For many people, running a website is a pleasure – a source of joy that extends throughout your lifestyle. However, many people also find that, over time, they begin to lose that love for their website. Like a room in your home or the garden outside, the passing of time and the changing of culture means that it can begin to look a little flawed, empty – even dated. When you look at your website and can see the creeks and wrinkles beginning to form, a little bit of proverbial Botox might be just what it needs.
Knowing what to change, though, is just as hard as knowing when to carry out an update. With the rapid state of change in the digital world outpacing anything like fashion and furniture, changes can come about sooner than you had ever considered possible. To make sure that you aren’t sinking valuable time and capital into your website update, though, we recommend that you have a think about the following checklist.
Following this, you should find it a fair bit easier to make critical calls that will really improve the look, style and feel of your website.
First and foremost, before any kind of facelift takes place, you want to know what is working well on the underside. What kind of facilities is your website using? You could likely modernise the back-end running of the site to improve the front-end at the same time.
First off, you should look to improve how well your website is running behind the scenes. Start off by taking a look at working with an analytics tool, such as Pingdom. Using this, you can get an idea of how fast your site is, how easy it loads, and how reasonable people are finding the overall user experience.
Once you do this, you know what needs to be changed and improved. From navigation being modernized to improving loading speeds of various pages, you can begin to make a telling difference to your website before a single pixel of the design is altered. To check your website speed you can always check: GTmetrix.
Another key element of a good website stems from using a quality mobile-ready design. A website has to be capable of scaling down depending on the device it is being viewed on. If your website is hard to use on a smartphone or tablet, then change becomes an absolute necessity to make that possible.
Going responsive is a very important element of your business, and can utterly transform how you work, think and feel about management in general. Making sure that you are part of the ever-growing scale of mobile users is not an after-thought: at least, it shouldn’t be.
How good is your website at getting the details of those who come to visit? Do you have a mailing list? A subscription platform? Even just a ‘keep me updated’ section that helps people to sign up and get e-mail alerts? If not, why not?
This is vital in a modern business. Invest some crucial time and effort into ‘laying the trap’ of lead generation and you’ll find that you need less unique hits to make an impact. From making sure it all runs concurrent with active and fun social media accounts to building a mailing list that offers help, advice and offers, you can find many ways to help keep people engaged after their visit.
Take the time to work out how important your website is to the overall business performance, and how much it could play if it was running at optimum capacity. From finding mini-niches that you could explore further with your site to making sure people can feel comfortable about the speed and layout of the site, you have a lot of planning to put in place.
More importantly, though, is the design. The back-end and the user features are wonderful for keeping people interested and engaged, without doubt. However, correcting the design is just as important. A site could run like a dream, and have everything someone needs. If it looks awful, amateurish and out-of-date, though, it’s likely people will never get to see what lies beneath the surfaces.
For that reason, correcting the design is more than just a recommendation. While copying your competitors is a fruitless exercise, you should always look to work with a web developer who can modernize your business look.
From the color scheme to the layout and the fonts used, you have a lot of items to look at. Are you being too stereotypical in parts of the imagery? Are you someone who has built up a platform that feels outdated and over-the-top?
These are common problems, and can make your business less attractive to those who were potentially interested.
Do you have much media being used, either? What kind of content is on there? This plays into the design as much as anything else. Does the content make good use of headers, for design purposes as much as helping search engines do their hunting?
Does your website need a new look? Then hiring a professional to help you modernize it is very important. Hiring a web developer with an eye for imagery and artistic quality can be the difference between a good website, and a website that is inundated with customers!
Lastly, you should be paying attention to the overall kind of content being used. Is it word-heavy, or image-heavy? A fine mix is always the best aim for any business. You should always be ready to do some extra work and plan out accordingly. If you don’t have a blog, then making one and updating it once per week with SEO-friendly content is a must (See On-Page SEO Part 1 and How to structure your Website SEO).
The aim here is to update your website to make it more informative, more enjoyable to use, a bunch more simplistic and making it more appealing to the layman.
If you need help doing so, then contacting a professional web developer to help you begin the process is a must. Never accept second best: when treated with the right level of respect, a website can be your business card, your sales front, your blog and your advertisement all in one!
If you are looking for a website redesigned or update you should get in contact with us!