Is Your Website Ready for a Redesign?
By Brad Stitgen
As the saying goes, nothing lasts forever. In today’s fast-paced digital world Websites are certainly no exception. While an up to date, modern, a website can be a real asset for your business — the opposite is also true. Poorly designed, out of date websites can be a detriment — with the result being lost sales and frustrated customers. Not something any business wants! With this in mind, I’ve come up with a list of signs that your site just may be due for a makeover.
Signs it’s Time for a Redesign
Does your site use Flash?
At one time Flash was hot. Flash was cool. Then came iPhones, iPads, the need for good SEO, and a growing impatience for slow loading websites. With the great alternatives to Flash available to web designers and developers today, it just doesn’t make sense to Flash for websites.
Is your website a simple HTML website?
By this I mean, was your website built on a content management system (cms) such as WordPress, or does it require knowledge of HTML to make even the simplest changes to the website. These days all websites should be built on a CMS.
Does your website look out of date?
Just like clothes, cars, and interior design what’s in style is constantly changing. And while driving around in an early 60s classic Corvette might be cool, having a late 90s style website — not so much!
Is your site difficult to navigate?
Has your website been added to and modified so many times the past that the site structure resembles the Winchester Mystery House? It’s not uncommon for a website that once had a cohesive architecture to lose its way as more and more content is added.
Was your website built using tables?
Back in the early days of the web, websites were built using a technology known as tables. The problem is, table-based websites are time-consuming to modify, slower to render browsers, and can be limiting in terms of design. In short table based designs have no place in modern web design. Today’s websites should always be built using modern CSS layout practices.
Is your website over five years old?
Five years ago Adobe Flash was still popular, websites were still being built using tables, and local SEO tactics included stuffing website footers with the name of every local town a business served. A lot has changed in the past five years. Both in terms of design and how websites are built and managed. While having a website that is over five years old does not mean it must be rebuilt, having it evaluated by a knowledgeable web designer will likely reveal areas that can be improved and brought up to date.
Is your website difficult to update due to too poorly written code?
While having a site built using outdated tables would certainly qualify as poorly written code, even CSS based sites can be difficult to modify. This can be due to an inexperienced developer or simply the fact that coding styles can vary from developer to developer.
Does your website fit your business and your customer’s expectations?
A design that’s appropriate for one business may be wholly inappropriate for another. For example, sites meant for young children are commonly bright and colorful, thus giving off a playful vibe. In contrast, bank websites typically display a much more conservative design style to convey a more serious tone. Having a website that’s wrong for a particular business can cause customers to form the wrong opinion of a business. This can be especially problematic for potential customers whose first exposure to a particular business is through their website. And as we all know, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. In today’s market, for many businesses, having an effective website is an important first step in turning a potential customer into a satisfied repeat customer.
Is your website difficult to use on a mobile?
Gone are the days when websites are displayed solely on a desktop computer. The huge popularity of mobile devices, both phones and tablets have changed the way web designers are building websites. With their relatively small screen size, lack of a mouse, and touch panel displays, websites designed before the tablet era can sometimes be challenging to use. These days it’s important to keep in mind when designing a website that it will be viewed not only on the desktop but on mobile devices as well.
Websites are a very cost-effective way for businesses to reach out to potential customers as well as to serve existing customers. That said, the Internet, like all things technology-related moves pretty quick. Having an old out of date neglected website can be a hindrance to a business. These days, for most businesses in competitive markets (and what market isn’t!) having a professionally designed up to date website, is a must. And for those businesses that are fortunate to have competitors with less than ideal websites — having a modern, well thought out professional website can be a real competitive advantage.