Don't reinvent the wheel, but don't be afraid to improve it!

Towards the end of summer last year, I was asked to sit on a focus group at our parent company, Cygnus Business Media. We were told that the focus group was being formed to discuss a redesign of our Websites. The first thought I had was, “What? We just rolled out a new site a couple of years ago! What we have is pretty good!” However, as with anything, you can’t be set in your ways and as you probably know with technology, it’s constantly changing.

You know exactly what I’m talking about if you’ve ever had a new system update to your smartphone or tablet. At first, you might panic, but are you going to completely give it up? No. It’s much too valuable and so you adjust with the change. The relaunch of was approached no differently. While the previous version of was pretty good, we wanted to give you something that was even better. In January of 2014, we converted the site over to responsive design. Let me explain what this means for you. Previously, the site would look great on your desktop or laptop, but wasn’t the same easy experience on your phone or tablet. Now, through responsive design, no matter how you access the site, your experience is exactly the same. There’s no need to resize your screen, no need to swipe left or right to see everything. Responsive design automatically recognizes the device you are using and adjusts for you. This is extremely important since over 27 percent of you now access the site through a tablet or mobile device and that is continuing to rise. Responsive design also means connecting you to more related content when you perform a search on the site. will deliver not only the articles you want, but will also link you to more articles regarding that topic, products, companies and people that are all related in one simple search.


New look, same great content

I know that the site looks completely different, but that doesn’t mean that we reinvented the wheel. Instead, we wanted to provide you with a better, faster, more comfortable ride. Of course we’ve been monitoring the response after we relaunched the site and the metrics are telling us that it’s more engaging, a.k.a. “comfortable” for visitors. Now of course, there are some other sites covering our industry that claim they have better rankings or more page views or more relevance, which I don’t fully understand what that means, but I beg to differ. Technology is great because it gives us the opportunity to collect more data than we ever wanted to know. However, we still need to correctly interpret that data instead of pulling out stats that create a false sense of reality. And we need to use that data to constantly improve.

In your business, do not feel as if you need to constantly reinvent yourself, but you can’t get stuck in your ways either. I encourage you to not be afraid to implement change at your business. Do your homework, test out new things, constantly improve the experience you provide for your customers and employees. This is what makes business fun and of course, more profitable. Look for more exciting updates throughout the year and if you have any suggestions on what you’d like to see or feedback on the site, please don’t hesitate to let me know.