Old School vs. Up-to-Date

Plumbing Websites seem to fall under two completely different categories: 1) old school and 2) up-to-date. The website is either outdated with an old style or it’s new with a fresh look. If you want more people to visit your website, you should definitely be under the up-to-date category. Let’s take a look at the differences:

Old School Websites

There are still plumbing websites out there that have not been touched in years. This is a sad case. 🙁 These companies are holding themselves back! They are not only stuck in the wrong decade with old design trends, but they are now dysfunctional as well, missing out on valuable visitors with slow loading sites that don’t display well on mobile phones. Furthermore, old school websites are so far down Google rankings it’s not funny, I was digging for these bad boys.

Out Dated Design

Every few years there’s a new website trend growing in popularity, pushing older design trends off of the list. These old designs were once popular and many websites used them, until they weren’t anymore. This can be bad for business as visitors frown upon the look of the website and move on to one more eye appealing.

An example of this is a late 90’s/early 2000’s website with boxed information, loud design elements and bad animation. These design trends went out of style just like stone washed jeans and poofy bangs. By using these design trends to market your company, you may be projecting an image of complacency, you don’t have enough pride in your business to keep your marketing current. What does that say about your ability to stay current in other aspects of your business?  Like new building codes, safety protocol, modern tools or techniques to make you more efficient on the job. Yeah it’s not so good.

Outdated designs often contain:

Example of a poorly designed website.

Numbers point to what was often included in an older website design. (See bulleted list to left)

  1. Solid color backgrounds (other than white)
  2. Text in an older “websafe” font like Arial, Helvetica, Trebuchet, Courier, Times New Roman or Georgia
  3. Narrow design content (it’s seems really small on your screen)
  4. Small text
  5. Scrolling text
  6. Repeating animations
  7. Small images
  8. Gaudy image treatments, lots of glowing and shadows
  9. Hard to update content
  10. Flash animations
  11. Navigation buttons down the left side
  12. Lots and lots of navigation buttons

Dysfunctional Website

Smart phones were few and far between when websites were beginning to be a thing. Therefore, a responsive design was not necessary nor created! This slowly grew with the emergence of tablets and smartphones. “As of May 2013, 63% of adult cell owners use their phones to go online,” said the Pew Research Center. They also stated that 52% of cell phone owners use their cell phone to send or receive email. A mobile friendly design isn’t just nice to have for the viewing enjoyment of your visitors, it’s a must!

Poor Google Rankings

Google takes into account many variables when generating website list rankings. Variables such as number of views, how it was coded, updates made and your company’s social media following all factor into account for Google rankings. HVACWebTrends.com said these old school plumbing “websites do not rank well in Google’s organic search results.” If you are not ranking well on Google, then people are most likely not seeing your website and you’re missing out on valuable opportunities for jobs.

Up-to-Date Website Trends

Plumbing websites that fall under this category have updated their website design to incorporate today’s trends. They have installed an eye-catching responsive design that ranks well in Google. People spend more time on these websites because they are pleasing to the eyes, easier to read and navigate as well as simple to find!

Large Header Photographs 

Large header photographs are the going trend right now. This doesn’t mean you can’t use the idea, but add a little flare to it. This can simply mean using original photography instead of stock photos. Nothing screams out “fake” more than a stock photo!

Example of a larger header photo on plumbing websites.

Bright Organized Color Pallet

Currently, popular designs consist of a simple and clean look with a company specific palette of colors. Red is a popular color in the industry. We also see lots of blue, green, yellow and a variety of other bright friendly colors.

White Space

Simplicity is key in today’s plumbing website trends. White space is a superb way to create a clean feel to your website. Incorporating white space between sections on a page or around large bodies of text can really open up a website, allowing to easily digest all of the content.

Large Fonts

Large fonts can be seen on many different plumbing websites. People do not want to struggle to read text online, they do not have the patience to fight through it. So, don’t make them! Make your titles rather large and divvy up your content in a font size hierarchy.

Example of large fonts on plumbing websites.

Horizontal Design

A very popular trend today is a horizontal design. This usually entails large horizontal “sections” divided up on the page. A large header photo comes first most of the time, followed by a short paragraph, products/services, about bio, another large footer image and contact information. This makes it extremely easy to navigate through and find what you are looking for.

Navigation Across the Top of the Site

Navigation is mainly found on the top of a website. In the past, navigation could be found along the side or at the bottom. However, this did not allow much room for the design of the content because a huge sidebar with the navigation took up a large portion of the page. A horizontal design could never work with the navigation on the left side.

Personalized Photography

Outdated plumbing websites use a lot of stock photography. So if that is you, get rid of them! Potential customers and clients find it much more valuable to see original photography on a website. They get a better feel of the business or company via the personal photos.

Example of personalized photography on plumbing websites.

Icons – Tool Symbols Linking to Services

Plumbing tool symbols are another popular design element you can adopt. The best plumbing websites have tool-like symbols associated with every service they offer. Symbols like these can be easy to create from scratch.

Blogs

Blogging can also be a great way to add a unique touch to your plumbing website. It not only shows you are an expert in your field when you blog about plumbing, but it’s a fantastic way to drive traffic to your website. Blogging has become an important tool for marketing, mainly due to the fact that people research online before purchasing. Furthermore, blogging gives you an opportunity to talk to people early in the buying cycle by addressing their concerns.

Social Share Buttons & Social Like Icons

As we have said before, social media is the way to go. If you already have a social media account, then sharing it on your website will only advertise it more! Many websites today have “share” buttons and “like” icons where visitors can share the site’s content on their social media timeline or like the website and post it on their social media page.

Mobile Friendly/Responsive

Websites with a responsive design naturally get more hits than those who don’t because of how many people use their smartphones. HVACWebTrends.com said plumbing websites “have forward-thinking, digitally-savvy contractors. These companies are investing heavily in digital assets for their companies.”

Plumbing Website Must Haves

Now that you have an idea of what the popular plumbing website trends are, take a look at the must haves for any plumbing website. Accompanying popular trends with must haves will only boost the traffic to your plumbing website!

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