November 15, 2014

Is it time to you redesign your website?

Trying to figure out if it’s time for a redesign?  You’ve come to the right place.  Choosing when to redesign your site can be difficult since web design is constantly changing.  And just like that new phone of yours, there will be a newer model out next year.  It’s not always the right choice to redesign, but here are a few easy ways to tell how.

Responsive Design

Mobile website is vital for increasing your website ranking.Unless your site was designed in the last 2-3 years, your site probably isn’t responsive.  Responsive design refers to your content adapting to the screen size it’s on.  In laymen’s terms, it means mobile-friendly.  I now consider this a very basic standard for all websites.  If iPhone users are having to pinch and zoom and struggle with surgeon-like precision to tap your menu items, it’s probably time for an update.

Aside from making your site look better and more professional, you’re reaching a larger audience.  These same visitors could mean lost sales or clients if they can’t use your site from their phone.  Nowadays, a responsive website is essential for your online business.

Consumer confidence

Along those same lines, visitors are more likely to trust your site if it looks professional and clean.  Plain and simple- if your site looks like it was built in the 90’s, you’re losing potential sales.  Personally, I don’t even browse sites that look outdated.  It’s not because I’m superficial, it’s that if the design is that outdated, is the content any newer?  And if it’s a business, are their doors or even open?  Or is this some remnant of a business that once existed?

That being said, when redesigning you want to hold on to your brand and identity, especially if you already have a repeat business or clients.  Finding a designer who will listen and incorporate some elements of your old design and color scheme.  Users enjoy new designs if it brings value to the table, but you may scare off old customers if they can’t even recognize the company.

Usability

When your user enters your site, is it easy for them to find what they’re looking for?  Does the navigation system make sense?  Is there an option to search for content?  When a user enters your site, you only have 3 seconds to capture their attention.  This might seem extreme, but it’s true.  A good design will let users find exactly what they’re looking for quickly.  Even better design will lead the visitors eye to the right place and increase conversion, but this is a topic worthy of its own article.

And of course, there any dead links or buttons these need to be fixed.  We’ve even had users come in and their contact forms didn’t work.  If this is you, find yourself a developer ASAP.  You’re just bleeding potential customers because they can’t get in touch with you.

Content Management System

Content Management System WordPressNowadays, your site should allow some level of editing without being tech-savvy.  If you’re having to call a developer every time you want to change a sentence, then it might be time to jump into a Content Management System.  There are many different CMS’s out there for all different types of projects.  WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are the big three.  Which one is the best?  That’s very debatable, but I would argue that each has its own place depending on the type of project.  WordPress is probably the most user-friendly and with the largest community behind it, you have a big net to fall back on.

While some people think these systems are only for bloggers or basic editing, they’re actually quite advanced and in the right hands, very powerful.  We’ve developed many custom applications and plugins to work from inside these systems that allow from basic user management all the way to API integration with custom software.  If you can come up with an idea, it can probably be done.

TL;DR

Your website is an investment in your business.  With a properly designed and developed site, it will reward you greatly.  We all have outdated clothes in our closet that we wouldn’t be caught dead in a business meeting with.  Why should an outdated site be any different?

If you’re not sure whether it’s time or not, or your simply ready to make the leap- give us a shout.