Website Relaunch: Rebranding Our Empire
Notice anything different?
Gone are the cartoons and the shoddy blue backgrounds. Away with the BRIGHT orange and wacky fonts.
We’ve been disappointed with our design for a long time, and it was great to finally tear it all down to build back up from scratch.
This was long overdue, but we’ve finally wrapped up the rebrand and redesign, and wanted to showcase some of the changes for you. We’re getting down to business, and doing it without getting too “corporate-y”.
Why Change the Brand/Design?
When Joe gets on the phone with people new to our brand, about half of them are hesitant at first. Even the ones who aren’t make it obvious that our site doesn’t just lack aesthetic appeal, but also functionality and ease of use.
Our design approach used to consist of going on 99designs, getting A LOT of different versions to choose from, and picking the best one from that group. I mean, that sounds fair, right? If there are plenty of options, then there’s got to be at least one gem.
Unfortunately, it’s become apparent that old, tired approach was causing us a lot of headaches and costing us (potentially) a lot of business.
It’s impossible to determine beforehand whether our redesign will bring in a positive ROI, but we’re willing to make the assumption that having a brand that’s more in line with our future vision will have a positive impact on our business.
That’s why we hired a pro, Jon Myers. Jon has been in the business for 20 years, worked with top Fortune 500 companies, and has a great eye for design + User Experience (UX.)
We also hired a local development team in Davao City, Philippines who have been working hard on revamping our marketplace and implementing Jon’s designs.
We’ve had a few setbacks and delays so Jon recommended we bring Dan Cowell to do some heavy lifting and to help implement the finer details. Although we were hesitant about bringing more cooks in the kitchen, we realized that it’d be a good idea since they live near each other and can collaborate side-by-side.
Why did we go through so much trouble?
We wanted our new design to kick so much ass that even those who haven’t heard of us would be comfortable looking at a six-figure site for sale.
In fact, most of the changes we’ve implemented here were inspired by you.
“Your site doesn’t look credible. Can I trust you?”
Our old design wasn’t aesthetically appealing. Not only that, it didn’t convey much credibility. First-time buyers and sellers (who were planning on doing business with us in the five to six-figures) had a hard time believing we were trustworthy.
We wanted our new design to showcase our expertise and authority.
No more cartoons. No more exclamation points in places they didn’t belong.
Some of the highlighted changes:
- Minimalistic design with clear calls-to-action
- All listing fees, deposits, and purchases securely routed through UltraCart
- Clear focus on buying and selling websites
“Is that all the business you’ve ever done?”
This has to be Joe’s “favorite” question on the phone.
“That’s… really all the websites you’ve ever sold? Ever?”
The way we presented our old marketplace, available listings on top and sold listings on the bottom, was very confusing to a lot of you.
We thought it served as social proof that websites on our site sell quickly. Unfortunately, many people interpreted the visible listings as being all the sites we’ve ever had on our marketplace in the history of, well, ever.
Our approach had the exact opposite effect we were hoping for.
The new design still shows sold sites, but in a way that makes it obvious we’ve done plenty of business.
A few of the critical changes:
- Both tile and column option to review listings
- Automatically generated business statistics
- Helpful website buying resources
“How do I sell my website with you?”
Sellers struggled to figure out how to sell their websites with us. This is the MOST important thing we want sellers to do, so that was a BIG problem.
Our old design was too blog-focused, and the overall layout didn’t make it easy for a visitor looking to sell a site.
We asked Jon to find a way to highlight the fact that we’re actively looking for sellers/listings on the site.
A few minutes later he’d added changes to the site that significantly improved the visibility of the Sell Your Site page without interrupting the aesthetics or overall design concept.
We’ve also significantly changed the content to better explain what it is we actually do.
“The site is awfully slow!”
We had a speed optimization pro take a look at our site to figure out why it was so sluggish and he concluded it was a combination of our hosting (WPEngine) and our code.
For our new site we had planned to go to WebSynthesis but we’re having second thoughts after seeing how slow their support team was to respond to CRITICAL requests. Although we’re still figuring out the hosting, we at least have our other optimization in place like MaxCDN, proper caching, etc.
After all, there’s no point in looking good if no one can see it in the first place.
While this is still a work in progress, we’re much happier with our speed and will continue to make improvements until the site is lightning fast.
“Your listings don’t have enough information.”
Although we ask serious buyers to pay a deposit before we reveal all the finer details about a website, we still want it to be as frictionless as possible for potential buyers.
Our old setup didn’t show the right info, had a lot of archaic metrics that we no longer measured, and weren’t important to our buyers.
We used to be heavily AdSense focused and so things like CPC and numbers of competitors on Google were what we wanted. We sell many sites with different monetization methods so it no longer made sense to show data that doesn’t apply.
Some major changes here include:
- Individual pages for all website listings
- Much more fleshed out data for each listing
- Audio/video interviews with the seller (select listings)
- Related websites for sale (based on niche, price, and monetization)
So – What Else Is New?
How It Works – A simplified look at the process both buyers and sellers go through to do business with us.
About Us – Paints a clearer picture of who we are and what we do (with a fun timeline documenting our journey).
Resources Page – A revamped look at our best content and resources for website buyers and sellers.
Dedicated Podcast Page – Allows us to highlight some of the more important episodes.
Seller Profiles – Every seller now has a profile that shows previous listings and total sold. Check out any of our marketplace listings to navigate to a seller profile.
We Really Hope You Dig the Changes
Overall, we’re really happy with the new brand and the direction of our company. There will be some kinks to work out in the coming weeks and months, but we’re stoked about the work Jon Myers, Illumedia, Dan Cowell, and the rest of our team has put into getting this launched.
We’re happy to hang out in the comments and answer any questions about the redesign or design in general that you may have. We’ve got Jon Myers to join us as well, and he’d love to talk design and UX with anyone interested.
In fact, we’ll be featuring a write-up from Jon on the changes in a guest post later this week.
We have also discussed holding a Google Hangout to discuss the redesign in further depth and even do a few design reviews of your sites. If you’re interested, please leave a comment below and we’ll get that organized.
What questions do you have and how can we improve? What do you like better (or worse) about the new design?