Your website redesign – how to know when it’s time
We all know that a website is a big investment. So when you have one up and running, you may be keen to squeeze as much value as possible out of it. However, there can come a time when your online ‘face’ is doing your business more harm than good – and that’s the time to think about redesigning a website for your business.
Signs it’s time to consider redesigning a website
In our experience, as a small business owner you’ll start to think seriously about redesigning a website in the following situations:
Low initial investment
Your initial/current website was done ‘on the cheap’, either self-designed or outsourced to a designer whose main selling point was affordability. The look, functionality and/or content of the website is not keeping pace with your business.
The initial website was built on a proprietary platform and there are steep costs whenever you want to make changes or add new functionality, or some things just can’t be done the way you want.
Fallen out of love or contact
You’ve either ‘fallen out of love’ or lost contact with your original web designer and are unable to make changes to the site through them. This is more common than you might think.
Business or environmental shifts
The business and/or the marketing environment has changed substantially since your website was designed and the website needs substantial changes to get up to scratch. What was a cutting edge website in 2007 might not be quite up to current standards.
An ambition to do more
You want to be able to embrace the full potential of digital marketing and use your website more effectively to grow your business and automate some parts of the marketing process. Your current setup doesn’t allow this.
How often is this going to happen?
You may feel despondent about having to redesign your website. It’s a pretty big job and when you built your initial site you may have considered it ‘case closed’. But with the rapid pace of change in online marketing, it’s fairly typical for businesses to need to revisit their website design every 3 or so years. It can be helpful to think of a website like your car – once it gets to a certain age, you have to consider whether it is worth maintaining it or upgrading to a new vehicle.
Keep in mind, you may not need to start completely from scratch. If your website was built on an open source system such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal, it might be possible to refresh and restructure the existing site to bring it up to your current needs.
Our preferred platform for most of our small business sites is WordPress (see why so many people love it here). If you have an existing self-hosted WordPress site, we can look at whether updating the look of your existing site is going to meet your needs, or whether it needs a complete rebuild.
If you do need to start your website over again, ensure your web developer understands how to protect your SEO ‘juice’ by implementing 301 redirects from existing pages. And future proof your site by choosing an open source platform.
Website Resdesign Audit
Start with an audit of your site
We’ve put together a self-audit checklist so that you can carry out an audit of your own website (or get a friend who’s not afraid to be cruel to be kind to help you out). If you’re a pen-and-paper type, you can download a checklist version.
Feedback from others
- Do your customers say any positive things about your website?
- Do your employees like your website?
- Is it obvious in an instant what your business does and who is does it for?
- Does your site design signal that you are a reputable and established business, not one that cuts corners? See this fascinating article about how users judge a website’s trustworthiness.
Look and feel
- Is your branding included in the design (not just shown in the logo)?
- Are the images high quality and consistent in style?
- Does your site look like it’s in touch with current styles?
- Is the typography legible?
Usability and functionality
- Is the menu navigation clear and intuitive? Does it feel easy to use or do you need to work hard to find what you need?
- Are your contact details easy to find?
Quality of content
- Does the copy talk about benefits rather than features?
- Is the text clearly structured using headlines and sub-headings, body text or bullet points as needed?
- Is the language as simple as possible, while still clearly explaining what you offer?
- Is there information about the people behind your company, for example on an ‘about us’ page?
- Is it easy for you to add fresh content, for example blog articles or portfolio items or change outdated content?
- Has the content kept up with any changes to your business since your website was designed?
- Does each page or post contain at least 300-500 words?
- Is there a clear call to action on each page?
- Is this the action your visitors are looking for?
- Is it easy for visitors to take action you suggest, for example do they need to enquire about a product and shipping costs or appointment availability, or can they simply ‘buy now’ or ‘book now’?
- Does the site work as well whether you visit it from a phone, tablet or desktop?
- Is your permalink (URL) structure set up correctly?
- Are all pages search engine optimised with keywords, meta description, and content?
- Does your site load quickly and completely?
- Is it free from broken links/404 errors?
Is your website part of your marketing ecosystem?
- Does your website look good in comparison to your competitors?
- Do you find yourself constantly giving excuses for your website or avoiding sending people there?
- Does it save you time marketing your business?
- Is it bringing your any new business?
- Does your website tie in nicely with your ‘marketing ecosystem’ – for example is it linked to all your social media accounts, email list, inventory or accounts system?
Is it delivering results?
- Do you find yourself constantly giving excuses for your website or avoid sending people there?
- Is your website bringing you any new business?
If you answered no…
If you answered no to the majority of the questions in this list, it is time to seriously consider redesigning your website. It could be just the boost your business needs.
Where to start with your website redesign
- Write down exactly what you want to achieve with your updated website
- Start collecting some examples of websites (within or outside your industry) that you feel have a look or functionality that you love
- Check out our articles on briefing your web designer and starting your web project the right way
- Contact us to have a look at your website to see how we can help (obligation free!).
Think you need a redesign? Book your free assessment
Contact us on 0404 086 140 or drop us a line for an obligation-free website review
I would highly recommend using Hook and Loop.