Technology, design trends and how your customers interact with websites are all changing, driving a wave of website redesign initiatives for businesses of all sizes—and the changes go way beyond look and feel. The functionality, presentation, load speed, and level of difficulty around updating sites are prompting website redesigns on the daily basis.
Is your website several years old? Do you ever feel as if your business has outgrown both its look and functionality? Do you get the creeping suspicion that you’re being left in the dust? Below are seven questions you should ask yourself if you’re wondering whether it’s time to redesign your website.
Is your website responsive?
There has been a very big push in the last couple of years to make websites more device-friendly. With a growing number of websites being accessed by a wide array of devices and platforms, the web design community has responded by rethinking the way it designs websites. It is no longer good enough to design a website for a desktop or laptop computer, especially with millions of people accessing the Web on their Smartphones, Tablets, TVs, gaming, and music devices.
Does your current website follow the principles of responsive web design? Can it be easily viewed on all devices—from large desktops to Smartphones—without hindering the experience? If you cannot confidently say “yes,” then it may be time to review how your website is working and considering at least changing your current website to be responsive.
Is it hard to keep updated?
When was the last time you updated your site? Why? If the answer is because it is hard to update, then determine why this is. Is it because you just don’t have time or you don’t have the knowledge? If you just don’t have the time, then make it a priority. Both search engines and customers appreciate a site that offers fresh new content. But if you find that making even the smallest update prompts a confused call to your website designer, then this could be a sign that your site needs a revamp.
You need to keep your site updated and fresh. If that is difficult to do, then take some time to evaluate why that is.
Are there functions and features that are no longer used?
As websites mature and grow, certain parts stop working well or just become outdated. Example: Facebook Fan boxes that show who among your friends likes a particular site. Do you similar features on your site that no longer serve your purpose?
Social media share buttons have been getting a lot of flack recently; some web designers argue that they are not as effective as they once were and are swearing to remove them from their sites. Is there something similar on your site that isn’t working? If so, then it may be time to either remove it as part of a strategic restructure or redesign.
Does your website take a long time to load?
This is closely related to responsive web design. Web designers are optimizing their clients’ sites to load faster by not downloading so much information when a visitor requests a page. This is partly because ISPs (internet service providers) and mobile networks sometimes place restrictions on the amount of data we can use in a given time period. With these limits being placed on our usage, we would be doing a disservice to our visitors if we make them download tons and tons of information, imagery, and scripts just to view our site.
Most web developers agree that if your site takes longer than five seconds to load, then you should look into optimizing your site. After about five seconds on slower bandwidths, people become disinterested and will seek what they’re looking for elsewhere.
Are visitors navigating past your home page?
This may be hard for you to gauge unless you have special analytics software running on your site that lets you see what visitors are doing. Google Analytics is an excellent free resource that is easy to install on your site. Using this or another analytics service, look through your stats to see if people are navigating deeper into your site. Often, there are metrics and things already calculated for you to tell you this, but if not, then take a look at the last couple of weeks’ worth of visitors.
If you are starting to lose visitors, then you should either take a look at your home page to see if you can make it more enticing, or consider a complete redesign of your site to make visitors want to navigate further into your site, understand your value and convert.
Is your site slowly losing visitors over time?
You may be noticing a slow, downward trend in overall visitors coming to your site . If so, you may want to consider revamping either the content on your site or your entire site to entice more visitors to come and visit.
When your site starts looking like it hasn’t been updated in a while, visitors will be turned off and will go elsewhere for their needs. Search engines will also not rank you favorably in this case, as they like sites that are constantly being updated with new content.
When was the last time you completely overhauled your site?
It seems like such an obvious question, so why don’t we have this at the top of this list? A general rule of thumb is you should completely revamp at least the look of your site every two to three years, and possibly the functionality as well. Web design is often playing catch-up with big consumer technology trends. For instance, we have had smartphones for at least six years, but we are just now starting to look at website design as responsive to the device we are using.
If you can’t remember when the last time you completely revamped your website was, then that is a good indication that it may be time for a redo, simply because technology and design trends have probably changed significantly since the last time you even thought about your website.
Ultimately, you have to make the decision on a redesign
If one or more of the situations above apply to you, then it is time to revamp your site so you aren’t left in the dust.
In the end, you have to make the decision on whether your website needs a redesign or not. If you are starting to get the feeling that maybe it is time to redesign your site, then contact Planet Media and chat with us about why you feel your site needs an update. We can help you determine if your site just needs some tweaks or if it is truly time for a brand, spanking new website to keep your business front-of-mind with the audience that needs you.