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Read our in depth guide to discover why you should redesign your website, how to tell if your website needs a redesign, why it is important to redesign your website and more!

Identifying when it’s time to make a change

It’s a common rule of thumb that if your website isn’t showing year-over-year (aka YOY) growth, then there is a high likelihood that it’s long due for an overhaul. Generally, designing a website is viewed as an exhaustive and daunting process so we don’t blame anyone for being hesitant to dive right into a redesign.

But the longer you have a website that misses the mark, the more damage you can cause to the aesthetic quality of your site – eventually causing a nosedive in conversion rate opportunities and overall ROI. Don’t panic though, in this article we’re going to show you how to identify potential problems and implement changes to avoid these unpleasant situations.

If you’re just starting out and don’t have a website yet, don’t forget to check out our article on How To Get Started With Website Hosting & A Domain Name.

How to tell if your website needs a redesign

Admitting the ugly truth can be difficult – “Ok, my website isn’t as nice looking or functional as it should be”. However, admitting your website’s flaws is the first (and often hardest!) step and if you’re reading this post, you’ve already taken it! But, if you still can’t decide whether or not you need to redesign your website, then it’s time to ask yourself the hard questions:

  • Is your website old or potentially outdated?
  • Do your competitors’ sites look better than yours?
  • Are your sales or conversions stagnant or declining?
  • Could your website reflect your brand better?
  • Is your website responsiveness lacking on desktop or mobile?
  • Is your Bounce Rate higher than you want it to be?
  • Is making simple changes to your website or content difficult?

Unfortunately, if you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may want to start planning a redesign.

planning a redesign

Why is it important to redesign your website?

“Why do I need to redesign my website?”

It’s a very common question with a very simple answer.

Because first impressions are everything.

It’s well known that the average web user literally (yes, literally!) 0.05 seconds – that’s 50 MILLISECONDS or 1/10th of 1 SECOND – to decide whether or not they like your site and, consequently, whether they will stay on your website, explore further pages or leave it altogether. Is your website design communicating the image you want it to? Does your website design lead your customers to the products or services – especially high-quality ones! – that you want to provide? Most importantly though, is your website design actually communicating with your customers at all? The impression your website makes is directly correlated to the success of your business.

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How often should i redesign my website?

While it’s true that small updates here and there can help to fix minor issues and keep your content fresh, they simply aren’t an effective substitute to a full redesign of your website. It is generally considered good practice amongst both freelance designers and marketing agencies to approach the idea of a full redesign every 2-3 years to avoid becoming outdated or off-trend. This is because a huge array of design themes, new UX principles, consumer demands and ever improving technology will be made available in this timeframe and waiting any longer between redesigns can result in serious lapses in technical performance or capabilities.

How often should i redesign my website

Benefits of redesigning your website

If your website is not quite hitting the mark visually, a website redesign can help your business make an impression that really gets results while also making sure your website stays relevant! While this is an important benefit to recognise, it’s not the only one. Truthfully, there are a huge number of benefits to redesigning your website and the more technical, artistic or optimization based updates you apply – the more benefits there are! With that being said, in order to save time and brain power we’ve listed below our choices for the top 8 benefits of revamping your website.

1. Unified Brand Identity

It is common for a website to be managed by 3 or more people and on the rare occasion that it is, it’s even rarer for updates to remain consistent over time. A website redesign allows you to step back and see the bigger picture you’re trying to portray with your site. This gives you the opportunity to make meaningful changes and ensure your brand is depicted the way you want it to be.

2. Enhanced SEO and website performance

Even though this is number 2 on the list, it’s no less important than number 1! Alongside revisiting your brand identity, website redesigns are one of the best times to optimize your website’s performance with relevant keywords. To make sure your existing – and potential! – website content matches with what your audience is searching for, conducting keyword research is a powerful way to ensure that your content is exactly what they were looking for!

Enhanced SEO and website performance

Additionally, in order to rank your website, business name or brand name on Google, and other search engines dedicated to backlinking, you must perform on-page search engine optimization (SEO). An example of SEO is customizing the way your website is displayed on Google and other search engines by creating unique title tags for each individual page that describes the main focus of the page – it’s title if you will.  A title tag is the HTML element that gets displayed in the browser tab and it should change each time you open a new page. This is used to identify the page’s purpose in your website, but it is also one of the key elements to ranking on search engines.

Other basic on-page SEO elements designed to drive rankings are:

  • Unique Meta descriptions – pro tip! It’s handy to have 2 versions: a short description under 300 words for content fields (for those unfamiliar with the strange term, this is the bar or space you type text into) with max character limits and a long description for unrestricted fields.
  • Page URLs configured around relevant keywords
  • Internal links to other relevant pages within your website. This is known as interlinking.
  • Backlinking to other relevant pages outside your own website.
  • Optimizing images, videos, graphics and other image files with a relevant file name and alt text attribute

If these vital elements are something you may have missed or looked past initially, your website is suffering for it. A redesign of your website allows you to incorporate all of these game-changing elements into your web design and make the most of a highly effective platform for your business or brand.

3. Opportunity to refresh or create new, on-brand content 

There’s a saying that gets used a lot in web based industries – content is king.

And it’s 100% true. Without content, your website has no meat on its bones. Content is everything text related –  from your “About” descriptions to website taglines or mottos and every blog post in between. Having a solid supply of meaningful content, that’s regularly updated or refreshed, is a tried and true strategy to gaining and keeping website traffic!

In exactly the same way as the previously listed point, a redesign of your website allows you to incorporate all of these elements that may have been previously overlooked.

Design new content

4. Improved security – for you and users!

Cyber threats and hidden risks live everywhere in the digital web, and now more than ever it is paramount for website owners to protect personal and private user data. A significant rise in online privacy breaches has led the majority of web users to be a lot more cautious when choosing and using websites. The counter to this problem is the use of Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure – more commonly known as HTTPS – which is an encrypted network communication protocol that scrambles data transmitted to and prevents unauthorized users accessing it. In 2018, Google Chrome introduced a change to their software that labeled websites without HTTPS as “Not Secure”.

In addition to this, a redirect page was added to these websites that identifies the sites connection as unsecure with no clear way to “ignore” or advance the page. In order to access the site, users must navigate to a menu under the “Advanced” button which then allows users to agree to using the unsecure connection while also warning against doing so. All of which is designed (understandably of course) to drive people away from websites that don’t acquire an SSL certificate. As a result, users that come across this warning are likely to feel your website isn’t secure and leave it altogether. 

Unfortunately, if this has happened to your site it’s highly likely that users presented with this warning are unlikely to return and so potential customers or users can be turned into never-customers. This is one of the most common reasons to redesign your website as it will allow you to update all your websites security protocols and software plugins or to the latest and greatest versions on the market and install new software that just won’t function properly on older or outdated websites.

5. Reduced website loading times on all devices

While an unsecured website is a huge red flag for the large majority of web users, a slow loading website can kill your rankings and conversions just as easily. A study conducted by global content delivery network, cybersecurity, and cloud service company Akamai, found that nearly half of website visitors expect a load time of 2 seconds or less with 3 seconds being the threshold. The same study further concluded that 40% of users abandon websites that don’t load within this timeframe. It goes without saying that consequently an older website, running older programming frameworks will always perform slower than a freshly redesigned website running new technologies – which will ultimately lead to a big dive in search rankings!

Mobile responsive

6. Optimized responsiveness for all screens

According to a 2021 survey conducted by the company hitwise, almost 60% of all worldwide search volume consists of mobile searches. Mobile usage is predicted to continue to be the prevailing majority, which means all successful websites must have a responsive design that caters to mobile, tablet and desktop screen resolutions. Does your website look the same on all devices? Are all the interactive elements of your website responsive across all devices? If not, it’s definitely time for a major redesign of your website.

7. Better user experience

Along with the above information in the Akamai study, it was identified that a massive 79% of users surveyed conveyed to the company that it was “very unlikely” that they would return to a website that didn’t meet their performance expectations. Let us remind you about that 3 second threshold that nearly all website users adhere to.  

It should be known that keeping your site technically sound is priority 1 and operating with an older, outdated content management system – aka CMS – can mean both technical and management based complications and limitations. These will ultimately affect SEO, user experience – aka UX – and eventually your conversion rate. But updating your CMS coupled with a redesign of your website can improve site functionality and overall website performance as well as eliminating security vulnerabilities. It also provides a fantastic opportunity to relook at your current browser compatibility and investigate more responsive designs.

8. Most cost effective option long term!

While most minor updates can help with short-term solutions to problems as they arise, a full redesign of your website gives you the opportunity to avoid many of these problems entirely. Making updates or fixing issues on older websites, or sites running older programming frameworks, is like putting a band-aid on a broken bone. Not a solution worth throwing money at time and time again. Audit your current website and list any opportunities to improve the user experience and overall usability of your website. If your list has more than 2 major areas that could be improved, it’s time to redesign!

Cost effective solution

Never not a good idea

If you’re still finding yourself thinking why should i redesign my website? It looks fine!”,  take a moment to visit one of your favorite websites or even your competitors’ websites. Are they vastly different? Were theirs maybe a little better? Sorry! It may be a bitter pill to swallow but focusing on elements of other websites that you like can greatly help you to identify aspects of your own website that may be lacking. 

Cost effective solution

Are you thinking about redesigning your website but you’re not quite sure where to start? Contact Us Today to learn how RJG Mediaworks can design your dream project today!

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