It is early in 2019. We all made it to the end of 2018 and determined to make 2019 even better. Right? As I wrote in another newsletter [2019 New Year’s Resolutions] we often make resolutions to begin a new year. Some of us manage to complete our resolutions successfully. Did you consider that it may be time to redesign your website? Perhaps that is something to resolve to do early in 2019.
When is it time to redesign your website?
A website, like most things, has a shelf life of 3-5 years. Just like your car, refrigerator, and computer, you have to update and upgrade your website. Think of it this way. You walk into a home, and instantly you feel like you took a trip back in time. You find yourself in the home of Wally and Beaver; the house is perfectly 1950s! What do visitors see when they open your web pages? Are they taken back to an era long past? Another way to consider the change is the difference between digital TV sets and HD TV sets and small screen versus a large screen. Your site visitors notice the difference immediately.
Time and resources
It takes a significant amount of time, talent, resources, and money to create or redesign any website. Before you decide to take that plunge to make a change, consider a few questions. In short, the point of a redesign is to increase visitors and keep things working smoothly. If your current site does that, then perhaps all you need are some tweaks. We will talk about that more in a moment.
Questions to consider
Other than seeing cyber moths fly from your web pages when someone opens your site, there are concrete items to review and help you determine whether you redesign your website, or you incrementally make changes that freshen the site.
- What do your clients want and expect? What are other sites in your industry showing and providing?
- Is your site vaccinated and current with its shots? Your website security may be an issue because you have not kept the tools updated. Your site is vulnerable to being hacked and may potentially spread disease (virus, trojan, malware) to your site visitors. That would ruin your reputation!
- Is your website responsive and flexible? More and more persons are using smartphones and tablets to access web pages. The smaller screens require your website to adjust everything you see. If your site’s mobile version or tablet version is not conducive for viewing, you may lose credibility. You will lose visitors!
- Do your web stats show a decline in conversions and an increase in bounce rates? High bounce rates often mean that people are not finding what they want to see on your web pages. Lower search results indicate that your web pages no longer are current on the words people use to find web pages and information. Higher bounce rates mean that customers are leaving your website too quickly. Instead, you want them to stay on your site and look around.
Two renovation plans
There are two ways for you to redesign your website.
The first method is obvious: a full-blown redesign. In this method, every page and all of the content is reviewed, modified, and reconstructed for a fresh design and feel.
The second method is to come up with a long-term plan. Then, make planned incremental changes. You do not want to make random changes. Instead, take the time to think through your site and come up with steps to make a difference.
Think of it as method #1 as building a house from the ground up while method #2 is working a well thought out remodeling of your site. The latter is completed in steps just as you would a makeover in your home.
Redesign your website
Regardless of the remodeling method you choose, you need to start with the basic questions: What is working? What is not working? What does my target audience want to see? Your website is one of the most valuable marketing tools you have. It is essential to keep the site fresh looking and up to date with information.