When should you Redesign your Website?
It’s often thought that once you have a website then that is it. You can just let it sit in cyberspace and it will do the job for you and your business. This is of course rubbish. In the same way as you need to maintain your car, or house, garden or any other personal belonging so do you need to keep an eye on the health of your website.
But not only the health or maintenance of a website is crucial. Just as you periodically buy yourself a new car, or even a house or even re-landscape your garden your website becomes outdated and stale.
Here are some signs to watch out for that tell you a refresh of your website is due.
1) Not mobile optimised
It hardly seems possible that in this day and age a website is not mobile-friendly. It’s also called responsive. This describes the process by which a website automatically resizes according to the screen size used to view the website.
This point applies to small to big businesses. Whether you are a blogger working from home and making a living through your blog and digital products or a business with multiple staff and products or services your site needs to work well on a mobile device.
You might think your site is not viewed while people are on the move and therefor you don’t need to hassle about your site being optimised for a smartphone. But you are wrong. Mobile devices are used throughout the day. Whether your possible customer is sitting at home in front of the TV, at Starbucks, in the office or is in fact mobile by travelling on a train, your site should be accessible at all times and easily viewable.
In fact there is evidence that there are more mobile internet users than desktop internet users; 52.7% of global internet users access the internet via mobile, and 75.1% of U.S. internet users access the internet via mobile.
This completely changes the game. But that’s not all. Google’s search results will impact negatively on any site that is not mobile optimised. This means your site won’t come up for search as well if your site is not responsive.
2) High Bounce Rates
This is a real problem for many websites. Your visitors come to your site and view one page only. In fact they never click past the page they have landed on. Whether this is the home page or an article that might be of interest to them in your blog. If your users do not click through to any other page on your site you have a high bounce rate.
This is most definitely a reason to have a general overhaul of your site. First it would be important to check where the bounce rate is coming from before making any large scale changes. Once you have identified the problem, such as for instance no calls to action to click through to read more, view videos or search through info pages, you can develop a flow chart to show where you want the visitors to go to and then devise ways of moving them there.
Working on reducing your bounce rate will have the effect of creating a website that is easy to use and which could bring you more business.
3) Long Load Times
A long load time can be very off putting to your users. Everybody has little time nowadays and having to sit around waiting for a page to load can be very frustrating and in some cases could mean your users click away before the page has even loaded.
In many cases a website can become slow over time. As more information is uploaded, a new video or fabulous images are used to replace out dated ones you could easily end up having pages of info that are not optimised anymore.
A yardstick to keep in mind is that any page should not take longer than 3 seconds to load. If it does take longer than 40% of your visitors will abandon the visit. They just don’t stick around to wait any longer. And in many cases they never come back.
With so many competing websites out there it is important not to give your visitors any reason to go somewhere else.
Of course some of these issues can be fixed on an old site. But they are usually short term solutions. If the website is old, and on an antiquated platform a full redesign may be necessary to ensure the best experience for your users and results for your company.
Check your Site Regularly
Don’t abandon your website and hope it will serve your purposes for ever. This is not realistic. Like all other things in life a website needs maintenance and an occasional total refresh. The above three pointers will assist you to decide when to redesign your website.
There are a lot of signs that a site may need a website redesign even beyond the ones described here, but by focusing on user experience and seeing if the current site has any of these tell-tale issues, it is easy to determine if there is a need for a full website redesign, some small changes, or if the site is set up for success.