It’s not enough to get a superbly designed website and then sit back and forget all about it. With the digital space changing by the day, technology advancing at supersonic speed, and customer profile shifting rapidly, your website could soon become a bit of a dinosaur. Big, amazing, awesome – but extinct!
Websites are dynamic, living entities, and they need nourishment and makeovers to keep them performing well and looking their best.
The challenge is to seize the right moment for a redesign and to find the right website design expert for the job.
Why Your Website May Need A Design Makeover
While a fresh new look may not always guarantee instant responses, Return on Investment (ROI), a giant leap in conversion rates, revenue boost, or incisive whitepaper downloads, it can certainly take your business forward in the long term and offer a wider, deeper understanding of your customers.
Experts recommend that you take a long, hard look at your website every three years, but there’s no hard and fast rule about this. You could give it a tweak more often if required, or you could do a complete overhaul a bit later too.
Let’s examine some of the reasons why websites require redesigning:
- You’ve Changed: If your website’s intent or goals have undergone changes, or your product line has been modified, the website no longer reflects your brand authentically, and/or it doesn’t capture the expansion and growth of your business, capabilities, and extent, then it’s about time you thought of a change.
- Outdated technology: Modern website design incorporates concepts such as lead generation, calls to action, robust content marketing, etc. Your old website may run on older versions of Flash or outdated plugins. This can be very annoying for visitors, and they can rapidly abandon your website. Statistics show that more than 85% of visitors are less inclined to re-visit a website that offers a bad user experience.
- Better UX: Every website visitor dreams of the perfect user experience. Just as you would maintain your brick-n-mortar store in pristine condition, the same goes for your website. Keep it clean, easy to navigate, and welcoming. Add sections that incorporate social media, webinars, informative links, and easy/multiple ways to get in touch. Today, many users operate on multiple platforms, such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, etc. You need a responsive website design to stay in sync with these users. Comparison shopping is mandatory, and so are store location, customer reviews, similar offerings, alternative choices, a range of easy payment options, etc.
- What’s Your Competition Doing: If the store across the street can attract more customers, it’s because they’re doing something different from you. Translate this concept to your website. Analyze your competition’s web design and take a complete journey through it to get a feel of how it differs from yours. If you feel a bit shy about sharing your website address with people because you feel it’s not keeping pace with the industry norm, it’s about time you did something about it.
How To Find The Best Web Designer For Your Website Redesign
Before you embark on the quest for the right web designer for your website redesign project, it’s important to step back a bit. Analyze your needs, preferences, and budget thoroughly. Think long-term and not for the immediate future. Look at your current website with a clinical, objective, completely unbiased eye (if that’s possible) or get someone who could match your typical user profile to do this.
Get their responses and record them carefully, paying attention to the smallest detail. Remember that nearly 40% of users abandon a website if it doesn’t have enough engaging content, appearance, functionality, and/or ease of navigation.
You can also get a professional website designer to take a tour of the site and provide feedback. Next, analyze your goals for your new design. Is it to increase conversions, explore new customer pools, introduce new features, deliver better results, draw attention to your products/brand, and/or create a buzz on social media?
Once you have this information, it’s the blueprint for your redesign specs. This is what you need to convey to your design firm. Pick your design firm based on certain basic concepts:
- Get recommendations: Trustworthy sources in a similar commercial space such as yours are the best experts to consult before you select a web design firm. References and word-of-mouth recommendations from friends, family, or even the competition could net the perfect designer.
- Check credentials: Do they have the experience, talent, knowledge, certifications, professional qualifications that you need to bring to bear on the project? Most importantly, check their portfolio of work and go through some of the websites they’ve redesigned.
- In Sync: The designer must be able to take a look at your existing website and keep what’s good about it. There may be important elements that your older customers value about the site. Protect these elements as they are crucial assets that have helped you to reach where you are now. The new design must now incorporate features such as RSS feed, blogs, landing pages, SEO, etc. It should provide authentic metrics on visitors and leads. Ensure that what they build is not a static website, but a dynamic design that helps you tweak the design through editable source files, if necessary, without too much pain.
- Design vs Content: Great graphics, visuals, videos, and audios are certainly elements of great design. But what you want is not just a focus on aesthetics. Today, it’s content that rules the roost. Nothing can take the place of world-class, top-quality, unique, reliable, original content that’s regularly updated. Your new site design must have a strategy to ensure a smooth, perennial flow of great content. The design above content strategy is bound to fail.
- Pay Attention: When you talk to the new team of designers, pay attention to how they respond to you. Do they listen carefully and understand your requirements clearly? There are different types of designers, such as website programmer/designer, graphic artists/designers, internet marketers, etc. Select the one that best fits your requirements. Ensure that they have a structured plan for the project. Check about payment and delivery schedules. Maintenance is an important aspect that you have to worry about when the design is complete. Ensure that you own the copyright and domain name.