First off, let’s state the truth – a website redesign is a significant investment and a major undertaking; however, it is worth the investment in the long term. Like brand building, it does not always bring results straight away like hiring a sales rep can. However, there are ways to increase the speed in which your website can bring results and you can do so with strategy and planning. Building a website is expensive, so while agencies like Zurek Designs or Landor.com can be expensive, you can still use their resources and outsource the work to freelancers.
So, I will give you some hints that could determine when it is time to redesign your website.
The website CMS is driving you crazy
Site CMS is short for”Content Management System”, which allows for people with no web development experience to manage, create and edit content like blog articles, products, collections and even pages without coding knowledge. Some of these should ring a bell – the most popular CMS’s are WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace and Wix.
However, as you expand how the brand feels, your visuals as well as your marketing, you’ll notice that the templates in CMS platforms are difficult and not great to customize. It’s hard to create exactly what you want when you are using a CMS, your site cannot stand out. Look at websites and notice how similar they are. And yes, there are components that are crucial and status quo for a good reason, however, this does not meant that all structures, layouts and graphic usage should be repetitive.
If you’re getting tired of the limitations your CMS comes with, it might be time for you to invest into a new website built from scratch that will be customized to your brand, which will make it original and more memorable with better user experience, minified code and better overall optimisation.
User experience is related to the Customer Journey in part. You should think about redesigning your website if your site does not follow the very clear map, plan and course for the customer journey. On top of that, if users have trouble locating products, pages and links, it is definitely time. If you do not know how your users go through the web site, you can sample a small population and do some small research that will give you a better idea of what the issues are (aka, exploratory research).
Why User Experience is important
User experience deals with the experience a visitor has and it’s closely linked to the customer journey. Your website shouldn’t just be a list of attributes and benefits. It MUST tell a story and engage the visitor emotionally.
Additionally, there are a lot of technicalities like filtering articles or products and whether these filters are sophisticated. How often have you been on an e-commerce site, that has a tone of merchandise using a despicable filtering and sorting system? If you’re an online shopper, you probably came across some of those. The further steps towards an action (purchase), the less likelihood of a conversion.
With any business that develops, there are improved and new techniques to optimize productivity. While consumer experience in web design is quite old in concept, it started to play a big role in web design in the last 10 decades. Because of this, some design agencies don’t keep this in mind when designing a site especially if they’re cheap. If you needed a cheap and fast website for starters, it was a decision. As your company grows, you need to find ways to compete on a level.
It’s likely that when you started your business, you were trying to find the cheapest but best services. You outsourced worked on Fiverr or UpWork which would cost you a few hundred at a maximum.
If this was was that you had a graphic designer to your brand visuals and a web developer for your website design. Is that services that are cheaper aren’t concerned with the bigger picture and your brand will feel like. Without a brand strategy, messaging is and difference. Just because the site has the same brand colours as your logo or print material/social media content, doesn’t guarantee brand consistency.
If your brand shows inconsistencies, a general redesign could be considered – not only a website redesign. Businesses with visuals and messaging will have the upper hand in the long term.
No defined customer journey
Defining the customer journey is a crucial part to what your customer goes through to make the purchase because it proposes a vision in marketing. It is similar to your sales process plan in the manner that you outline every touchpoint with steps to get your prospects hooked.
With a customer journey plan, you start off with outlining the measures your prospects take to make a purchase, which is always different depending on who your customer is of course.
By way of instance, if you’re an ecommerce store, your prospect might begin their journey by finding out about your product that is amazing via an influencer, and they visit your site to get a feeling what your brand is about. Since they visited your site, you captured their information with Pixel and you push Facebook and Instagram ads for repetition. They start bonding with the idea and discuss the new product with their friends. Their friends are also interested in the brand and it becomes one of the topics when they move out. You get a call to action with Facebook advertising and they buy.
This would be an outline of the steps a customer keep it short and may take, and I missed lots of touchpoints that might be also included.
Some attention may be needed by SEO if your site is doesn’t have at least one-page rank after 3 years on the first page of Google. It is good to look at the optimization that is technical, so when the site is large with more than 7 MB, with loading times over 5 minutes and wrong heading supply, it could be time for a redesign of the website.
Why site optimization is important:
Often the site structure and optimization is neglected while SEO has a lot such as your niche, your competition and your keywords. Website structure which is making sure it is not hard to crawl by Search Engines, ensuring the content is easy to read and making sure the site is hosted on the correct server in the correct location with files and images. It is the easiest of them all, while this is a part of SEO and it hurts to see how many companies try hard to rank with keywords while they’re missing the fundamentals.
The hard reality is that most people will leave a website in the first ten seconds of it.
Now, if your landing page is filled with 4k pictures, and you are not a photographer showcasing a portfolio, then you are most likely at least 40 MB over the average of your business — that may seem like a small number, but remember that the typical landing page size is about 3.28 MB according to GTmetrix.com. Most people who need to wait 5 seconds or longer to load for the page, will just click ‘back’ and go to the next website. You can consider yourself lucky enough to keep those people waiting are still waiting…