#1. Your website speaks the WRONG message
Recently I was speaking with a potential client who wanted a new site. One of her biggest concerns was that her site lacked a clear message. I like to say that your website is a “wall, window or door”. What I mean is this: your site can exist on the web with factual information (a wall), provide a little about who you are (a window), or fully give the real picture of who you are (a door). I know this is a random analogy, but your website’s message should be the door to your company that allows people establish a trust relationship and eventually transact.
#2. Your website doesn’t have a CLEAR purpose
One of the first question we ask potential clients is WHY they want a new website. The most important aspect of a business website is to facilitate the business to achieve the overall company goals. Typically, this translates into a few common online goals like building credibility, increasing leads or sales, supporting marketing efforts and providing valuable information. However, just having a website does NOT mean your site is accomplishing these goals. For example, does your site clearly show your brand and identity? Is it understood in 5-7 seconds EXACTLY what your service offering is? Are the “calls to action” aligned with your company and online goals? The first step is clearly identifying your website goals, then implementing them. How does your site fare?
#3. You can’t update your OWN content
In 1984, there was a famous movie called 2010… it was about the future. Well, it is the year 2017, and we’re living in the future. If you have to hold your web designer’s cat hostage to get changes done to your site in less than two weeks, then it’s probably time for a new site. The fact is, most sites today are built on content management systems (CMS) that allow an average non-technical person to easily manage simple things like text and image changes. A CMS should be a standard part of your website management experience. We use WordPress as our standard platform of choice for speed, ease of use and development flexibility. Whatever you use, just make sure you’re using something that makes your life easier, not harder.
#4. Your site looks OUT of date
It’s been proven time and time again that a person’s perception of your company is directly affected by their perception of your website. Think of your website as a virtual storefront on main street. Make sure the sign is well lit, the sidewalk is swept, the walls are freshly painted and the style of the place doesn’t make you look like you stepped out of 1922 (from the storefront analogy). The most common time frame for major updates to your web presence is probably every 2-3 years. However, at Mata Digital we’re very proud of the fact that some of our clients’ sites still receive rave reviews from their customers about their sites, more than five years later. It just proves that classic style and usability never goes out of style.
#5 Your website lacks a consistent look and feel
While this might not seem like the most obvious sign of a redesign need, it’s important that people consider it. In the design world, we use an acronym for great design called “CRAP” which stands for “Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, Proximity”. Whether you know it or not, YOU subconsciously gravitate towards designs that have these characteristics. Typically, as sites get older and many rounds of content has been added over time, the site becomes a mess of random additions. This lack of consistency can dilute your message and brand. In addition, your information structure and site organisation can become a nightmare for customers to navigate, and a true pain for you, the website owner.
What are your next steps?
Deciding to redesign your website is a commitment of time, energy, resources and, of course, some of your hard earned cash. Before you decide to travel down the “website redesign” road, make sure you have a clear understanding of
(a) where you are,
(b) where you want to go, and
(c) how you’re going to get there.
Of course, if you need some help, feel free to ask us a question.