In the web design world, trends move fast. Websites that looked sharp just a few years ago may already show their age. The best-performing business websites keep up with trends to impress and entice customers. Now more than ever, businesses understand the need for a good-quality website. But when is the time right for a website redesign? What should businesses know before they start a website project? Let’s look at four questions you should ask before considering a website redesign!
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1. What is your website worth to you right now?
This question can help you evaluate your budget for a redesign and set goals and expectations for your new website. Not all businesses rely on their website for lead generation or sales. If your website only brings in one percent of your annual revenue, is it worth spending money redesigning it?
The correct answer to that question depends on your intentions. If you view a redesign as an opportunity to grow the earning potential of your website — committing to operational changes to bring your business online — then a redesign may be an excellent investment. If you plan to maintain the status quo, redesigning your website may not significantly impact your bottom line.
Asking this question may also show you that you don’t know how much your website is worth! Many business owners only generally understand their website and its value. Attributing value to a website can be tricky. If you cannot answer this question, you may want to speak with your web and marketing team to understand better what your website does — and doesn’t — do for you.
2. How will a new website improve my customer’s experience?
Many businesses embark on a website overhaul without any clear expectations. There may be a sense that the current design is hurting their marketing performance or causing customer issues. But what specifically will change to make things better?
A good website redesign requires a vision. The design team should understand the website’s primary and secondary objectives and how those objectives aren’t being served by the current design. This should lead to specific and purposeful changes: introducing a live chat feature or streamlining a quote request form. Otherwise, the redesign will be superficial and may not make an impact.
3. Who will be involved in the redesign process?
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “too many cooks spoil the broth.” Many contributors can result in a worse final product than a few contributors. Too many voices make for chaos and conflicting feedback.
This is especially true of design projects. While feedback and diverse opinions are important, allowing every team member to influence a redesign delays the project directly and prevents a clear vision from emerging.
Assign a person or small team to the website project and let them lead. Provide structured opportunities for feedback from the rest of the team, but ensure that the project leaders have the final say on decisions.
4. How will I measure the performance of my new website?
Any creative process includes a degree of risk. When multiple stakeholders — the client, the design team, and the web developers — collaborate on a complex project, compromises inevitably occur. Sometimes, a talented team with the best intentions fails to deliver a product that lives up to expectations.
How can a business owner evaluate whether a redesign met, exceeded, or failed to live up to expectations? The answer is measurement! Website design may be a creative discipline, but it’s also a technical and measurable field. Website tracking tools like Google Analytics can generate reports showing baseline marketing performance: how long your users stay on the website, which pages they prefer, and how they engage with your business. Working with your design and development partners, you should establish specific and measurable goals for the new design that can be evaluated after 3, 6, or 12 months.
If you don’t use an analytics solution already, start using one before you embark on a redesign! Tools like Google Analytics may be installed on almost any website. Establishing a benchmark with your current website is important so that performance can be accurately compared between designs.