10 Reasons to Redesign Your Website

Thinking about redesigning your website? maybe you need to explain to a manager why the website should be redesigned? Below is a list of 10 common website issues which you may want to consider during your decision as to whether or not it is time for a redesign. 1 - It's looks amateur or parts are broken.

Research over the years has shown that from the moment someone lands on your website for the first time you have somewhere between 5 and 17 seconds to make a good impression - it depends on the speed of the internet, how quickly a person is used to seeing a website appear, what they expect to see and several other things. So first impressions are vital.

Remember, your website doesn't have to be modern art or anything like, it just has to look good.

2 - There is no "Call to Action"

A call to action (CTA) does what it says on the tin. Quite simply it is the "ask" of a website ... it could be "Request a Free Website Redesign Quote" or be as simple as "buy now" ... it is a conversion ... it could be simply asking someone to contact you or complete a questionnaire. For example on this website I simply ask people to leave a comment (if you haven't before do so today... put a link to your website in your info ... free link :) )

Put simply if your CTA is not clear, it should be!

This is not to say plaster your website with contact or buy now buttons. This won't encourage anyone to click through and you'll be seen as a spammy untrustworthy website. Basically you should funnel people to your goal, not just pounce on the user...

3 - NonNavigational Navigation

Confused? Well that means you may feel like one of your own users if you have a navigation that isn't performing as it should be. Your descriptive, concise and specific in nature and not the opposite.

For example, if you have an contact section. A link should say "contact", "contact us", "get in touch" and not "our information" "company details" or "reach out to us" - you can see what I mean that the later are examples of vague terms and they would almost at times confuse a user ... be clean clear and concise.

Sometimes "less is more" ... this means if you've a huge menu you can hide parts of it using a drop-down menu for categories. An example of this, is this website ... click "info pages" on the top left ... it drags down ... and yes I admit its a vague term - but do as I say not as I do. However Less is More isn't always best, take for example Cheap Tents, they have all their main categories in the sidebar of every page making the website extremely easy for users to navigate. Once you hit a category you'll likely find sub-categories, it's a break from the norm that clearly works for them.

4 - The Death of the Content

Could almost be a film title, but more importantly it's a term I use to describe content which hasn't been updated in a long time. An example of this would be if say you were promoting a competition from last year, if someone notices this consider how they would trust the other information on your website? they simply wouldn't... if one thing is out of date then why wouldn't other bits be?

If this is the case then it's clearly time to update the website content...

If you can't do that yourself using a content management system (such as wordpress, drupal, joomla or another) then it really is time to contact a local web designer to redesign your website with a CMS. A CMS is not just useful for allowing updating of content, it helps with the costs of the website ... it means that where as in the past you would have to send your text to a designer to update the site and you'd get charged per hour or per page, you can now do it yourself for free, night or day and no waiting.

5 - Content Readability (typography 1)

This may sound a little odd but the density of a textual paragraph; the literal size, the number of words / characters per line, the size of text, the font face used amongst other styling attributes can contribute to the readability of a web page.

For best readability you should aim (on a page such as this page) to have between 10 and 15 words on a line. With blocks of between 3 and 5 lines.

Styling of a paragraph can be determined with a style sheet, this includes things like line spacing, font type & size and much more. Font size by default will be set on the users browser.

Break up paragraph's and use headings. Headings are useful for anyone using the site, it means a user can scan through a given page to find the information they are looking for. They are also brilliant for getting the attention of search engines, as they are likely to see these as determining keywords and phrases for that page and section.

Consider the use of bold text. Using bold text or text in italics grabs attention. It encourages the eyes to read around that area and understand the emphasised area is important. It's great for users who scan read too. You can also use bold text, as I do on this website, as headings for lists.

6 - Graphics that leave much to be desired

I've seen many 'Webmasters' take a photo with a digital camera and just dump it onto a website, as is. Don't see a problem? Well think about it, the average size of the file is above 5mb (it will take forever to download), the dimensions of the images is likely to be thousands of pixels wide, and further to that it is unlikely that the image looks perfect.

So take some time: crop, resize, adjust the colour & balance of the image and then save it in the correct format. Ensure that when you save the file for online use you consider it's finish size... if it more than 150kb for a large image think again... it'll take forever to download and could ruin a user's experience.

If you don't have software to edit photos, try Gimp (open source software, free) or software online such as PicNik.

7. Hosted using a Free / Ad supported Service

When I though of this point I almost removed it with the abolition of GeoCities not so long ago. However there are free website hosting services which everyone will know, and many use such as; wordpress.com blogspot.com and to an extent tumblr (though this isn't ad supported).

Now don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with these to start with, as a hobby or keeping an online diary but as a website for a business they leave a lot to be desired. Free hosting will normally put an advert on the site, be slow and can be fairly unreliable.

So get off that Free Hosting and use a paid hosting service. If you as your web designer they will likely suggest a host, they may even have a server for clients for which you pay a nominal cost for it's up keep and not a huge premium. For my clients it's about 10p a day to host if I design and build the website. If you wish to have hosting on my server and you're not a client it's just 15p a day ... interested? contact me about cheap web hosting today.

Further to this if you need an SSL certificate, don't get a free or shared one. They cost from as little as £15 a year dependant upon your needs. So pay a little but get a lot ;)

8 - Where's My Site Gone?

Doh! the website has gone down and we can't get it back ... or maybe all the files have mysteriously been deleted. Erm what better reason to get a new website...

Ok, if the website is down, contact the host and ask what happening - if the site is down on a regular basis find a new host (again it's normal free hosts which fall over a lot).

If it's a "oh deleted" case then yeh you'll need a new website... not many other options - you should back up your site often is the lesson there.

9 - Discotech's Are in Fashion

Children of the 60's & 70's yes the discotech's are back with bright garish colours and flares all over the web... joke! If your website is full of brightly coloured text, has a garish background that isn't really in keeping with your brand image then it's time for a make-over.

The good news is you may not need a full redesign if this is the case, but if it is the case it's likely your website is fairly old and the point below may apply.

10 - Old Code for Old Men

Website Coding Standards have improved over the last decade. We've gone from grey websites with red text in a fixed table layout to todays dynamic websites styles using external style sheets with more interactivity than we could of dreams of shaking a stick at 10 years ago.

So have a professional web designer or internet marketer take a look at the code your website uses ... there could be parts which are outdated and make your website inaccessible. There will also likely be parts of the code which simply don't render correctly in today's modern (for the most part) standards compliant browsers.

A great example of a site moving forward is Google, who recently announced they were dropping support for IE6, a browser with many bugs and styling quirks. Why are they dropping it? because to support it would require using old outdated code which takes time and effort ... if you're not google and your using old code you may also soon find google doesn't index your website so much ... a search spider will only make so much effort each time it visits ... if you fill a page with tables for styling or have hundreds of fill 1x1 images - it really is time to get your website redesigned.

Does your website need a redesign?

Garish pink has your attention huh? anyway, if you need help or advice on redesigning your website, leave a question in the comments.

If you'd like to discuss your redesign project and hire me to work on the project, hop over to my Website and Graphic Design website and contact me today.