Is it Time for a Website Redesign?
Bridget O'Connor, business2community.com
As with most technology these days, we typically have to update or swap out our gadgets every few years. This also applies to websites. The general rule of thumb is to redesign your website every 2-3 years. This may seem excessive, time-consuming and costly, but as website design trends and technology continue to evolve quickly, it’s important to stay up to date and aware in order to keep your business ahead of your competition.
It’s difficult to be objective about your own website. While you may believe it looks great and performs as smoothly as the day you launched it 5 years ago, there is no doubt that it’s dated today. Especially if the backend technology has not been updated regularly. An older website can suffer from performance issues that ultimately cause less traffic and conversions.
Can You Answer ‘Yes’ to the Following?
- Can you confidently say that your website design is user-focused?
- Is your website always optimized with current technology and does it deliver what prospects are looking for?
- Are performance and improvement checks done on a regular basis?
Band-Aid Solutions Don’t Work
As a company grows and evolves, so does the information they have to share with their current and potential customers. A common band-aid solution is to continually reformat and add on to the existing website. Additional content, images, videos, and widgets are placed wherever there is extra white space, and an ever-growing laundry list of dropdown menu items are implemented. There are few upgrades or improvement checks performed, so the result is that over time the site becomes slow and dysfunctional.
When a site becomes overcrowded, it loses the original visual hierarchy, navigation flow and speed making it difficult for the visitor to follow a logical course of action. New content and images quickly get lost in the shuffle as they compete with the overload of information the page is presenting.
Keep it Modern and High Performing
Since your website is the digital front door to your business, it’s often the most important marketing tool you have, so ensuring that the design is modern and well-structured is critical. It needs to have up-to-date aesthetics, relevant content, easy navigation for user-experience and SEO.
Internet consumers are fickle and impatient. When it comes to decision-making, it takes a split second for a prospect to determine if a site is aesthetically appealing, easy to navigate and has the information they want. If not, the ‘back’ button will quickly take them to the next site. 94% of users cite bad web design as a reason for not trusting some websites. When your competition is only a click away, it’s imperative to build trust in a matter of seconds or you may lose a potential customer and 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.
5 quick ways to check if your website is outdated:
- It is busy and confusing with information overload and too many images that leave little to no white space?
- Take a look at the copyright date in your footer – is it from 5 years ago or the current year?
- Are your blog entries from 2 years ago? This not only gives your visitor the impression that you don’t update your site, but might lead them to think that you’re no longer in business.
- Is your site slow to load? This alone can cause a drop in traffic and damage your business.
- How does your site view on mobile or tablets? Have you tested it lately?
Over the past few years, website design has become very clean and user-focused with a big emphasis on mobile-friendliness. Look at your competition’s websites. If they’re ahead, this is a good time for you to update your site. As design trends are constantly changing and evolving, so should your website. When you gain trust with your visitors, you give your business a substantial competitive advantage.