#30:My P.I. Website Upgrade and Options you Should Consider for your Website

Some significant changes have been made to my business website and I feel much better about how the website is coming together.  I have made minor adjustments like font modifications and color changes that will happen in the upcoming weeks, but the big stuff is taken care of.

If you have watched the video that shows where my website is ranked in Google, you will see what my business website looked like prior to the current changes.  The colors were very bland and the website was pretty ugly.  I had moving slides on the home page but it looked very awkward.  Below is a picture of the home page and how it previously looked.  To see what it looks like now click on the picture.

The WordPress theme I was using in this picture was called Station.  I purchased it from Woothemes over a year ago.  The theme examples always seem to look better than what I can personally do with the settings.  In the old version of my website I had a home page, mission statement, services (surveillance and SIU), credentials, a contact page and a FAQ page.  I didn’t feel that there was anything wrong with the content, so I kept the content for the new version of the website.  The Station theme didn’t provide enough options to customize my website so I was very constricted in what I was able to do with it.

I am now using a Woothemes template called Canvas. This theme has provided me with much more flexibility in designing my site.  I have a slide bar on the home page however this slide bar allows me to add pictures to it and it also allows for some writing to be placed on the picture.  The design is very eye catching and professional looking. Below is what I have added to the website and the reasons for the additions.

A Blog was added

I decided to add a blog to the website for several reasons.  The first reason was for Search Engine Optimization or (SEO) purposes.  It is very important for my business to be found in Google search results.  Adding content in a blog will give my website a push upward in the search results and allow my business website to be found through other private investigator related searches. Going forward with this business blog I am going to tailor many of the articles that relate to local activity.  The first blog entry I have relates to fraud that was foiled in the city of Tacoma.  I recapped the highlights of the fraud and linked to the original article.  Additionally I added some brief thoughts and opinions on the article to give it a more personal feel.  I don’t want to just rewrite the news.  If you want to check out the blog article click here.

A Paypal Button was added

I don’t know why I didn’t add this before but it was needed.  I added a “Make a Payment” page to the website. On the page is a simple Paypal button with a drop down menu of predetermined amounts of $100, $500, $1500 and $2500.  I could have made the payment options open to an undetermined amount however I figured if a retainer was going to be sent, it was likely to be one of those amounts.  The reason I believe a Paypal button is important for a website and business like mine is because of the diverse type of work I currently do.  I have received calls from all over the country and I need to make it easier for the client to send me a retainer.

Note: A Paypal button may not be needed for your website if your client base will never use it.  If you are doing work for insurance companies or TPA’s, you will likely be sending them invoices only.

Service of Process added to Services

I have been a registered Process Server in the state of Washington for almost 2 years however, I haven’t actively marketed that service and as a result have only conducted a couple of them over the years.  I am going to add the service onto the website and see what comes of it.  Of the few times I have been assigned to serve papers it has always been in a rush and when it is in a rush it makes me nervous that I will not be able to serve the papers in time.  There is a great process server in the state of Washington that provides classes from time to time in the state.  His business is the 4th Corner Network.  I will likely try to attend more seminars by the owner in the near future.

A New Business Slider was Added.

The slider is much larger and much more professional looking then the previous one.  I can make the slider clickable or just informative.  The slider allows for an excerpt to be placed on the slider picture.  I am happy with the overall look of it.


A Snap Shot of the New Look

Here is a snapshot of the new look. Click on the picture to head over to the website.

Just an FYI, today (7/30/2012) I began receiving calls again for business.  I don’t know if it has anything to do with the website remake yet but at least the calls have begun again.  I will keep you informed as to the website rankings and whether business actually is impacted by the website change.

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  1. Hi there, I too have found it difficult to update an aging website. I have looked at several themes and templates but can’t seem to find something that is superior to what I already own. My problem is I have so many different services both in private investigation and family law that it does not show well on most of the themes. I love the look of flash, but of course flash does not go well with best SEO practices.

    I started 7 years ago on a Homestead make your own site which lasted a few years before looking terribly out of date. I wish I had started off with WordPress which is much easier and gives many more options. Now I’m with WordPress, but as I said is now aging.

    Recently my website got hacked and I (LOL) went into shock. However, there is a company that will clean and restore your site within just a few hours. They charge a relatively modest yearly subscription fee to keep your site clean. Boy, do I feel like I dodge a bullet.

    Thanks for the article and for reading mine.

    Tom – a PI out of Austin, Tx