Create consistency when using two different website platforms

By Ilana Davis

When you walk into Starbucks, you generally expect to have the same experience regardless of which Starbucks you walk into.

It shouldn’t matter if you go to a Starbucks in New York or New Mexico. The experience is usually the same.

They will all have music playing, the same beverages to purchase, the same green apron, and the same great customer service.

Why would a website be any different?

Many organizations use two different platforms for their website. Perhaps their main website is on WordPress and they use Shopify for their e-commerce shop.

Why keep the experience the same?

Well for one, your customers don’t know when they’ve gone to a different platform.

If they click on your home page and see a navigation menu and a footer menu, they are going to expect the menus to be the same. Meaning when they click on your product page, if the navigation menu changes, they may get a bit confused.

What do you think your customers’ reaction is going to be if things don’t look the same?

It’s possible they’ll take one look at the website, think it’s different, take a pause causing them to slow down, lose interest because, let’s face it, we have a 10-second attention span, and they leave.

Even worse, they think it’s not the same company and lose immediate trust. How many times have we clicked on something on accident and you quickly close it for fear of a virus.

They may then think that your website isn’t legit and straight-up leave and never come back.

You’ve also worked really hard to build your brand. Imagine if you walked into a Starbucks and saw a menu that isn’t familiar at all. If a footer structure completely changes, your consistent brand message has too.

What makes a website consistent?

There are a few things that we come to expect with brands.

  • Colors that are consistent throughout the site.
  • Navigation and footer menus are in the same place and don’t change from page to page.
  • Links are all the same color and/or include an underline to designate a link.
  • Images, icons, and videos have the same look and feel as well as similar sizes.
  • Buttons, forms input fields, and lists look similar.

How can I be consistent with two different website platforms?

Since many platforms have their own styling elements, it can be difficult to keep that same consistency across platforms.

Usually, you can achieve consistency with basic web design changes. For example:

  • Pick themes from each platform that are similar.
  • If one platform has a limitation (eg only two columns in the footer), use that as your base design for the other.
  • Use custom CSS to style buttons, background colors, hyperlinks, etc. if it’s not possible in the platform.

If you don’t want to throw thousands of dollars down the drain on a website redesign, you’d be better off fixing or repairing what you have.

My Website Rescues is designed for that. I fix a few dozen problems that plague Shopify and Squarespace stores.


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