7 Signs You Need a Website Redesign

7 Signs You Need a Website Redesign

Website redesign: Do you really need it? The look and “feel” of your website can certainly have an effect on how many visitors you attract and how they interact with your site. Slow, dowdy websites turn visitors away. That means your bottom line takes a hit.

Your website is your digital calling card. These days, it’s your most important business asset. Keeping it fresh and attractive is more than an exercise in keeping up with the Joneses, though. It’s an opportunity to rebrand and refocus your business. Or showcase new products and services. Or appeal to a new clientele.

Have you refreshed your site lately? You should review it with a critical eye every so often to make sure it’s still interesting to your audience and keeping up with current design trends. Not to be trendy, but to stay relevant to your target market and generate new visitors.

Outdated sites have more problems than simply looking obsolete. Let’s take a look at seven signs it’s time for a website redesign.

It looks dated.

Old-school websites look uncared for and are not visually appealing. Adding new content is not enough if the site is not engaging. Show web surfers a beautifully designed site with a modern layout and interesting visuals. You’ll probably notice visitors spending more time rather than quickly clicking away.

Website redesign: Do you really need it? Outdated sites have more problems than simply looking obsolete.

Outdated sites have more problems than simply looking obsolete.

It’s dysfunctional/not user-friendly.

Poorly designed sites make it difficult for people to find the information they seek. They might click around for a few minutes before leaving the site in frustration. Direct your users with easy-to-locate navigation and they will likely stay longer.

It’s too slow.

Current recommendations call for webpage load times of 3 seconds in this short-attention-span age. If you can’t quickly catch a visitor’s attention, they’ll probably move on to another faster-loading competitor. Your refreshed website won’t keep them waiting.

It’s not responsive or mobile-friendly.

Unless your site is optimized for various screen sizes, it can be difficult to understand or browse effectively. Visitors view your site on everything from tiny mobile screens to humungous TV-sized monitors. Be sure they can use your redesigned website effectively no matter the screen size.

It’s a security risk or has been hacked.

Another problem with old-fashioned websites is they can be easily compromised. If you’re not keeping up with theme and plugin updates, your site is a definite security risk. Keeping your website updated is one of the best ways to deter hackers.

Your business has changed focus.

What started out as one thing has lead to another and another. You’ve totally revamped your product line or have developed new services. You no longer cater to the same market, or you want to attract a different clientele. Announce your new direction with a refreshed website to attract new visitors and impress your regulars.

To update marketing strategies.

If you’re still using outdated marketing techniques, you’ll soon find yourself left behind in this digital era. Upgrade your business model using the latest approaches and a redesigned website to promote your new direction.

Closing thoughts.

How often should you undertake a website redesign? If you have any of these issues, it’s time to get started. Don’t think in terms of years or months, though, because the website you recently launched might already be stale.

Check for tell-tale signs that your site is not performing at its best. Is your traffic down? Have your sales declined? A website redesign might be just the thing to help get you back on track.

VAWW Online is being redesigned using Divi from Elegant Themes. If you’d like more information on our website design and maintenance services, click here to start the conversation.

Before Choosing a Website Designer, Read This

Before Choosing a Website Designer, Read This

Before choosing a website designer to create or update your most valuable business asset, there is a lot to consider.

Your company website is too important to leave to chance. It should be treated with the care and consideration it deserves.

Sure, you can do it yourself, but should you? Are you adept at design? Do you understand the platform you will be using? Do you intend to manage your business AND your website with equal skill?

If the answer to any of these questions is no or even maybe, consider consulting a freelance website designer.

Are you hesitant to put this most vital business investment in someone else’s hands? Read about outsourcing successfully here.  And be sure to download our FREE guide for even more valuable tips.

You may decide that even if you plan to manage the site yourself, the initial design should be handled professionally rather than left to your own devices.

For your website to be as successful as you need it to be, it will have to stay relevant and attracting a wide audience of your ideal customers.

In the end, they will be persuaded to use your services or products based on how they see you online.

So your website is the perfect chance to impress visitors and keep them coming back for more. They might decide to make a purchase, or even patronize your storefront if you have one.

Don’t turn web surfers off with an old-fashioned site that doesn’t solve their problems. They won’t stick around if your first impression isn’t exceptional.

Before You Begin

You should know your objectives and goals for the site. If you have no idea about what your audience needs, your designer will not be able to magically provide it for you.

To attract loyal visitors, you will most likely want to produce a regular blog and use email to maintain their interest in your brand.

If you plan to sell products or provide services online you’ll need an e-commerce solution with shopping cart and secure payment options.

So review a variety of websites, including your competitors, and even some that are not part of your industry. Of course you won’t be creating a direct copy of anyone else’s site, but you can get a good idea of how to use yours to its best advantage.

Figure out how you want your website to connect with your target audience and be able to precisely convey that to your web designer of choice.

Making an Informed Decision

Accept recommendations from friends and colleagues, but also take a closer look at the websites you most admire. You’ll usually see a citation in the footer naming the designer and/or maybe the “theme” used to build the site on.

Follow up with freelancers or design agencies whose work you like by checking out their business websites. This is where you should find testimonials and a portfolio of their previous projects.

Once you’ve done your due diligence you will be able to clearly describe your goals for the website. Now you’re ready to interview a few prospective designers.

What to Expect from Design Consultants

Take some time to introduce the issues you want your website to address.  A good designer will continue asking questions about your business objectives and your ideal clients. This information provides a vivid image of the best ways to attract and convert your visitors into loyal customers.

Ask how they plan to solve your problems and evaluate their responses. Realize not every prospect is a good fit, for you or the consultant. And make your final decision based on the value to be gained rather than the cost of the initial investment.

Red Flags to Avoid

No contract. Don’t even consider working with anyone on a handshake alone. Your chosen website designer must be able to provide you with a detailed contract spelling out timelines, milestones, and deliverables. Otherwise, neither of you has an accurate idea of the project’s scope or goals.

No communication. It’s key to collaboration, and your design consultant should keep you updated on every phase of the project. You don’t want to be surprised, and the designer doesn’t want to make never-ending revisions.

Requiring full payment up front. You and your designer should agree to a schedule of payments that is spelled out in the contract. Typically you might pay 30% to begin the work, 30% at an arranged milestone, and 30% at delivery.

No defined development plan. The designer with the clearest concept of how to best serve your ideal clients using a variety of design and marketing techniques is the one you should consider. After all, serving your ideal clients is the ultimate goal of your website!

Working With Your Website Designer

Congratulations! You’ve narrowed down your choices and selected the best website design professional for your business needs. Now the collaboration will depend on regular communication and complete understanding of the project’s parameters.

Trust your site designer, but don’t be afraid to offer helpful insights to minimize revisions.

And be sure to provide any information & assets that may be required on a timely basis. Don’t be the reason your project is delayed.

To sum it up, start with a clear goal in mind for your new website or site redesign, and be able to communicate your needs effectively.

Do your research. Establish how you plan to connect with your ideal clients. Verify which qualified website designer will best bring your vision to life. And continue to communicate regularly to make the most of your collaboration.

Investing in your website is a proven way to increase your online presence and help grow your business. Here’s to your success!

This article is part of an ongoing series on how small businesses can improve their procedures and processes to maximize their growth. Are there topics you’d like to see in the future? Feel free to offer suggestions in the comments!