.”

Is your current website attracting customers and heating up sales, or is it leaving them cold? If it’s time for a new website, why not start a conversation with Synapse today? You may have more options than you think.

This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *