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Website Planning

9 Reasons to Consider Redesigning Your Website

Redesigning a website is complicated and should not be undertaken without careful planning. Here are some common reasons why a business or individual might choose to redesign a website.
Stephen Meehan.
Stephen Meehan April 2022
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Not ranking in Google

SEO is a complex topic, and there are about 200 factors that Google considers to determine where your site will rank for any given search query. The first thing to do is check the health of your site. The most effective way to do this is by looking at your website's crawl errors within Google Webmaster Tools (GWT).

GWT will tell you if there are any problems with Google bots crawling your site. If you don't already have a GWT account, I'd recommend setting one up or asking your web developer to do it for you. It's free and easy to use.

In addition, I recommend creating an XML sitemap for your site and submitting it via GWT. A sitemap is a file that tells search engines what pages are on your site and which ones you want them to prioritise.

There can be many reasons why a website is struggling to rank in the search engines. If you're not getting the results you want, perform a website audit - as a starting point - to check your website health.

Your conversion rates are low

A conversion is an action that you want the user to take, filling out an inquiry form, subscribing to your newsletter, or purchasing one of your products. Conversion rates vary greatly depending on industry and other factors. Suppose less than 2% of users complete actions with a monetary value or less than 10% complete lower-value activities (for example: signing up for an email list). In that case, it might be time to consider a redesign.

There are many reasons why conversion rates may be low—it could be due to poor design, poorly worded CTAs, or even poor traffic quality. Even a partial website redesign could help boost conversion rates.

Your Competitors Have Better Websites

If you have not updated your website in the last two years, it might be time to rethink its design and content. New competitors can have a significant impact on how you present yourself online. More importantly, they can impact the effectiveness of your marketing efforts that ultimately affect your bottom line. While this can be good for consumers, these changes aren't always ideal for businesses that are resistant to change.

You have a new marketing strategy

If your marketing strategy changes, your website should reflect these changes. An audience perceives your website as a reflection of your company and its values. In this way, your site must be consistent with the image your company projects—and with your overall marketing strategy.

Your website isn't mobile-friendly

If your website keeps you up at night because it's not mobile-friendly, don't worry—you're not alone. Businesses everywhere are now paying a lot more attention to how their websites look on all devices, a trend driven by research that shows that users expect to have the same content and functionality regardless of the device they use.

With so many of us using our smartphones to browse the internet, ignoring the importance of mobile-friendly design is no longer an option. But what does it even mean for your website to be mobile-friendly? The responsive web design of mobile-friendly websites makes them compatible with various devices, including smartphones, tablets, desktops, and laptops.

That way, no matter how a customer wants to access your site (or how they want to shop), they'll be able to do so quickly. Mobile-friendliness is important because we all know that first impressions matter. If your site is hard to navigate or not correctly displayed on your customers' phones and tablets, they may abandon your website entirely.

61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing. Furthermore, 40% of people will abandon a website that takes longer than three seconds to load, which can occur if your site isn't mobile-friendly.

It's a security risk

Business websites typically use a Content Management System (CMS) to create and edit content. A well supported CMS will benefit from regular software updates. A website is the top layer of an invisible software stack. If left unmaintained, the stack can start to wobble quicker than you would expect. Assign some budget for ongoing maintenance; doing so will avoid future headaches and your reputation.

Malicious actors can leverage outdated CMS software to serve malware, exploit tools and ransomware to unsuspecting visitors. If Google believes a website to be compromised, it'll label it as "This site may be hacked" on the search engine results page.

Your site isn't accessible

Accessibility is now a priority for the most successful organisations and brands. Nielsen Norman Group has reported that, in 2018, accessibility was among the top three most important web design priorities. Whether you're creating a brand new website or redesigning your current site, it's never too late to make sure your site is as accessible as possible so that people with disabilities can use it.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) created the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) in 1999. They're used to measure whether web content is accessible to all users, regardless of ability status. Since their initial publication, the guidelines have gone through several revisions and re-releases, with the latest edition being WCAG 2.1 (released in June 2018). There are three levels of success criteria for each guideline:

  • Level A contains the minimum requirements for accessibility.

  • Level AA builds on those requirements.

  • Level AAA holds advanced standards for accessibility.

We recommend following at least WCAG 2.0 AA standards when planning a website redesign—and if you want to go above and beyond, feel free! Many organisations opt for AAA compliance because they take pride in providing an excellent user experience, which is crucial for competing in today's marketplace. 

They also know that attention to detail can pay off in a big way by increasing their customer base over time by greatly expanding their potential audience reach through improved accessibility across devices.

Your site is slow to load

No one likes a slow website. That's all that needs to be said here. A sluggish website is almost tolerable on a desktop computer. Still, a painfully slow mobile experience is a huge no-no that will almost certainly harm the perception of your business.

There can be many reasons why the speed of a website is subpar, from the technology used to host a website to the amount and type of content on the page and everything in-between.

The time could be right for website redesign

We've all seen websites that need help. The text is so tiny you can barely read it, the images are outdated and low resolution, and the layout looks like something from the late 1990s. But what about your site? Is there a time when you think to yourself, "I really need to redesign my website", or do you wonder if people see your site that way too?

Here are some clues that it might be time for you to give your website a fresh look.

  • It's been more than three years since your last web design update

  • You're embarrassed by how it looks right now

  • Your website no longer reflects who you are as a company

You've made it this far. You know you need a complete overhaul. You want to build a new foundation for your online presence. You want to take advantage of the latest trends and practices in web design. 

We hope that this article has given you some insights on what to consider when redesigning your website. It certainly isn't the easiest decision to make, but it can benefit your business immensely if done right.

Stephen Meehan.
Stephen Meehan
I'm a Manchester-based web designer and developer, and the founder of D3 Creative since 2005. My expertise includes collaborating with in-house marketing teams to redesign corporate websites.
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