One of my favorite pastime is scrolling through websites randomly just to see the design layouts. This gives me inspiration. There are truly awesome websites that I come across and this is one of them –https://www.spaceneedle.com/home/.
Then, there are sites that clearly look like they need to be updated – not just the design or the layout, but also the content.
Then there are sites which are in the middle – where the design is not so outdated, but the site still looks like it can be pruned up a bit. I sometimes wonder if the site owners know that they need to update their site? But, then again, how do you know if your site needs an update? How often do you update the layout, colors and the content? How much do you need to spend on the re-design? Is it worth it?
So, first thing we need to look at is:
Why do I need to redesign my site?
Your website is mostly your online store – whether you are selling physical products, digital products or your services. You hope to gain new clients and keep your old ones.
Let’s assume you have a physical store. You will make sure the store is presentable, it is up to date, clean and visible to your old and potential new customers. You work hard against your competitors to make sure your site is more visible and visually attractive along with stocking the latest merchandise in the front to attract your customers.
Since for the most part, your website is your online store, you need to work just as hard to keep it updated, clean and visible (through SEO) to your customers. Just having a website up is not enough anymore. You need to work and yes – spend a little money to make it work for you.
Re-designing your site means so much more than just re-doing the design. It means making sure that the content is up to date, the site is updated to the latest versions of any software you are using, and most importantly looking at data to make sure you are giving your customers what they are looking for.
So, again back to our question of how do you decide if your site needs a redesign?
How do you know if your site needs an update?
Let’s look at some factors that will help you decide if your site needs an update/re-design.
When was the last time you updated your website?
If you have not worked on improving the look and feel of your site in the past 3 years, then it is high time you do it now. When it comes to websites, a lot changes in 3 years. If you do not keep up, your site soon looks very outdated.
Has your business changed?
Has your business model changed? Have you added new products or services? If yes, then you need to make sure that your website has the new
Do you have an online store?
If yes, then is the online store up to date? Are the products easily visible and accessible to your users? Are you getting enough sales from your store? If the answer to any of the above questions is a ‘No’, then you should consider redesigning your site.
Is your site mobile friendly?
Having a mobile friendly site is really important. More and more people are viewing and purchasing through their phones and tablets. If your site is not truly responsive, then you are going to lose visitors. But, you do not have to completely redesign to make your site mobile friendly. There are ways to make your current site mobile friendly.
Are you trying to get more visitors to your site?
You might have some great products and great content on your site. But, if the content is not easily accessible, you are going to lose visitors. To improve this situation, it is best to think about how to present your content beautifully on the site so that people will stay longer and eventually buy your products or services.
How often do you need to update the layout, colors and the content?
Your site needs to have content updated regularly. In the case of large sites, it is advisable to go through your content monthly and make sure everything is up to date. If you site is small, updating it every 2-3 months should be enough.
Usually having a blog where you are adding new articles on a regular basis helps you add the latest information to your site. This also helps with SEO. The other pages need to be updated on a regular basis too. Make sure your homepage is showing the latest products and other information is easily visible. If you have a lot of events on your site, you need to make sure that the old events are not showing up on top. Sometimes phone numbers and addresses change and they need to be fixed on the website as well. Keeping your site updated also lets your customers know that you are detail oriented which in turn helps your business.
Regarding the layout and the colors, I wouldn’t necessarily change them frequently (as this takes away the familiarity for your users), but would change it every couple of years or so. This will help you prioritize your content and attract more visitors to your site.
How much do you need to spend on the re-design?
This is the most important thing of all. Many of the sites are not updated as they cannot spend a ton of money on re-design every couple of years. But, you do not need to completely overhaul your site every couple of years. You can change the layout of the home page or blog page or services pages. If you use a CMS like WordPress, it makes it easy to add page templates which you can swap for a new look. Getting a page template created wouldn’t cost you a lot of money compared to a complete site design.
You can change the look and feel of your blog page, or your sidebar by reducing clutter. You can add/remove items or text or images from all the pages and make sure all the content is current and updated. This will keep your site fresh and will help keep your site visitors longer.
But, that said, once every two – three years, it is advisable to consider a re-haul of your site. Many things change in the world of web design and development. New features become available which help make your site faster and give you more control over the site. It is always advisable to make use of these to build a better site for your users. Re-designing also helps you go over the site’s content and remove the unnecessary content.