If you’re a new company or else you began with a fairly small design budget, the entire website creation process was probably a stressful and even frustrating experience. Since it was your first attempt at creating a company site, the end result was likely less than stellar.
The above scenario is quite common so it’s perfectly okay so long as you understand that at some point, you will have to embark on a website redesign project. It is easy to become blind to your website’s flaws either because of a lack of design knowledge or else you’re simply too proud of the site to see its problem.
We would encourage you to take a long, hard look at your website and see if any of the following descriptions are appropriate. If any or all of them are, it’s time for a website redesign!
1. It isn’t mobile friendly
Take out your tablet or Smartphone device and try to access your website. If it isn’t mobile friendly it will probably take an age to load and when you finally land on the site, the text will be tiny and the pages will be almost impossible to navigate.
According to Hubspot, mobile now accounts for 2/3 of the time spent online by Internet users. Just think about the number of possible consumers and visitors you’re losing by failing to optimise your website for mobile users. The solution is to pay for a responsive website upgrade and start reaching out to mobile consumers before it’s too late.
Design by akdcreative
2. It no longer corresponds with your brand & marketing strategy
Your website should clearly correspond with your company’s core values. If you are in the middle of a branding change, your website must be part of the transformation. Remember, your website is your digital identity and it influences how customers perceive your brand.
A well designed website is your #1 marketing asset so make sure it is a good ‘fit’ for your brand. This means aligning the design with existing marketing materials. For example, if you favour a certain colour scheme for your logo design, it should also be used in your website redesign.
Check out the home page of Figgy & Plum, a baked goods subscription service. There is absolutely no doubt as to what this brand is all about!
Design by DSKY for Steve.wood
3. It is invisible to search engines
No matter how pretty your website looks, it is a gigantic waste of space if it is failing to attract visitors. Think about the keywords that best describe your industry and type them into Google. If you can’t see your site on the first couple of pages (ideally on page 1), then a website redesign is essential. A 2015 study suggests that only 8.5% of web traffic goes past Page 1 of Google. In other words, your site is hard to find on page 2 and almost invisible from page 4 onwards (the first 3 pages make up 99.6% of traffic).
There have been a range of Google algorithm updates including Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird. The search engine giant is committed to improving user experience (UX) so the days of keyword stuffing and other tired SEO practices are long gone. Learn more about the best up to date SEO practices and apply them during your website redesign. Get it right and you should see your site sail towards the top of the rankings again.
4. It takes forever to load
Just to be clear, ‘forever’ to the Internet generation is measured in seconds! According to a KISSmetrics study, 49% of Internets users will abandon a page if it takes longer than 10 seconds to load. This rises to 80% if the page takes longer than 20 seconds. The study also found that even a one second delay leads to a reduction in conversion of 7%. This equates to $2.5 million lost annually if your business earns $100,000 a day!
Test your website to see how fast it loads and consider the following ways to increase load time (again brought to you by KISSmetrics):
- Reduce image size.
- Don’t resize images using HTML.
- Consider using PlugIns such as WordPress’ SuperCache.
- Look into Amazon Cloudfront or another Content Delivery Network (CDN) to bear the brunt.
- Use GZIP compression.
- Load CSS and scripts in external files.
5. It Looks as Dated as Space Invaders
A lot of people love classic video games but boy do the graphics look appalling by modern standards! Web design has evolved so quickly that websites created just a few years ago can look like the equivalent of the Super Nintendo today.
Unfortunately, an outdated website leads to an extremely poor first impression as visitors automatically assume that your company is either unprofessional or even obsolete. Frankly, a dated website will not be ‘mobile friendly’ nor will it be representative of your brand. If your site brings back memories of Porridge on TV due to its ‘vintage’ appearance, a website redesign is essential!
If you look at your site and feel burning pangs of shame or embarrassment, it’s time to get your house in order and seek a website redesign. However, it isn’t always obvious that an update is necessary. Get an outsider to give you an honest appraisal of your site and test it regularly to ensure its load time is quick and it still reflects what your brand stands for.