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Jude & Chris Wharton
Husband and wife team Jude and Chris work together, live together and raise their children together. This wasn't an imposed COVID situation they actually chose this years ago!
They speak today on how they manage that their work-life balance the frictions that were there in the early years and what they did to overcome them and we also touch on their speciality which is website optimization.
Firstly it wasn't always ok. We had a lot of frustration at the beginning bringing home life frustrations into the workday and visa versa. Getting an Office outside the home really helped create separation for us. Also, we shared an office with someone when we first took the business out of the home so we couldn't really bicker in front of him.
Covid meant we were back home again and we gave up the office for now but we seem to have found our rhythm now so it's fine being home together all the time. It's just creating that end of thework day boundry we still struggle with.
What are your biggest tips for working together?
The first thing is definitely to define your roles and know who is in charge of what. We both were managers in our jobs but you can’t be a manager all the time when it’s the 2 of you it’s a partnership.
Secondly don’t listen to the comments from others that make you feel less than. Many times from friends family and business colleagues Jude would hear are you still helping Chris out in the business. Making her feel less than. But she learnt to ignore those comments knowing she did just as much work as Chris in fact the business as it is today wouldn’t be able to run if either one left it as their roles are so well balanced and complement each other.
Another thing is you can’t both go down a rabbit hole at the same time. You have to be their to support and reassure each other when needed and you can’t do it if you are both worrying at the same time or both feeling the dreaded imposter syndrome at the same time. So only one of you can break down at any one time.
So what are your top tips for honing our Websites?
Your Home Page is so important. It is likely the first page someone lands on so you need to capture your ICA’s attention.
Clear statement above the fold
Good quality fast-loading image
A call to action
Ensure your home page looks good on all devices
Also have a second call to action, so the first is the marry me CTA (ie. buy my stuff/book a call) the second is your way of getting the opportunity to try again, so offer them a free download in exchange for their email.
All of this should be happening before they have to interact with the screen on any device.
Test your website on a mobile device, more than 50% of browsing is done on a mobile phone and more again that is done on a tablet so the total of mobile browsing out ways web browsing significantly now. So you REALLY need to check everything is working well and looks good on a mobile device.
Make sure titles aren’t vanishing off the side of the page make sure you have contact forms that fit in the screen and that pop-ups can be closed.
Make sure your navigation menu is clear and consistent. Don’t use any industry jargon that the average person wouldn’t understand. Make your contact me look like a button so it’s obvious they need to click it. The colour you use for your main call to action should be the same throughout the site and the button should go to the same place, it helps build a consistent message across your site.
Don’t try to be clever with your page titles google scans these too and about it understand as does the average person but meeting the wedding warrior means nothing to either.
It will also increase the words across your navigation menu and start to make it look cluttered a rule of thumb is to keep it between 6-8 items only.
Don’t Use Stock Images
It’s a bug bear of mine and Jude and Chris agree that if you are providing a service or product you should show your work, not someone else’s.
It can be seen as false advertising and completely inauthentic and lacking in integrity which is one of the SPWV’s core values.
Find a photographer or even if it’s products then watch some youtube videos and shoot some simple images yourself if you’re just starting out. Being honest and authentic is so important when couples will be looking at your website and believing you can provide what they can see.
This is a huge issue for me as I saw a friend have her photos ruined by a photographer who had done exactly that. He used stock images on his site along with the best of his images and she booked him based on that and what she received was very much NOT what he had shown them.
Final tip each
Jude: Plan your website! Write it all down lay it all out work out what pages and what information you want where and how someone will move through your site. Doing this will mean you can create a great user experience which in turn will give them a glimpse into what working with you would be like. A seamless experience from start to finish. By planning you can then create a site very quickly.
Chris: Once you have planned and sent your site live don’t think of it as a painting never to be touched again. You need to update it regularly, your audience might change, your message might change, your packages might change.
And even if there are no major changes new content keeps you alive in google so when you get a new testimonial add it because returning visitors will notice these things and see that youare still working still showing up and still active.
Jude and Chris
Jude and Chris Wharton are the co-founders of Ready Steady Websites® an off the shelf website and membership site template service. They launched Ready Steady Websites® in 2019 and they have been running a successful digital design company, 2nd Floor Designs Ltd since 2010. They are a husband and wife team.
Before starting 2nd Floor Chris had worked in the web industry for 10 years as a designer and front end developer and managing a studio. He’s successfully managed, consulted and worked on projects for big name brands including RBS, Renault, Coutts Bank, IKEA, Mazda, Kia, WorldPay and Masterclass as well as some lesser known but equally as amazing international and local brands and businesses.
Before entering the world of web, Jude had a 10 year career in youth work, training and professional development. She has a degree in Education and Training and a Chartered Management Institute qualification in Management and Leadership. She brings all of her experience in these areas to the courses, challenges and tutorials that Ready Steady Websites® offers and to managing the business.
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