How do you know when it’s time to redesign your website?
I want you to ask yourself a quick question – how long ago did you get your current website? Was it 1 year ago? 5 years ago? More?
Chances are, if you have a website for some time and you haven’t given it much love lately it might be time for a redesign or at least a once over with a fresh set of eyes.
Luckily, upgrading your website isn’t as scary as you think and in this article we outline some tell tale signs that it’s time to give your site a spruce up!
Common signs you may need a website redesign
If any of the following tell-tale signs you need to upgrade your website sound familiar, it might be time to consider a website upgrade!
It just doesn’t “feel” right
When you view your website it just doesn’t look good. The colours aren’t right, the images no longer work and the overall feel gives an outdated or unprofessional vibe. Your competitor’s websites look much more modern, clean and professional and make their businesses look better than yours, even if they’re not.
Like stepping back in time
You look at your website and it’s like stepping in a time machine to the place the internet was years ago. The font is too small, your site looks tiny on modern screens, is hard to read and just doesn’t fit with all the new styles and advances in technology over the years.
You can’t edit your text and images yourself
Many older websites were built before content management systems like WordPress were common place or don’t have an easy to use editor. They were often built in code by web developers who you have to pay every time you want even a small update and you find this extremely frustrating.
Has a separate mobile site or doesn’t adapt to mobile devices
Does your website look like a tiny miniature version of your site on mobile screens so small that you can’t read it, and when you try zooming in you end up having to drag the screen around just to read a normal sentence?
Or maybe you have a separate mobile site that needs to be updated by your web developer separately to your main site and looks like a series of buttons with no real design? Costing you double each time you make a change?
Your website keeps getting hacked
As technology advances so do the skills of hackers. If you’re not constantly upgrading your site and maintaining it’s security, you’re putting your reputation and business at risk. Older websites are much more vulnerable to attacks, resulting in costly repairs and potentially losing your site, your content and data all together!
It’s costing your business
We’re often asked what a new website will cost but the real question here is what is your current website costing you?
People sometimes are shocked that a new website can cost several thousands of dollars, but when they realise that upgrading their website could earn them thousands more in new business each year, that number quickly becomes a small investment.
You may find that you’d even be better off having no website at all than a website that poorly represents your company. For many customers, your website is the first impression they get of your business. What is your current website telling people about you?
4 Steps to re-designing your website
When it comes time to redesign your website, we’ve had a lot of experience in making the process as smooth as possible. Here are 7 of the steps we take, so you can learn and take the hassle out of your next website redesign.
1. Planning & Discovery
First, you need to work out what the business goals are for your site. You might like to read up on how to plan your website for more leads here.
Next, you need to look at what elements of your current site are working well to meet that goal, what elements need to be added and what elements need to be scrapped all together – seeing the top pages people visit in your Google Analytics and Google Search Console are great places to start.
Look at other websites to see what you like the look and feel of. This helps you pick fonts, colours, images and other design elements you like. If you have an existing branding or style guide, that’s great, you web developer will work within those guidelines.
Once you have all of this, sketch a rough mockup of where all the elements on your website need to go, then you can get a developer to help you build your vision.
2. Re-Design Your Website Layout
During the next phase phase your web designer work with you to create a layout you’re happy with. We like to create the designs straight onto our development server using the Divi builder so you can actually see how the elements will move and respond on different devices, rather than just looking at an image, so you can provide feedback and we can make the updates in a live environment.
We work on the homepage design first and get that agreed upon before moving forward with the other sub pages.
Next, we mockup the unique sub page designs for the site that require specific layouts and design work. We make sure to design layouts in both desktop format as well as mobile format so we know how the site will look and adapt to multiple devices.
3. Your Website Content
In the planning & discovery phase of the redesign we also work with you do update and revise the content structure of your website. This falls into two categories.
Your Website Sitemap / Hierarchy of Pages:
The sitemap is the main hierarchy of your website. It provides a visual representation of all the pages on your site and how they link to each other. It also outlines all the pages that will need text copy written and what images may be required.
Website Content (Page Copy):
Once your sitemap is established, set up folders in Google Drive to store all the content for your pages. You can place all the old content from your existing website as Google Documents too to be revised and updated.
This allows you to update and edit the content and provide a central repository for all content for the website. This can be done while the designs and mockups are being built (preferrably before) so that once the site is built, the content is ready to go and can be added straight away.
4. Website Development with WordPress
After the design and content phases are complete it’s time to do the final development of your site in Divi and WordPress. This is where the functionality is implemented, your content, images, forms and functionality are checked.
Once the development is completed, we do thorough testing of the site to make sure that it displays properly across all browsers and mobile devices. We then send you a test link of the website for review. After the site meets with your final approval, it is launched live for everyone to see!
There are many steps to consider when thinking about a website redesign. The key is to follow a structured process to avoid a bandaid, ad-hoc, short sighted website solution.
When the design, content, and development happen in a planned organised and concurrent manner, your website redesign will go smoothly and you’ll end up with an efficient, timely and and excellent result for your business.