Why my site needed a makeover. And why yours may too.

So, whadda ya think?

Do you like the new look of the blog?  (If you’re reading this blog via email, click here to check out my fresh new summer look!)

Believe it or don’t believe it, it had only been a couple of years since my last e-makeover, but it was already time for a spruce up.  So we added a new look, less stuff, a fancier engine, and a bunch more – including a lot that you can’t even see.  Why did we have to upgrade so quickly?

The challenge of doing business in modern internet era, and especially doing any kind of business online, is that fashions change faster, technology changes faster . . . and more importantly, audiences demand more.

And no matter what you do online, whether that’s write a blog, give golf lessons, or, duh, market a show, your website has to, has to, has to, keep up if you want to compete.

Think about it this way:

If the internet is the information superhighway, then your website is like a house along that highway.  And when people are driving down that road, you want them saying . . .

“Honey!  Look at that house!  It’s beautiful!  Wait. Stop the car.  STOP!!!  I want to get out and take a closer look.”

If you don’t keep your website up to ‘speed’, and let weeds grow up around it, and let the shingles fall off, well, this is what the cruisers down the highway will say instead . . .

“Honey.  Look at that house.  Obviously no one cares about it at all.  We must be in a bad neighborhood.  Step on the gas and let’s get the $@%@ out of here!  And never come back!  NOW!”

As the world gets more mobile, and the web is available in more and more places (including half of the subway stations I frequent, which is awesome, thanks MTA), your website for your show is only going to be come more and more important.

So make sure you cut your grass and put a fresh coat of paint on it more often than you think.

That’s what we did.  And I hope you like it.  Let me know in the comment sections the stuff you do like, and the stuff you don’t.

Because we’ll be doing another redesign before you know it.

(Oh, and if you need a recommendation for a redesign of your own website, drop me an email. I know a few folks.)

 

(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

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Comments
  • senorvoce says:

    Change for change’s sake, a waste of time and resources. Following design fads is the quickest way to diminishing returns.

    I’ll have a New Coke to go with the “new design”. And let me have a jukebox musical to go.

  • Luci Jo DeVoy says:

    I tend to disagree with ^. I like the streamline of the new look, although I think that it could be a little more endearing with strategic personalization. We come here to read about your personal experiences in the business after all.

  • Ken, I LOVE the new look of your site. But, I love the content even more!

  • Katie Ford says:

    I like the new design as well, but I agree that it seems to be impersonal. Maybe playing with more colors or something might help a bit 🙂

  • Elisa Christina Clayton says:

    I like it!

  • john Sweeney says:

    Holy crap that floating “To Top” button is annoying… Did anyone check the site before releasing it?

  • Wilhemina Paulin says:

    Ken, I like the way you provoked dialogue with the photo. You brought up a good point about keeping up with the competition. I think the symbolism in the photo regarding relevancy and staying current is a point well taken. If we’re not current, we’re trashed and soon forgotten.

  • George Rady says:

    Can I stick ONE big Caveat in this one…

    I’ve spent the bulk omy career in IT (in the Financial Industry) and Half of that dealing with the Web…

    Don’t be tempted by “New Coke” – the customers only want “Coke”

    That may not be the case here and the “customers” are a dedicated group of blogger and poetasters…

    But I have found 9 times outta 10 the “New” Website/Interface… sweeter taste (that promised the Execs that it will break into the Pepsie crowd…) is Inside boredom… the creators get tired of seeing their same work day-after-day and they wanna make it look more like… someone Else’s Website.

    NOTE: The question is rarely asked “How Successful IS that other Website and its Product and its Company?”

    No one really cares (or worse – it’s part of a big make-work scheme so that managers and justify their continuing existence… esp if they find they would rather avoid more complex projects for fear of failure… revamping the website is a gimma, no brainer… easy budget $$$ for Me!

    Can I tell You how many of these end up being pulled….

    Why – because the Customer does not care about the New Website with the latest Widgets…. they just want to logon, click the button, take the ticket and get on with their LIFE! (Every take a look at the PNC Bank Website!)

    The REAL Customer’s Idea of a “great” website is the MINIMUM clutter to get what they came for and leave… you will note a lot of savy business are REMOVING the 3rd party ads, the videos and the annoying sounds… they found it drives people away from using the website…

    So – when it comes to Ticketing? Or the Mission Statement! Or just the List of Upcoming Productions… seriously consider IF this visit to your website should be worth more than the few minutes in the day of people with limited time and far more diverse interests.

    “Thin” is IN!

    Ask why someone would drop in and deliver that – short and sweet – and strip everything else… out!

    Hmmm… kinda like a well written play, huh? Well, maybe a One Act… or just a commercial for one…

    g

  • George Rady says:

    btw – wait til we start feeling the impact that there is no “backend” for the Obama Care Website… that the whole subscrition of policies and verification of payments… not to mention servives provided… is still a manual matching data entry process… all costing the taxpayer 100s of times more than any corporate website… and the later works!

    90% of a great Website’s work… is the part that the Customer NEVER sees… they just say “I’m going on vacation… to France… and their Chip enabled credit card is ready to pay the train fare… in Euros! They just click a couple of pics!

    g

  • diane uniman says:

    Awesome! Very clear about your purpose and easy to take action. The other one was great-this is even better. Bravo.

  • Rich Mc says:

    It’s really simple: CONTENT is King (the rest is fluff).

  • Joanne says:

    Love the new design but especially appreciate that you can read previous posts at the ready now, and so easily, thanks Ken.

  • Barry Reszel says:

    I like your new, clean look. And your blog today reminds me I’ve wanted to tell you…I launched my own new website. Check out http://www.chicagolandmusicaltheatre.com. It’s been in the works for several months, and I’m rolling it out rather slowly. My goal is for it to be a place for the community of musical theatre participants and patrons. So I took your advice to heart, Ken…here’s my new production.
    Best always,
    Barry

  • Lynn says:

    Hey Ken –
    i actually think its nice and clean – but maybe a little too bland.
    I miss all the list of thing you had on the left side – that was great.

    You can add back some things…although i agree – change is good. but not always great…
    🙂

  • Noe says:

    Hello there! This article could not be written much better!
    Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He constantly kept talking about this. I am going to send this
    article to him. Pretty sure he will have a great read.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • I agree, your website is one of the most important marketing tools you have!

  • Solange De Santis says:

    Ken, I take your point about constant re-invention, but the new look for me is a bit too corporate. It’s really clear and easy to read, but not much says “artistic,” “theater,” “creative,” even “fun.” The font and colors could be for an insurance company. Or maybe that was your motive – express the concept of stability in what is seen to be a volatile enterprise?

  • Frederic says:

    Fantastic blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring
    writers? I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost
    on everything. Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many
    choices out there that I’m totally confused ..

    Any suggestions? Thank you!

  • Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to your blog before but after going through some of the
    posts I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m certainly happy I came across it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back
    frequently!

  • A motivating discussion is worth comment. There’s no doubt
    that that you ought to publish more about this subject matter, it might
    not be a taboo matter but usually people do not talk about these
    subjects. To the next! All the best!!

  • Lorene says:

    Reads much easier. Haven’t checked search functionality. Your last site didn’t allow too much searching. I always found myself wanting to re-read a nugget of your advice and could never find it again. Congrats on this transformation! It takes a village and you certainly have one!

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