The Pet Wiki has been doing very nicely over the last couple of months. It’s been really nice to see the growth. I like the way the site looks, but I think that it’s time that we go through a bit of a redesign. I think the site works well in general, but the homepage is a bit lacking.
What is the objective?
Before starting with a redesign, figure out what the goals are. The homepage is the entrance way into your website. Figure out where you want to direct your traffic to go. Don’t just shove a bunch of stuff on there because someone might find it useful. The Pet Wiki’s homepage is sending people all over the place. It’s time to reign it back in.
Make a list of what you got
The first step, before you remove anything, is to make a list of all the stuff you have on the page. You should make sure that you know what is on your page so that when you take it off, nothing gets lost.
Figure out what works
You should already be using Google Analytics. The cool thing about Google Analytics is that they give stats for how users actually use the page. It’s not the same as where the eyeballs go, but you can see where people are clicking. Don’t outsmart your users and try to assume that you know what they want. Check the stats and prioritize correctly.
Once you know what you want to promote and what’s important to your users, organize your page. It should be a blend of what pulls your users into your site as well as the specific area you want to promote. Don’t overdo it. More is not better, more can be just clutter.
These are the basic principles. There’s obviously a lot more to it, but this is a good place to start. I know that I have my work ahead of me!