Why Your Website Need A Remake

The website, for some, is a branch to a brick-and-mortar store, and for others, it IS the store. You’ll be hard pressed to find many successful businesses, large or small, that don’t have a website today. Haven said that, just having a website isn’t enough. It needs to reflect your brand, be user friendly, invite people in; rather than scare them off.

So how do you know if your website is doing all those things? How can you determine whether it’s time for a remake/redesign/makeover/redo? If your website is guilty of any of the issues we discuss below, then the answer is NOW.

It’s not responsive: Simply put, a website that is “responsive” automatically adjusts to fit whatever device someone is using. Since more and more people are using smartphones and tablets to surf, research, and shop, this is important. In fact, even if your site doesn’t make the other issues we list below, you’ll still want to plan for a redesign because of the responsive design issue. Yes, it’s that important.

An Important Note: if you don’t have the money to invest in creating a site that’s responsive, you do have another option. We can create a mobile version of your site for a nominal monthly fee (your mobile URL will have an “M” at the front of it). Yes, there are definite cons to this option, but you’ll at least be able to keep most site visitors happy (for now) until you can invest in proper responsive design. But consider this a temporary solution.

An Amateur who “dabbles” in web design built your site from his room: Sureā€”it was SUCH a great deal at the time. You only had to pay in the form of "Glo Recharge Card". And hey, the site looks OK, or at least it did years ago when you were starting. Many of us have been there, and there’s no shame in operating on shoestring budget and taking advantage of free help/trade, especially when you’re first starting out. But here’s the problem: things that are done on the cheap usually read that way in real life, especially when amateurs are involved. So take a hard look at your site right now.

  • Does it look professional?
  • Does it reflect the business you own today?
  • After visiting other sites are you proud to give out your link to others?

Bottom Line: If you didn’t have a web pro design your site, now might be the time to re-do it.

The site went live 10 years ago: While there’s no set guideline about when a business should re-do its website, a good rule of thumb is to at least consider the idea every three to four years. You don’t necessarily need to gut it, either (responsive design issues notwithstanding). Sometimes simply bringing in some new photography or headers or playing with color, fonts, navigation, et cetera; can give it the “refresh” it needs.

You launched the site before you understood the tenets of web marketing: Maybe the site looks good, but it’s not optimized for humans, search engines (through SEOSearch Engine Optimization), or mobile devices because you had no idea about any of those things when you launched. It might be frustrating, but if that’s the case, then make a plan for redeveloping your site so that it’s working as hard as it should be.

You’re seeing other indirect red flags: Do you have customers asking the same questions over and over, even though you know you provide written answers to these questions somewhere on your website (although you have no idea where the actual web page is located)? Does your site have an extraordinarily high bounce rate (something you can see in Google Analytics)? Are there key pages that get very little traffic, even when people are on the site? Do customers and employees complain about load time or other tech issues? Don’t forget, when we talk about web design, we’re talking about more than just the look and feel: we’re talking about the navigation. We’re talking about functionality. We’re talking about relevancy (e.g. product/service offerings, et cetera). You might have a site that looks great, but some other issue on the backend is affecting things (such as load time). Pay attention to these red flags and rethink your website, at least on some level.

Your brand has evolved, but the site hasn’t: When we talk about “brand,” we mean so much more than your company colours or logo. We’re talking about your company’s essence: its heart, its message, its place in the world. It’s normal for your brand to evolve. But when it does, your website needs to as well; otherwise, you’ll be sending mixed messages. Your site will be all about the “old” brand, while in other places, like social media, you’ll be talking about your new brand. Conflicting messages are never good for business. Make sure your website gets the update it deserves.

You’ve conducted user testing: Congrats. Conducting user testing is a great way to get objective, independent feedback on the usability of your site (and any other questions you pose to users). And it doesn’t need to cost as much as you think. Services like UserTesting.com offer cost-effective packages for small businesses. If the user testing reveals issues with your website’s design, functionality, or any other issue, take it to heart. Of course, just as it’s easy to ignore the real reasons why you should give your website a makeover, it’s also easy to overthink things and decide you need to revise your site constantly.

 

So, when shouldn’t you redesign your site?

When you’re bored with it. Don’t forget, you’re surrounded by your company’s message and collateral every day. You might be bored by something you see and experience all the time, but it’s unlikely that your customers feel the same way. So resist the temptation of making a change just because you feel “it’s time.”

When you don’t have the funds to do it right. Quality websites are an investment. Hold on a little longer until you can make that investment.

When your mother-/father-in-law tells you to. Or your sister’s best friend. Or that one customer who complains about everything you do, no matter what. In other words, don’t make a change based on a handful of comments or feedback. If you’re ever in doubt that you’re doing it based on the wrong feedback, consider conducting some objective user testing.

 

You May Also Read Up Why You Need A Website

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