When to Redesign Your Site
Reassessing Your Company’s Digital Front Door.
It’s the middle of summer. Clients and associates are on vacation, mentally if not physically, and businesses everywhere are in
the traditional seasonal slowdown. So NOW would be the perfect time to take a step back and reassess your company’s website. I like to tell clients that their website is the center of their marketing universe. Since it’s that important, I suggest they use the following checklist to give it a yearly check-up and determine if they need a redesign.
1) It Just Looks Outdated — Styles and tastes change, and websites are no different. In general, sites are now designed with an eye towards what they will look like on mobile devices— desktop, tablets, smartphones. They are wider, with more visuals and less text, layouts are streamlined and less cluttered. Also, current design trends lean to using animations to add movement, brighter colors, and bolder typography.
A narrow, text-heavy site with lots of small elements screams 1998
2) It’s Not Consistently Responsive — By now, every site should be mobile friendly as people are “living” on their smartphones and over 63% of website visits are via mobile devices. Add to that the fact that Google will only index responsive sites in for searches conducted on mobile devices. Designs need to adapt to all of them so users can recognize your branding and access your business wherever they find you. You need to provide a consistent, seamless experience on all of those platforms, with e-commerce and other functionality working across devices.
3) It Doesn’t Reflect Your Current Marketing Strategy—Remember what I said about how tastes change? The same is true for your company. It is continually evolving. Your website is often the first point of contact potential customers will have with your business, not to mention the fact that you need to keep current clients interested. It needs to stay current and consistent with the rest of your marketing strategy.
Does it reflect your current brand identity, strategy, logo, and even colors? Are the mission statement, product, and service offerings up today?
4) Bad User Experience — I like to say that “You’re always only a click away from oblivion.” Visitors to your site have lots of other options, and a bad experience can cause them to go elsewhere. A lot of small problems can add up to a bad experience, and a bad experience can hurt your business’s credibility. Are you getting complaints that content items are hard to find? Watch out for broken links, confusing labels, slow loading times, typos, unclear, uninteresting, or outdated copy, and poor or low-resolution images.
5) You Can’t Update Content Yourself — I once worked with a developer in Vermont who would disappear for weeks at a time. It was like working with the Unabomber. He was very skilled and knowledgable, but his unavailability made updating a site an adventure. Happily, there are now a number platforms, WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace to name the most popular, that allow you update content without any coding, saving you the hassle of having to hunt down your developer every time you need to make a change, giving you control, saving you time and money.
When you are ready for a redesign, it’s best to work with a professional. Start with strategy, audit your content, and be sure to allocate enough resources. This can be an exciting process that will allow you take a second look at your business, analyze your mission and goals, culminating in a well designed, easy-to-navigate site that will set the stage for your continued success.
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