You cannot have change unless you are willing to change
In July 2013, Web Marketing Therapy yanked our full website because change was not an option – it was a necessity.
We (correction, me – I need to take full ownership here!) should have let go of our antiquated site platform years before I did, but I was hanging on…too comfortable with an uncomfortable website. The site (originally built in 2007) was built in the height of the recession to serve as a Do-It-Yourself product site that sold low-cost web marketing tools. As our company grew, the demand for one-on-one boutique agency support (not low-cost training products) grew, but the site stayed as we focused on serving clients and was repurposed beyond it’s original capacity.
I realized I was acting like one of those hoarders you see on reality television. The clutter on the old site was beyond salvation. It was easier to demolish the whole site and start over vs. trying to clean up what we had.
I can totally relate to clients I have advised to redesign a website who want to keep marketing collateral “because they spent a lot on it” or “they don’t want to redo it”. I too didn’t want to flush away something that wasn’t working even if it was an old, antiquated, dated website with gobs and gobs of content that wasn’t on brand or on purpose to communicate my core marketing message.
Letting go of a website has psychological impacts. I felt guilt for not doing this sooner, I felt shame for spending so much on the first version of the website (done before we had our in-house webmaster Wil!), I felt overwhelm at the thought of the time and effort it would take to do a new site (I do them for clients, I know what is involved!) and I felt this irrational connection to the old content (probably because it was my original creation and letting it go was also letting a piece of me go). I also felt afraid of losing the SEO visibility we had from all the pages we had optimized.
SEO, history, everything aside, I chose to yank our site because the rule is to make sites for the user, not a search engine. It was time to let go of the ledge. Redesigning our site isn’t an ego thing. Although I love pretty websites, I am doing this to get back to functional marketing. I owe it to my team, clients, prospective clients and students to have a simpler site that better communicates what we do.
Some people have asked why I pulled the website without a new site to replace it with. I felt that it was easier to rip the band-aid off quickly versus slowly. I didn’t realize how much more motivated I felt to redo the site because I had a blank slate to work from!
Business wasn’t impacted AT ALL with the one-page website. It took all the stress off and allowed us to relaunch it on our terms.
Virtual marketing hugs!