Website Makeover: 12 Little Things That Make A Big Impact

It’s been website makeover week here. For the last week or so, I’ve been dutifully dusting and shining and fluffing the pillows of my website and social media presence.

A lot of people want to freshen up their website, but aren’t ready to commit to the sometimes gruelling process of a redesign. With spring in mind, let’s look at a few smaller things you can do to breathe some fresh life into the place.

Here are 12 low-commitment, low-or-no cost ways you can do a laser-fast website makeover.

Give your cover images a makeover.

In a social media obsessed world, your social media cover images are often the first impression a new person has of you and your brand. Could yours use some work? This can be beautifully achieved in less than an hour – fire up Canva, pull up the Facebook or Twitter cover templates, and you can have a sparkling new brand, just like that. (I made this one in Canva in about 15 minutes. I just can't help loving the lion!)

Start small with a custom favicon.

I take an unreasonable amount of delight in people’s favicons. (A favicon is the tiny little picture in the corner of the browser tab. Scroll way up. See the tiny heart? That’s a favicon.) Favicons are tiny morsels of awesome fun, and a very easy way to add a splash of branding to a website in need of some love.

Get yourself a shiny new logo.

I have a logo inspirations board in my Pinterest that has visual inspirations, as well as places where you can buy GORGEOUS premade logo templates for less than $50. If you don’t find anything that floats your boat, search Pinterest for “premade logo designs” and you’ll have all the logos you can eat, instantly customizable for your beautiful self.

Perhaps a new website header is in order?

Consider when you created your website header. Now consider how much you’ve changed – how much more you know about your business, and how much more you know about yourself. Just like your wardrobe, you’ll feel like a million bucks when your header reflects who you are today.

(If you get a new logo and you make new social media cover images, this one’s extra easy. Put your newly acquired mad Canva skills to good use and you can have a header in 15 minutes. Aaaaahhhhh. Isn’t that pretty?)

Crisp up your fonts.

Thanks to our new robot overlords at Google, switching fonts has never been easier. Simply do a web search for “best Google font combinations” and dozens of ambitious designers will help you find the perfect combo for you. If your site is on the older side, this has the added benefit of improving readability – screen resolutions are sharper than ever, and a crisp new font will make your site much easier on the eyes.

Remember, though – bigger fonts are better, especially for body text. They can’t read it if they can’t see it.

Give your opt-in box a fresh look.

Now is a very good time to take a big step back from your website and re-ask the question, “Why should people be pumped to sign up?” Whether it’s a newsletter, a free download, or a resource library, you’ve got something great going on over there – wouldn’t it be wonderul if more people knew about it?

Ten minutes of solid thought about your headline, the details you’re providing, and your call to action can vastly improve your results. (Like 2X or 3X kinds of vastly. That’s pretty vast.) Don’t get paralyzed, though – your decision isn’t permanent. You can change the copy, split-test, or just switch it up as often as you like.

Smile for the camera!

One of the bigger jobs on the list, new photos – headshots, lifestyle shots, OMG look at these cute shoes shots – can make a huge difference. They don’t just make a difference in how you look – they make a difference in how you feel.

If you’re not ready to book a full-on photo session yet, you can DIY this if you’ve got a savvy friend/partner and some time on your hands. Just make Google your friend (“DIY headshots”, “DIY iPhone headshots”, “headshot lighting advice” and so on) and prepare to make a day of it. You’re going to look awesome!

Find the perfect brand palette.

Can I tell you a secret? For many years, the entire WordPress theme industry operated on the hidden understanding that when an average user saw “a website”, what they actually saw was “a unique collection of colors”. That’s how everybody on the damn internet had the same theme and nobody noticed. If you simply change your color scheme, you can change your entire look. (I also have a Pinterest board for website color schemes. Find a picture you like, pick two or three of the colors, wham! New branding.)

Wave a widget wand.

Website widgets are like magic wands. Attractive and enterprising web developers are hard at work creating little code miracles that give you anything you could possibly want. Want to double your time on site? Get a great “related post” plugin. Want a colorful way to increase your newsletter signups? Get the Hello Bar. The sky is truly the limit, and it’s honestly only a few clicks away.

(Don’t know which widgets you should be swooning over? That’s why God made search engines! Search something like “best widgets for a business blog” and change the date settings to results posted in the last twelve months. That’ll keep you busy till the 4th of July.)

Declutter your sidebars.

This is one of my favorite tips, one I perhaps mention far more than my friends would like. (“Enough with the sidebars, Naomi!”) Decluttering your sidebars is like The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, except for your blog. Tag clouds, be gone! Old blog networks that haven’t sent traffic since 2009? See you later! If it doesn’t spark joy, kick it to the curb.

Add a banner or two.

Nature abhors a vacuum. Now that your sidebar is clear of anything that isn’t a spark of joy, may I suggest some new banners? You can make banners for pretty much anything. Product ads, newsletter promos, links to your social media feeds – there’s a whole bar of space waiting for you to transform it.

(One thing to remember – if your theme is mobile responsive, your sidebar content is pushed to the bottom of the page, so show a teensy bit of restraint in the amount of items you feature. Mobile visitors have scroll-weary thumbs, so we want to be kind to them.)

Prune old posts.

Like tightening up a section of copy, deleting older posts can really tighten up your blog. If you clear out off-brand or out-of-date posts, the only ones that are left are the ones that really sparkle. Visitors see you at your very best – no fluff, no filler. What happens then? Well, with all that great content, all they see is great stuff to pin, tweet, or share.

So that’s your website makeover list – 12 little things that make a BIG impact.

Want to see what I’m sparkling up?

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