15 signs it’s time to invest in a new website design
Time flies. Your website used to look fantastic, a cutting-edge piece of design that showcased your business to perfection, contemporary and wonderfully easy to use, delivering a dream of a user experience. You turn your back for five minutes and suddenly… it doesn’t! Here are the top 15 signs that indicate the time is ripe for a website redesign.
15 reasons why you need a website redesign
- Is your site old? The age of your site is important. Some website designers simply apply the four year rule, which is a good way to make a sensible decision. If your site is more than four years old, you can more or less guarantee it’s past its use-by date.
- Is your design outdated?Looks aren’t everything. But they matter. If you’ve noticed a brand new breed of websites with a very different design, adopted by everyone from ourselves to giants like Amazon, you’re not alone. The new look is inspired by the wonderful Avada theme, our favourite, and it’s proliferating at remarkable speed. And eye-appeal can be enhanced with today’s exceptional visual effects thanks to dramatically better image and video manipulation tools.
- How’s your UX? The user experience is key. Clunkiness in any form puts people off. Brand new developments in the technology underpinning your site, and the tech people use to access it, can drive profound changes in the things people expect a website to do. Falling behind can put visitors off. If your site still isn’t mobile friendly, for example, users will avoid it in favour of those offering a better experience.
- Search engine visibility fail – Changes in the search landscape also matter, as Google and other search engines constantly refine their algorithms. To benefit from good visibility in natural search, you need to stay ahead of the on-site SEO game, something that many old-school CMS simply don’t allow for.
- Ongoing maintenance and management – What about the person who maintains and manages your site? If you want the power to manage your own site instead of handing every tiny change to a developer, great back end tech is a vital attribute. You want yours to be simple to update, a fast and intuitive CMS that gives you a distinct competitive and financial advantage over slow, complicated back-ends.
- Has your target audience changed? If so you’ll want your site to change in line with their wants, needs, desires and expectations.
- Does your site reflect your goals? The same goes for your goals. Business goals rarely stay static for any length of time, partly because it’s impossible to predict the future. You might have realised that product A sold a great deal better than product B, or that target audience A are the people you most want to get on board. In an ideal world your website should change in line with changing business targets, aims and ambitions.
- Super-slow load speeds – Load speed is taken into account by search engines and Remarkably, humans can notice delays of just a few milliseconds, which means a fast, smooth load helps you keep users on-site and satisfied. If your site slows down or hangs, they’ll click away. If your pages take more than three seconds to load, it’s aeons in digital time and you’ll need to speed things up. A redesign is often the best and most cost-effective way.
- .. autoplay! If your website includes an autoplay function and starts playing music, video or audio whenever someone lands on a page, that’s a big disadvantage. Users tend to hate it. People prefer to control when they hear or see stuff on a site.
- Change of use – Basic functionality matters, too. If you started off simply taking enquiries from your site – a two-step marketing process – but analyis reveals selling direct from the site will drive a better bottom line and cut out all sorts of unnecessary interim complexity, you’ll want to add an ecommerce function. Bolting it onto your existing site might not make technical or marketing sense.
- Is your content doing a great job? If the content on your site no longer reflects what you do, how, when, why, and for whom, a redesign might well be the best way to achieve the perfect content marketing-led focus. The same goes if you’ve lost your brand voice along the way, or never developed an effective tone for your brand in the first place.
- Bounce rate misery – Do you know your bounce rate, the percentage of visitors who click through to your site then leave in record time because they haven’t found what they want? If it’s high or increasing, it’s a clear sign you need to re-think your site design.
- Are you social? Social media forms the backbone of every marketing strategy worth having. Old fashioned sites don’t always take social media into account, and crowbarring social functionality in after the fact can be tough. You want to seamlessly integrate social media into your site.
- Flash is deadly – Getting down to the nitty gritty, if your website uses the multimedia platform Flash, it won’t get indexed by search engines. Ten years ago Flash was a must-have, now it’s a no-no. And, worse still, it comes with some serious security vulnerabilities that you’d do well to avoid altogether.
- Putting lipstick on a pig – Last but not least, it may well turn out to be cheaper, faster and more effective to start from scratch than attempt to put lipstick on a pig. Trying to bring an old-school site up to date isn’t often the best way forwards. Starting afresh delivers more, better, faster.
If you’re still not 100% sure whether your site design needs bringing up to date, ask around to see what the people you trust think about it. That includes you. If you find yourself wailing, gnashing your teeth and tearing your hair out every time you use it, a website redesign is in order. Let’s talk!