As part of next year’s budget, the ASHI board of directors has approved the redesign of the ASHI website. The truth is that it was time and needs to be done. ASHI is the industry leader in home inspection, and its website should reflect that status. That’s not to say we are going to spend money lavishly on the new site. We have a budget and we plan to stay within it. Requests for proposals were sent out in September, and we are currently going through those companies that responded to determine which one is the best fit for our vision and needs.
It’s obvious to anyone visiting our site that visually, it is dated. But there are other more serious problems that need addressing. Navigation is extremely difficult on our site (as many of you well know). If you need to find some document or some piece of information, you sometimes have to go five levels into the website to find it. It’s not intuitive. Logic makes you think you should find something in one section, and it’s not there. That’s because the site has become a “quilt” of information over the years. Information and documents have been added here and patched in there.
Another important concern about the website is something called “SEO,” which stands for Search Engine Optimization. We have very poor SEO with our current site. SEO is the metadata embedded in all websites. Metadata are words not just on our site pages but underneath that users can’t see but the search-engine algorithms can. That’s what draws users to our site when they type in words to look for in Google or Yahoo or Bing. And our current site has few of those words for the search engines to find. In fact, it’s pretty amazing we show up as well as we do in searches.
This is a huge undertaking that will take several months. We ask for your patience. The old website will remain up and running while we work on the new site. We hope you will be pleased with the results.
Steve Hawkins, Ashi Reporter Editor