No matter how good your website is, at a certain point you will need a change. There are plenty of reasons to think of a redesign, but almost all of them have something in common – things do not work the way you expected them to.
When things do not work fine, you know it is the time to shake things up. That is why we have assembled a list of reasons to redesign your website. And to help you even more with that task we decided that it is a good idea to include some useful tips that will help you notice it is time to do it.
Your design is outdated
Many people create their website once and then forget for years to make any changes. Web design is constantly evolving and new trends and best practices must be followed. If you do not do that, you will face lots of problems – a not fully functional website, unhappy customers and lower traffic.
The only way to now that your web design is outdated is to follow about new trends and educate yourself. You can do that by reading blogs and online resources that cover the web design topic – like Oxxy Blog. Another great resource to look is Hubspot’s Web Design Blog.
And just to give you a heads up – a popular phrase these days is “less is more”. This sentence defines web design nowadays – people like minimalistic web design better with fewer text, more visuals and a clear “call-to-action”.
Your current design does not work
Even if your web design follows all modern rules, you may find out that it does not work the way you expect it to. A lot of things could cause that problem, but perhaps the most common one is that web designers often view a project from a different perspective from business owners. That topic is covered in Tut+’s web designer’s introduction to A/B testing.
And, yes, A/B testing is a good way to check if your design fulfills its purpose or you need redesign. Basically, A/B testing involves setting a goal and then measuring how good two different options are in achieving it. If you are new to A/B testing, a good way to start gaining knowledge into it, is by checking out KISSmetric’s beginner’s guide for the purpose.
Our tip is to start by digging into your Analytics data and see which of your pages get more traffic, are there pages that block your visitors, i.e. your visitors do not have the option to continue to another page and just leave and all other important SEO metrics.
Your website structure needs to be improved
Sometimes webmasters choose to redesign their websites not because their design is outdated or does not work, but because they need new and better structure. Taking enough time for planning could save you a lot of trouble later. We have already written about the importance of proper planning in our article How to Create Your Own Website in 3 Easy Steps.
Sometimes you think that a certain structure will work best, but then you put your website online and then find out that your visitors are not finding easily some pages or modules, or the current structure is confusing them. One way to check if you have that problem is to dig into your analytics data. If you find out that some of your important pages get a lot less visitors, that is a sure sign that you need to think of a way to change things for better.
Another sign that your structure is not good is when you constantly get questions from visitors that just cannot find what they are looking for.
You need new functions
Incorporating new functions to your website almost every time means a redesign. At some point you may often notice that you need a certain functionality that you have not thought of beforehand. Adding it at a later stage is perfectly normal and will not do any harm to your website, if you keep in mind an important aspects. The new features should not look as added to an already created and designed page. They must fit into your design as they were always meant to be there.
How to know that you need new functions? One way is to experiment. If you think that you can benefit from something new, like a gallery, a map, social bar or even something more complicated, just add it and see what happens. But, in fact, the better idea is to implement new things only after you are sure that you need them. One way to do that, is to listen to your visitors. If they want something and you can do it, add it.
Your business changes
Often business owners shift the focus of their business from one niche to another or even from one industry to another. If that is the case with you, you will want your website to be suitable for the new focus. Usually, when creating a design for a new website, web designers get inspiration from the main focus of the company and often implement aspects of it into the website design. And if you do not fix things when your business changes, you are up to a huge hurdle.
Imagine that you start off by repairing bicycles, but and your website background is an image with bicycles. But then you change your mind and decide that your main activity will be to repair cars. Now is the time for a redesign.
Your content needs better design
Content is king. But great content without proper design is nothing. You will always want to be sure that you have a proper design for your website that will allow your content to look visually appealing. In order to make the relationship between content and design as smooth as possible you need to have an answer for some important questions. In their article 7 Ways to Create a Long-Lasting Relationship Between Content and Design Hubspot advised designers to be aware of which of the content is the most important and where is the most suitable place to put it.
How to know that the relationship between the design and the content is broken? It really depends on who is responsible for each of these activities. In big projects, these are two separate roles. If that is the case, make sure that the designer and copywriter collaborate with each other and understand each other’s job. If you are creating a personal website, the chances are that you will be responsible both for the design and the content on your pages. That means that you need to think form the perspective of a designer and also from the perspective of content creator.