Redesigning your website shouldn't be about just changing its look and feel. As technology continuously changes, redesigning and refreshing a website goes much deeper than the way it looks. Things such as improved functionality, presentation, increased load speed, and how easily they are updated are things that should prompt a website redesign.
Questions like these will help you assess where your current site stands and where you could possibly make improvements:
- What do you like about your current website?
- What is missing from your current site?
- What do you want your new site to do that the current isn't?
- What platform do you want your site to be built on?
Redesigning a website is a big undertaking, so there must be a clear vision and real purpose for it. There must be a problem that needs solving or something that is lacking on your site. The way sites are being used is changing and evolving. Here are some additional tell tale signs that can help you decide if its time for a redesign.
Your business has grown
If your business has grown since the launch of its website, it's time to re-evaluate it to make sure it meets the requirements of your business needs. You may want to engage your visitors in social media or publish company wide updates on your site.
Your current site is not responsive
With the huge array of products that are able to access the web that are out on the market, there has been a push to make websites more suited for these devices. It is no longer sufficient to design a website for a laptop or desktop. There is still a growing need for web designers to create sites that are accessible to those on their smartphones, gaming devices, TVs and so on. If your current site cannot be easily viewed on all these devices, it's definitely time to redesign your website.
The current site is hard to update
An updated site is what helps keep visitors coming back. Think about it; if you came across a retail website that hasn't been updated with new products at least seasonally, you wouldn't come back to that site again, would you? The same can be said for ANY site. If periodic updates are not made, there is no reason for people to keep coming back.
If you don't have the time to update your site, find someone who can help you. If you don't know HOW to update your site, it's DEFINITELY time for a redesign. Consider hiring a website developer to install a CMS so that you can update the site yourself without any further help.
There are functions and features that are no longer used
As your website, as well as your business grows and matures, there may be some functional elements or features that are outdated and stale. If your portfolio is old, with projects listed from years ago, it may make people wonder what you've been up to recently! Include your most recent projects or products, and feature one or two on prominent pages like your home page or about us page. This will let your visitors know that your company continually grows and takes on new challenges.
Determine website redesign goals
Remember that it's not enough that you want a fresh look to your website. Since a redesign is a huge undertaking, it should only be considered when things aren't working the way they should be. Here are some measurable factors to assess when considering a redesign:
- Increase number of visits/visitors to your site
- Decrease bounce rates
- Increase time spent on site
- Drive organic traffic
- Increase speed
Determining goals before you consult a web design company will help you stay organized and help create your vision. Of course they can help you in determining some additional goals that you may have overlooked or not thought of otherwise.
Make notes of your high-performing assets
The main goal of a redesign is to improve the performance of your website. Your current website may already have some assets that have been built up over time and are important to your site. These may include:
- Highly shared content
- High-trafficked pages
- Top performing pages
- A large number of inbound links to individual pages
It would be wise to make notes of these assets so that when you DO head into a redesign, important pages and highly shared content won't get removed. This could cost you a lot of SEO credit. Provide your website developer with a list of these assets so they can implement a strategy for maintaining these critical pages on your new site.
If any of the above rings true to your website, it may be time to start gathering your resources for a redesign. Redesigning a website is about more than plain esthetics. Technologies are constantly changing, as are design trends and necessities. Of course presentation is important but make sure the proper changes in functionality are implemented.