Redesigns are becoming a bigger and bigger part of business here at nrichmedia. Sometimes we use existing designs and tweak them here and there but more often than not we start from scratch because the world of web design – styles, colour and features, to name a few – is constantly evolving and it isn’t good to get left too far behind.
Thanks to Google Analytics and other web stat programs there is hard proof that people are put off by dated websites. Potential customers are looking for current information and even if your content is up to date, your site design may send them searching for someone else before they read up on your fabulous services.
7 signs that your website needs a new design
1. One of the most obvious signs is the width of your design
800 pixel wide sites look very narrow on today’s monitors which range in resolution width from 1024 to1680 (over double the old resolution) and even higher. And, if you are still using an old monitor you are one of only 2% who are doing so. Since pixels are what we “webbies” think in, here is an easy way for you to assess your site: take a look on the widest monitor you have access to and see if the site has lots of empty space on either side.
Compared to current design widths:
2. Your colours, icons, graphics and/or photos are dated.
If the people in your stock photos are dressed in ‘80s clothing or your icons and graphics are from 10 years ago, you may want to follow the web rule of thumb that recommends updating approximately every two years.
The improvements in web design over the last few years have resulted in wonderfully complex and artistic designs without the same demands on space or downloading time. And, things that used to take designers days (embedding videos, flash features, photo galleries etc.) now take a couple of hours which is great news for the client.
3. You have added new content, pages, images, videos and social media icons over the years and they are now crowding out your design.
With some organizing, a new menu and splitting up long pages, your site can be way more visually appealing and much easier to navigate. People are no longer willing to scroll through screenfuls of information so several short pages is better than a couple of long ones.
Also, you want people to see your social media icons and click through so these should be in a prominent place on your site. The following is an example of an overly busy page, where your eye doesn’t know where to focus:
4. You haven’t added new content, pages, images, videos and social media icons but really want to.
As outlined in a previous newsletter, Keeping it Fresh, it is important to update your site on a regular basis.
New content is important for improving your search engine optimization/Google rankings and for encouraging your clients to return to your site for updated information, newsletters, events or specials.
New images are important for keeping your site visually updated. Would you return to the same clothing store over and over if they always had the same things on display? Even if you aren’t selling a product, your website is the face you put forth to the world and is often people’s first impression of your business. You want to show them that you are up to date.
5. Your business focus has shifted or expanded.
If you started out on your own, selling eco cleaning products from home and now you have a store, five employees and a whole line of green products from clothes to furniture, your website needs to showcase everything you do. A little note on your site saying “More in store!” won’t be enough to entice people. Also, an online store will increase your sales and highlight all of your products.
Similarly, if you used to offer general counselling services and now you specialize in teen and family therapy, your site should illustrate that with graphics, colours, images and by rewriting some of your content so that you rank well with Google for your specialty. A good example of highlighting specialties can be seen on Allan Findlay’s site where he has a unique home page with his three specialties illustrated with three boxes and the colours for each of these carry through to that section of his website.
6. You have a new logo, business card, brochure and/or other marketing material that does not match your site.
Consistency is important. If the person holding your business card goes to your site and the two things look completely different they may presume they are in the wrong place. Redoing all of your marketing material at once can be quite an investment but it is worth ensuring consistency wherever you can. We can discuss your budget and options for your website. If you are wanting a short term solution, changing a few colours and putting your new logo up on your site can be a good start until you are ready for your redesign.
7. Last, but certainly not least, your site just looks outdated.
It isn’t always easy to quantify what can make a site look outdated. If you aren’t sure whether your site falls into this category we suggest you try the following:
- Check out your competition. What are their sites like? Do they make you feel envious?
- Ask your employees, friends and even customers.
- Look around online and see if there are site designs you really love. Are they quite different from what you have now?
- Check your thumb – the rule of thumb is that you should update your design every two years (especially for bigger companies/heavy traffic sites), and smaller businesses should aim for at least every three years.