When it comes to website design nothing beats a website designer’s knowledge, experience and talent. Whenever a website designers involvement is discussed all clients usually see is dollar signs whizzing round their eye balls Bugs Bunny style, but we don’t live in a cartoon world so this really isn’t the case.
Website design isn’t like a switch – you don’t have to have a complete redesign … or not, there are different options, and any decent website designer should be able to advise you of that.
The first place to start looking at whether you need a redesign, or even anything doing at all, is by taking a good look at the website you already have. The chances are that if you’re thinking you need a website redesign, you already know deep down that you need one. You’re just overwhelmed by the enormity and importance of it all. There are options for every budget and all you need to do is know what they are, and ultimately what’s best for you.
In most cases the need for a complete website design is already apparent before the decision is made. Here are the 10 top reasons we find a redesign is needed:
Google’s last algorithm made sure that every web page needed to be mobile friendly, and for good reason. Over 60% of all searches are now conducted on mobile media – and that figure is only set to skyrocket. Every inch of your online real estate needs to be mobile optimized, and that means a redesign if you aren’t. But that’s not a bad thing. If you don’t do it your page will never score higher that 6,700th place (read in to that ‘invisible’), so there’ll be no point in doing anything to it ever again.
Incorporating social media, add new functionality (like new menus or interactive pages) and lacking in calls to action are roughly the same thing – Your existing website is not capable of providing the interaction that is now standard in online marketing. Every time a new platform or technology is launched it needs to be able to be integrated into your website, if you can’t you’ll quickly fall behind.
Calls to action are vital to any marketing website and if your website does not have one of every page it will not get the results you want. Adding a few on new pages may be possible if your technology will allow it, but will not enough to change the results to make your site work as well as it needs to. These factors mean you need a redesign.
Another reason a complete website redesign in needed is that your original site is not user friendly, you have recently had a rebrand and it looks outdated. Image matters with a website design. If your potential audience cannot navigate your website, or don’t like the look of it, they will leave – quickly! In an age where online advertising is more abundant that rats in a city sewer system , you can’t afford to rule yourself out of consideration because all the your photos have people in flares and hippie headbands, driving cars that went out of production before you were born.
One problem that makes hiring professional website designers a no brainer is if your web technology is old and incompatible (Flash anyone?) or your website struggles to keep all its parts up at the same time. This also includes if your first website was a free website that you made yourself. An impressive website is the only way to attract more customers, but it also has to stay up and react quickly to whatever media is being viewed. This take technical know-how to be done long term, and that means putting your pages in the hands of a professional website designer.
There are other options, but one that is a real alternative is ‘freshen up’ the appearance of each page. The information is the same, but the look is completely different. This is called ‘putting a skin on it’.
The appearance of the chosen skin can completely transform the look of the space, incorporating a rebrand and new images so that it looks like a new site, but really isn’t. This option is much cheaper as the work involved is only cosmetic and not techno deep. It’s a ‘quick fix’ option, but may not be the right option.
It may be very tempting to look at the cost comparison and opt for a new skin, but if you have any other problem than 1960’s man being your image icon, they will only transfer to the new site. If these problems annoy you, you can bet your bottom dollar that they are annoying your customers too. If you don’t take the time, or advice of a website designer, you could waste your time and money investing in a skin because any other flaw will come back and haunt you – it will just look prettier as it taunts you… and your customers.
Think about it; if a prospective customer comes to your old website and gets irritated with a certain aspect of your site, irritated enough to leave. They then return a couple of months later to see a fabulous new site, and go ‘WOW! Hallelujah! It’s all fixed and sexy!’, only they find that all the problems that existed previously, exist still – right down to the spelling and grammar mistakes. What will that make them think of the company brand? It may be that quality is not important to you, but you can be really sure that quality is important to them.
Only choose a skin if 1) you really do only have a problem with the colour scheme of your current site, or 2) your budget is so tight it won’t stretch to anything else. There are no other reasons to choose a skin.
In this marketing day and age, your website is everything, so take advice from the people who know. And who knows website design better than a website designer?