When your website doesn’t seem to be functioning at peak performance the way it used to a couple of years ago, perhaps it’s time for a major makeover.
Other signs and symptoms could be in the form of lower traffic being directed your way, negative or less-than-happy reviews and comments on social media, or reports from your in-house marketing team.
Finally, if you find yourself feeling just a bit apologetic and embarrassed about your website, a website redesign is certainly called for.
Why Websites Are Important
Websites are where you communicate with your customers, visitors, consumers and your own staff about your products/services, brand, business goals, values, etc. It is also your representative on social media, and the foundation of your online presence. Whatever is up there on the site reflects on your business.
It is the place where customers come to buy products/services, convey their opinions, needs and preferences. They may come to seek information, or give it, and also offer opinions and feedback.
You can reach a wider and deeper pool of people, form target segments and audiences, increase your sales opportunities and transform clicks into revenue.
Websites play a leading role in recruitment and attracting top talent to your organization. They’re also vital elements in lead generation.
As your 24x7x365 representative on the internet, your website helps to build credibility and retain customer loyalty. Because it’s accessible round the clock, your audience can communicate with you no matter what location or time zone they’re in. This saves you the trouble, time, money and effort of being physically present.
Professionally designed websites give the right first impression to visitors and customers. Statistics show that it takes just 0.05 seconds of viewing to form a judgment about a website and to decide whether to stay on and explore more or to leave.
If your website hasn’t been refreshed or redesigned for more than two or three years, it’s probably struggling with outdated technology.
Easy and uncomplicated navigation, attractive visual appeal, and useful, fresh, original content, fast load time, smoother conversion and optimized for search engines and browsing on different devices are the qualities that people look for in a top rated website.
If your website doesn’t tick even one of these boxes, it’s important that you get an expert opinion on fixing the problem.
Consumer memory and loyalty can be fickle, so there’s not much time to waste.
7 Tips On Finding The Right Web Redesign Company
It’s important to know how to choose a web design agency. While the easiest thing to do would be to return to the firm that originally designed and developed your website, it’s worth looking at more innovative approaches as well.
1. Select The Right Platform To Build The Site
It’s important to select the most appropriate content management system. Sites built on open source CMS are helpful because they are more focused on the content that’s being produced. Customized systems are more expensive and challenging because they’re less flexible and make you more dependent on the developer/designer to resolve issues at a later stage. That is why a large number of websites (more than 30%) use popular CMS such as WordPress that provide a variety of plugins and extensions. Some eCommerce websites may need the use of certain specific platforms.
2. Know Whom You Will Be Working With
While it’s exciting and adventurous to hire fresh freelancers and design school students, your redesign project requires experienced hands. A well-established design company that has experienced designers in your field can handle strategy, design and development much better. Check their website for case studies or guides. The company Stormotion is a great example with their coaching website guide on their website. This is especially important if your website is a critical cog in your marketing machine, it has complex functionality or eCommerce aspects. It may not be possible to find all the qualities you need in one single person. Instead, a design team that is employed by a reliable company with a proven track record is your best bet.
3. Get A Firm Deadline & Timeline
Redesign projects must be carefully planned. A typical timeline involving both client and designer would range from research, wireframes, review of wireframes, landing-page artwork and review, site content submission and then to the coding, validation, content population, cross platform and browser testing, final review, launch and then the search engine submission to wrap it up. This could take about 3-4 months at the most.
4. Don’t Cut Corners
Make sure that the designers get all the time they really need. This is important, especially when you’re evaluating the timelines and deadlines. Undue pressure on the designers could result in cutting back on quality and functionality. Ensure that there are no delays from your side, such as failing to supply content on time, completing reviews etc.
5. Check The After-Sales Support
You will need to protect the investment you make in the redesign project to the maximum. Often, in the excitement and chaos of the project itself, it’s possible that you’d completely forget about what happens once it’s launched. Check if the company offers training and support, especially if new tech is installed. Confirm that your hosting server offers top level security and performance. Avoid cheaper shared hosting services. They result in weak performance and lack of security. Confirm that you will receive 24×7 monitoring of server-level security and daily backups. Monthly maintenance is an investment that you won’t regret making.
6. Set Up A Communication Format
You may not always be able to meet with the design team face to face. Instead, agree on how you can communicate with them through the duration of the project. Phone-calls and video-conferencing are good, but get some things down in black and white via email or messaging apps. This helps both sides to stay connected and handle all aspects of the project in line with the agreed-upon contract.
7. Ongoing Optimization
Ensure that you commit to cycles of ongoing optimization that involve planning, testing, evaluation, measurement, implementation etc. These are facilitated by analytics and reporting, functionality updates of design and content, conversion rate optimization, regular surveys and feedback etc. This would be part of the suite of support services offered by your website redesign company. They help to keep your website performing at its peak and retain its value for customers.