The pace of technological change doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. With all
the changes in the ‘web world’ – i.e. new devices, new screen sizes, new browser versions etc. you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed when trying to come to a decision on website tweaks or an entire redesign.
The first question you should ask yourself is not should I redesign my website, but rather “is my website producing the results I am expecting?” Another fancy word you might hear relating to this topic is ‘conversions’. When looking at the visitors to your website, are they “converting” into the action you are looking for.
Are your Visitors ?
- Signing up for your newsletter,
- Calling your business for more information,
- Making that purchase on your website?
These questions may be just about impossible for you to measure unless you have analytic software installed on your website. WHAT ?! You say you don’t!!, well that’s another discussion for another day. In the meantime look into Google Analytics. Google Analytics is designed for that exact purpose (and more), it’s free to sign up for and put on your website.
Other points to consider;
1) Would a redesign alienate my current users ?
If you recently went through a redesign process and your users are still in the process of becoming accustomed to your look and feel and possibly new functions, having a site redesigned too often may have the opposite effect you are looking for.
2) Is your website responsive ?
The last few years have seen an increase in screen size options and more and more people are accessing content via mobile devices. There is a design principle called “Responsive Web Design” whereby a site is designed to adapt to different devices like smartphones, TVs, gaming devices and tablets. While you may never access your website via mobile device your customers might.
3) Does your website load too slow ?
Slow loading sites are like..well.. about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.
Google will also penalize you in search rankings if your site loads too slow. Having said that there could be more factors than just your website that affect your page time load (i.e. your host server). Possibly when your website was first designed maybe images were not optimized for quick loading.
Fast Loading site = happy customers.
4) Are there “404 – not found” error messages everywhere on your site ?
If you have lots of broken links, missing images and error messages then you should consider a complete redesign. Sometimes there can be quick fixes to some of these errors but a large amount of them may indicate a bigger problem.
5) SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Is ranking high on search engines important to you and your business ? The big search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo are constantly updating their algorithms which they use to determine rankings. If you can barely find your site using your keywords on search engines, you might be a good candidate for a redesign.
6) Does the site just look “dated” ?
I know..I know, this one is a subjective question. And what one person might think looks outdated another might not. However consider doing a quick survey around the office and asking a few key customers as well if your website is looking dated. If the answer is a resounding “Yes” than you likely need a redesign.
If you are looking for a rough timeline I often see the recommendation of a complete revamp at least every 3-5 years. I know this may sound like a short time period to some but when you take a hard look at how fast technology changes you can see how this time frame makes sense. Example: Did you have Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Google+ sharing icons put on your website 5 years ago ? Likely not.
These are only a few points to consider when making your decision on whether your site just needs some minor tweaking or an entire redesign. If you are starting to get a gut feeling your site is dated then contact a web designer and discuss your concerns with them. A web professional can help you determine if now is the best time for a website redesign.
What are your thoughts ? how often do you do a redesign of your website ?
p.s. Not sure what works and what doesn’t on your website, book us for a roadmapping session and we’ll develop a plan to get your website back on track.