Sometimes website redesigns are necessary. The question is, how often and when do I know I need a website redesign?
Obviously, redesign work requires budget and time, so you don’t want to just do it for the sake of doing it. There needs to be a reason and a purpose. Here’s a list of 11 indicators that you may need a website redesign.
1. You don’t have a website.
This may seem obvious, but some businesses don’t. I’m sorry, but using Facebook for your business website just won’t cut it. You just don’t have control of content and ownership as you would for your own domain and website. Perception plays a large part in acquiring new clients or customers. If asked a lawyer for their website address and they told you to visit their Facebook page because they didn’t have a website, what are the chances you would do business with them? Treat your own business the same way. Get a domain and a website.
2. Your website isn’t easy to update.
This may be fixable and not require a redesign, but you need to do something. If the software isn’t easy to use or too complicated and you need to do the updates yourself there are a couple options: you can either get some training or hire someone to do it for you. I’d suggest first call the original developer and see what training they have available. If that doesn’t work out, it may be time to move to a platform that you can update and manage.
3. You don’t have access to make updates
This is not as fixable as above. If you don’t have access and are forced to contact the developer for updates, it’s time for a redesign and a platform upgrade. You need to move to a Content Management System that you have access to and can update yourself. It’s OK to hire someone to do the work for you if you prefer or don’t have time. But, you don’t want to be forced into that.
4. The content on your website is out of date
OK. Now, that’s silly. Do a website redesign because my content is out of date? No, it’s not. You may not only need a redesign but changes elsewhere in business that manages your website. The simple fact of the matter is: if you could keep your website up to date, it would already be up to date. It may be any number of reasons, including the couple listed above.
5. Your website isn’t mobile friendly.
Having a mobile website isn’t an option any longer. We’re seeing about 50% of website visitors are now using a mobile device of some sort, phone or tablet. Outside of the Search Engine Result hit, its’ just not fun for visitors to scroll around and zoom in and out to read your content. Make it easy for them a get a mobile friendly site.
We have worked with clients in the past and successfully modified older websites and made them mobile friendly. These are special situations, though. Typically, a mobile friendly design will require some rework on some parts, if not the whole site. Reworking the code and not the design usually isn’t a good idea, you still end up with the old dated look, but now it resizes.
6. It just has a dated look. You know, like bell bottoms.
Styles change. Something that was carefully built years ago may just not look right today. There are a couple good indicators that you have a dated looking site:
- Animated gifs of dancing anything
- Best Viewed in Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer or any other browser (remember those days?)
- Using too many images in the layout or design
- Using a clear pixel for positioning stuff
- the layout uses tables.
- using flash
If you’re not sure how to tell, contact us and we can help you here.
7. It doesn’t fill the screen on newer monitors.
When you open up the website on one of those newer monitors it’s a skinny website or all the way on the left side of the screen. I think you know what I’m talking about. Modern designs will adapt to the screen and may not fill the complete screen on the largest size, but will at least look good.
8. Your website makes you cringe.
You know that feeling. You don’t want to send people there because the look, content or something makes you cringe every time you look at it. So, you don’t. You ignore it and it will just go away. So, will your visitors and your customers. If if you get that feeling when you look at your site, it’s time to address it. If you feel that way, it’s likely your visitors do too.
9. Your website was built 10 years ago
This isn’t a reason to redesign your website, but an indicator. If your website was built 10 years ago, it’s likely you’re also experiencing some of the other issues on this list. Technology and design trends change. Make sure to keep up to date.
10. You see error messages or broken parts of your site
If there is a part of the site displaying an error message or is completely not working the way it should, it’s time to address that. This may be an indicator that you need a redesign. Error messages on a website may be introduced through website updates or it may be an indicator that your working with outdated code or platform. As technology moves along, hosting platforms are constantly updated with the latest version of software. You may not have immediate issue, but eventually, error messages may result in the website not loading at all. Outside of functional issues, error messages on a website will damage credibility with website visitors. If it’s a functional part of the site, like the contact form, you may not be receiving contacts and leads. Now that’s a direct loss of income.
11. Your website’s been hacked
A hacked website is bad for a lot of reasons, not in order of importance.
- browsers and google will block access to hacked websites
- loss of reputation
- google will blacklist (or remove) hacked sites from search indexes.
- you may infect visitors with malware or viruses
Even if you cleaned it up, there still may be something wrong. It’s time to redesigning the site or moving it to a more secure platform.
If you find yourself on this list, that doesn’t mean it’s time to jump into a redesign. Every business and every website are different. Your situation may be resolvable without a complete website redesign. If you identify with one or more of the points on this list it’s time to start the conversation within your company and seek advice and consultation from a website design or marketing company.