Web design: How do you know when it’s time to redesign your website? You may have been an early pioneer and had your website built a long time ago when websites were just getting popular, or maybe you had one developed just a few years ago. Either way, are websites a “set it and forget it” kind of deal? Once you get a website developed for your business, is it true that you never have to do anything to it ever again? I’m afraid not. The rule of thumb is to have your website redesigned every two to four years. Websites have become more and more important to any business, even if you don’t have an e-commerce website and sell goods and services directly from the website. Keeping your website fresh, modern, responsive and up-to-date is very important in today’s digital world.
Updating v. Redesigning
There is a difference between updating your website and redesigning your website. Updating means to regularly update the content on your website. Best practice in updating your website with new content is to add something new a couple of times a week. For us at 212 Creative, LLC, the reality of getting this done in the whirlwind of the work day makes it difficult to hit this mark all of the time, so we do what we can. At least a couple of times a month we update and refresh content by posting a blog, adding a testimonial, editing content or adding a picture or a case study. Updating content on your website is good for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Google is constantly reassessing your website content, and it helps with domain ranking and getting your website found more often on searches if Google sees your website is active and has authority.
That is what updating your website means. Redesigning your website would involve several aspects, including:
- Creating a fresh look
- Updating graphics and images
- Optimizing for viewing on a mobile device (very important these days)
- Making sure your website loads as fast as possible
- Having the user experience (UX) satisfying
- Making the way the user interacts with the website (UI) easy and intuitive.
According to one recent survey, fully 92% of consumers look at a brand’s website for reasons other than making a purchase. The message: even if you don’t sell products directly from your website, people are still looking at your website. For many people, the first experience they have with your company is through your website. If you want to continue to survive and thrive in today’s economy, you have to have a modern, up -to-date website. So how can you tell if your website needs to be redesigned? There are a few important things you can check to tell. Let’s talk about load speed, mobile optimization, the style and look, and UX and UI.
Web design: Load speed
One of the first things you can check is page speed. How long does the website take to load? Do you have to wait for pictures, images or videos to load? Does it take a long time to go from one page to another? Would you believe that on average, a user takes only .05 seconds, or about 50 milliseconds, to form an opinion about your website? And this opinion determines whether or not they like your website, and more importantly, whether or not they will stay and explore, or leave your website.
Another alarming statistic: around 39% of people will just stop engaging and leave a website if the pictures or images don’t load fast enough. If they have to wait, they don’t. They leave.
To give you an idea how fast a website should load, around 47% of people expect that a website will load at most in 2 seconds. Two seconds! That seems pretty fast, but if you ever come across a website that is loading slowly, 2 seconds seems like an eternity.
So, how can you tell if you have a slow website? It’s pretty easy. There are several free websites that can tell you. We like to use one call Gtmetrix.com. Go to Gtmetrix.com. There is a box there that says “Enter URL to Analyze” Type your business website URL and click on the “Test your site” button. Within a short amount of time, you will have all sorts of information about your website, including time to interact, fully loaded time and much more! You will get a Gtmetrix Grade. Even if you don’t want to redesign your website, if you get anything less than an “A”, you may want to call a web design service like 212 Creative, LLC. They will be able to drill down and find out why your website is slow, and be able to fix the issues.
WEb Design: Mobile optimization
Another thing you can check by yourself to see if you consider getting your website redesigned is if your website is not mobile friendly.
An astonishing 85% of adults think that when viewing a company’s website on a mobile device, it should look and respond as good or better than its desktop website. In a recent survey, 57% of participants said that they would not recommend a business that has a website that looks bad on mobile. You read that correctly! Over half of the people would judge a company unfavorably and not recommend that business, based solely on how their business website looks on their phone! Wow!
How can you tell if your website is poorly designed for mobile? Pretty simple, get out your phone and look at your website. Try to see it as a customer would for the first time. Is it attractive? Is the spacing good, or do things look crowded? Is the text easy to read? How’s the navigation? Is it simple to get around, or clumsy? Is it clear where you go to find something, or are you confused? If you are lucky enough to have a teenager in your household, have them look at your website on their phone. Ask them to find a particular service or product, and then contact you through the website. These are two very common tasks people do on a website. If the teenager has problems doing those simple tasks, you may want to consider having your website looked at by a professional.
Web Design: The style and look
Would you believe that 38 % of people will stop interacting with the website if it doesn’t look good, the content is out-of-date or looks unattractive? Well, it’s true! But what specifically does style and look mean? It could mean several things, for example not having consistent branding throughout the website. If you have never had a branding package created for your business, you may want to consider having one done. A complete branding package consists of choosing a logo, color palette and font pairings for your brand. And then you consistently, obsessively, use just that logo, those colors and those fonts throughout your website, your business cards, your signs, your ads, your stationary…everything!
Also, you can compare the look of your website to the websites of your competitors. Do your competitor’s websites look contemporary? Do they have modern graphics, updated photographs and videos?
In other words, does your website look like this:
Or like this?
Do you know what I’m saying? When you know, you know.
Web Design: The UX and UI
The last thing we’ll discuss to help determine if you may need a website redesign for your company website is to look at the UX and UI. Did you know that 88% of users say they would not return to a website if they had a bad experience? When they say “bad experience”, they are talking a website’s UX and UI.
UX means “User Experience”. We like to think of UX as the journey a user takes as they go through your website. How is the user introduced to your brand, product or service? Do you have a blog article? Ads? A video? How did the user feel when they were done looking at your website? Frustrated? Informed? Satisfied? A good user experience is essential for a good website design.
How about UI? That stands for “User Interface”. As the client moved through the website, was it easy to navigate? Can they easily find what they were looking for? Is the content up to date? Have there been any blog articles in the past 3 months? Are there pictures of the company staff, and if so, are the pictures current? Are all of your products, services and prices relevant? Is the contact information correct? Do you still the same address, phone number? Do you have social media accounts, and are the links working?
A great way to find out about your website’s UX and UI is to ask someone you trust to go through your website and give you an honest opinion of their experience. You could do an audit of the website yourself, but you are used to where things are in the website, and if you helped to create it, the website is organized in a way that makes sense to you. Having a new user (Maybe even the teenager in your house!) going through the website with fresh eyes can be enlightening.
In conclusion, if you haven’t had any redesign done to your website in a couple of years, or maybe never, do some of these self-checks on your own website. Check the load speed with Gtmetrix.com, take a look at it on mobile, look at your competitions website and see if yours looks as contemporary and modern. Take the “Teenager Test” and have your teenager or a trusted friend look at your website and have them give you their honest opinong of the UX and UI!
Good luck! Of course, if you are looking for a great web design company near you, check out 212 Creative, LLC. Call us! Let’s begin!