You’ve built your website, it’s been working well for a while, but it’s time for an update. Keeping your website the same for too long is like not updating the paint on your home. Eventually it starts to look outdated. Looking at your website as something that needs to be refreshed and updated is the best way to ensure you get the most out of your online presence.
A website re-build or re-design can be daunting and does take some level of planning to ensure it’s a success. Things that you need to consider are similar to the things that go into the design of a new website, such as target market, prioritization of goals, your overall image, etc. Here are some important steps to take when planning to update your website.
Assessment – What is currently working well on your site and what isn’t?
If there are areas of your current website that are working well, and attracting clients, there is no use in changing it. Make sure you take a good look at the analytics of your site and any user feedback you have received. Make a list of the things that are working and make note of why they are working well. At the same time, take a look at the areas that are performing poorly and try to come up with ways that may help to improve them.
Goals – Think about what you are trying to accomplish
Having the best looking logo design, great graphics and a site that looks better than your competitors is great, however, if you do not have a website that aligns well with your overall business plan and goals, it makes no difference.
Ensure you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish with the website (more leads, sell more etc.). At this time take a look at some of your competitors to see what they are doing that works. This will help you get creative with things that could be used for your own website.
Targeted Content – Are there areas/pages you can remove?
Having an over cluttered website is common. Oftentimes by reviewing the information on your website, you can come up with ways to simplify it by either removing pages, or combining some. Think about your audience, how they are using your website and what information is crucial. Getting rid of any “extras” will only help your clients better navigate your site. Alternatively or in addition to this, you may find that other sections and pages need to be added as your business develops. Things like a blog or image gallery are very common today and can increase the traffic to your newly designed site.
Visual Appeal – Do your photos and images need to be updated?
Having photos on your website that are several years old can really date your website, even if the overall look of your site is current. Getting new photos taken can truly update the look of your site and give in an “instant facelift”. If you are using stock photos, take a look at some new images. You can use the images as a way to completely alter your business’s overall impression and image, or stick with your current overall feel. The images you use are an integral part of your website and are just as important as the overall design.
Priority – Is a full redesign right for you, right now?
If your website is working well for you, creating leads and supplying customers with the information they require, a full redesign may not be necessary. Perhaps your site might just need some design updates to keep it current and modern. Make sure you consider all your options before jumping in to a full re-design.
Qualifications – Working with the right re-designer
Creating a new design and re-designing are two different things. You want to ensure you are working with someone who has experience with re-designs as oftentimes re-designs are more complicated than creating a new design. If your site is complex and you want to keep some areas of your site while removing others, you need someone with the experience to ensure the process is smooth.
Ready to start your re-design/re-build?
Webnames.ca is well equipped to help you with your re-design through the Essentials Program. Essentials is designed to help you whether you want to re-design an existing website or launch your business on the Internet.
Learn more about Essentials, and see how it can help you with your business website.