As we move closer to the end of the year, I have many clients (myself included) who are evaluating their current websites and starting to budget and plan for website improvements. Redesigning a website is a big project and requires much planning. Before heading down this road, take a minute and evaluate, why do you need a new business website at this point?
I Never Liked How My Website Looked
Since we work on a lot of websites that we didn’t design, we hear from business owners all the time how they were never really happy with how their website looks. I also have plenty of examples of business owners that fall in love with a website once and never change it. As the leader of your business, you have to take emotion out of the this decision. Don’t spend thousands of dollars or put off a needed upgrade because of your personal preferences. We need some solid business reasons to overhaul a website.
Business-Based Goals for Web Development
So when is it time to think about a new website? Here are a list of key indicators that tell you it’s time to change.
- You are having trouble getting work done – If everything you try to post on the website is a major production and takes way longer then it should, yes its time to look at something new.
- Old Technology – It’s not hard to know when your technology is out of date. You start getting calls from customers that they are having trouble accessing items on your site. Or, for example, I have a client who has to have an old version of Internet Explorer saved on her PC because her content management system won’t save her work if she works on a newer browser. In 2014, technical standards will be big for SEO performance. Now is the time to bring your website code up-to-date.
- No Room to Grow – See if this sounds familiar, you have important news/events/new products you would like to talk about and what to put something on the homepage of your site, but it is a struggle to find where to put it. Or your current design only gives you five navigation spots across the top, but your business offerings have grown and you could really use space for a couple more. Worse example: The design of your website is build around a photograph of a product that has been upgraded or you no longer offer! Feel these pain points? Start planning a new website soon.
- Hard to Find Help – We often have business owners come to us with websites that were built on a content management system or coding language that was popular for a minute and then did catch on. Now they are stuck with a website and it is impossible to find anyone who knows how to help them with their system. Do some number crunching, but it has been my experience, that it may save you money in the long run to migrate your website to a more widely-used and supported platform.
- You are losing traffic/organic search/ sales – The number one reason you should get a new website is because the one you have is not delivering for your business. Before you begin the design process for the new site, really dig into what went wrong with your current site. Was it content? Was it the wrong call to action? Is there a usability issue? We recommend that you spend a few hours of “discovery” time with the developer/designer of your new site, identify the problems, so the same thing does not happen with the new website.
Take Time to Identify The Problems, so You Don’t Repeat Them
Before running out and getting quotes for your next web developer, really think about why you need a new website. Is the reason you never liked it really have do with how it looks? Or is it because it is hard to use? Or you are tired of hearing about what is going wrong with the website? Because if go to that new developer and the discussion centers around what is wrong with the look, you may be missing out on solving the true pain points.