Tuesday, June 18, 2013

When should you redesign your website?

Everyday at least one of my clients receives an email from someone stating they their website needs to be updated, and the unknown email sender is the best person to do it. Everyday new people enter the arena of webdesign. some take a software class, others an online class and some buy a program of templates.

I am asked, how often should a website be updated? And what is the difference between a web designer and website development?

 First, your website should be updated when:
1.) You have broken links, missing images, difficult navigation, outdated content or outdated firm image.
2.) Significant changes are made to search algorithms and your site results are beginning to decline
3.) You've added new personnel or new products/sservices
 4.) You have new success stories that your potential clients can learn from or be inspired by
5.) You have received acknowledgements or have articles newly published in significant journals.

When not to update:
1.) Someone guarantees you top placement in search results if they redesign your entire website. To guarantee something it to promise for absolute certain that it will happen. According to Google, there are black-hat techniques that can get your website in the top results - for a short time. However, long term success cannot be guaranteed. And black-hat techniques can come back to haunt you, including getting you black listed from search databases.
2.) You're bored with the look. Being pretty isn't always necessary. If your site is still bringing in new clients and referrals, it may not need a complete overhaul. You may need simple changes to colors and layouts to please your eye without losing the effect the content is making.
3.) You don't know if it's really pulling in results.  Before deciding your entire site isn't working, be sure to check the analytics and see what pages or content areas are drawing traffic. By analyzing your traffic reports, you will see your website's strength and possible weaknesses.
4.) Because the new kid on the block or the email you just received told you to do it. If someone is telling you that your website is broken, and they are the only ones to fix it - think before acting. If someone approached you with that logic on another areas of your business or personal life,  - not knowing you or your objectives - would you immediately hire them?

Many persons selling web services are offering their opinion, their companies opinion and the limitations of their designs. Some will use a marketing service, ( ie Yext, Citygrid, etc) to show you your results. If so, double-check these results. Many times these reports are incorrect, plus these are for-fee services, so the more their report indicates you need them, the easier it becomes to sell you their service.

A good web developer will use unrelated opinions, ie: other web developers who don't work or are paid by them, and focus groups. Always ask how they derived their assessment of your website and web presence.

Sometimes it's time to refresh your look. It's always time to keep your content current.

Analyze what you have before you agree to an overhaul, when a simple refresh is all you need.

Think of the big picture and long term.

If you've been told that your website needs an overhaul or you feel the need for changes, let's talk. Click to email us. We'll listen first, look at your online presence and then offer our recommendations.  One size does not fit all.The solution for you should be unique to your business and goals. Maybe you only need a refresh.

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