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28th September 2018When is a redesign necessary?

Doug - Business Development Director

By DougBusiness Development Director

We investigate the potential reasons you may have for redesigning your website. Have a read through to get an insight into when a redevelopment of your website may, or may not be applicable!

So you’re thinking about changing your website…

We hear all sorts of reasons from our clients as to why they want their website redesigned, ranging from the especially now very standard ‘my website isn’t responsive and doesn’t work on mobiles’ to the more advanced ‘my whole business has transformed and the current website just doesn’t fit with our new brand’.

Whatever your reasons, be sure that you have a good one because a website redesign is not something that you should just undertake for the sake of it, and to stomach the time and cost there’s got to be a tangible benefit at the end of the process be it more leads, more sales or just more efficiency.

So what are some key reasons for wanting a redesign?

  • Responsiveness and performance on mobile – The most popular in the modern era, and with good reason – the value of a good mobile browsing experience is not to be underestimated. Not only from a user perspective with users becoming more aware of good and bad mobile experiences and more people now browsing the internet from a mobile device, but also from a search engine perspective with Google continuing to crack down on non-responsive sites! With modern websites, it’s not just enough to have content readable on a smart phone, you must offer an engaging mobile user experience. So, if your site either could perform better on a mobile, or it’s not responsive at all, then you should certainly consider a redesign.
  • Feedback – This is a really important one, especially for those who have a high traffic volume website or perhaps an e-commerce website where tweaks in user experience can make an enormous difference when it comes to converting website visitors. Feedback can either be in the form of a focus group, perception based on reviews/comments from users or using analytical tools to see what’s working and what isn’t.
  • A change of brand/new direction for your business – This is where a redesign is essential. A change of brand or a new direction for the business means that not only will the whole website need to change but the messaging and calls to action will also need to be re-thought. To try and shoehorn these into an existing website is almost certainly a mistake. The whole user journey is likely to be completely different and there’s nothing worse than having a new logo and colour scheme incorporated into a design that wasn’t built with it in the first place.
  • Stale and out of date – This can be a really good reason, it’s usually vitally important to ensure your website is modern and cutting edge, although this is dependent on your target audience. A young, energetic target audience will embrace a new site but an older, more set in their ways target audience may hate the new layout as the button they always clicked on has moved so judge this reason on who you’re looking to target.
  • Poor performance – This is often a good reason for change. If your website is performing poorly and losing you clients then you need to find out why as very small design tweaks on areas that have a clear call to action can often make a big difference to the number of enquiries made through the site. Investigate this before deciding on a full blown redesign, but if something fundamentally isn’t working that can’t be easily changed then a redesign would be appropriate.
  • Website not aligned with business aims – This can either be a result of not getting your existing website aligned with business objectives when it was built, or the business changing and evolving. For example if you have a downloadable booking form on your website that visitors download and send in, you may want to look at taking this online as your business grows and evolves. In this instance having a booking system online can help scale your business as not only will the booking process become easier, the admin hassle of processing forms and payments will be greatly reduced as everything will be automated. On top of this, you’re helping the environment too!
  • Keeping up with the competition - Another reason we often hear is people wanting to keep up with the competition, either because their largest competitor has released a glamorous new website or because they have a few competitors that are always ahead of them in search engines. Keeping up with your competition is vital, but don’t forget that their new site you’re jealous of may not be ideal for your target audience so give a little time to see how they’re doing before following blindly down the same path. And crucially here, think about your own business and audience so you build a website that works for your audience, as opposed to a website that’s a better version of your competitors new site.
  • It just doesn’t have that wow factor – Be careful with this one as this can often be very subjective and result in unnecessary change for change’s sake. It’s very easy to look at your own website all the time and fall out of love with it for no real reason. Unless you’re getting a lot of feedback from external people actually visiting your website then think carefully about this and possibly ask a group of impartial people for their thoughts. You may find that actually it’s you who thinks the site doesn’t have the wow factor when in reality it’s very popular with those who matter. Having said that, if you get impartial feedback that the site is lacking, then it could be a signal for change.
  • Poor search engine performance – Poor search engine performance can lead to people thinking they need a redesign. This is the reason most dependent on the quality of your site as it is. If your website is good visually, optimised for mobile devices and generally performs well but just doesn’t get enough traffic, work to optimise with what you have got as often a few tweaks to both the technical and content structure of the site can see big search engine improvements very quickly.
  • Out of date content management – Nowadays content management on the website is a given. Any CMS worth its salt can give you control over what you want to manage on your website so if you don’t have a CMS that offers this, that’s often a good reason to change. Although value becomes a big factor here. What are going to be the tangible benefits of having improved content management? A publishing company, for example that uploads 30 articles a day and has a CMS which is difficult to update is likely to benefit hugely from an easier to use, more modern CMS, but a business that wants to manage the about us page of their website will likely not get tangible benefits from moving their website to an improved CMS.

So what to do?

Well, whatever your reasons hopefully the above has given you some kind of insight into the benefits, or potentially otherwise of a redesign and if you are looking at overhauling your site make sure you think carefully about why and that you’re doing it for the right reasons, not just the sake of it! And if you’re unsure, feel free to pop in to our studio to have a chat. We can take a good look through all potential benefits and drawbacks of a redesign and advise on an appropriate solution, and when to take action.

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