It’s one of those things that occurs to you when you get a customer saying, your website looks tired. Your website didn’t work on my mobile. Did you know you have a copyright that is 6 years old? etc. At this point, you have a realisation that your new website is actually several years old. So you decide to make a website re-design plan. We are here to help you understand what you need to include in that plan.
It’s not always just down to the age of a website. Here are several reasons why you may need a re-design for your website.
Sometimes due to demand for services from existing clients. or changes to products you recognise a new approach is needed, but your existing website is unable to deliver without some serious changes. That’s where a website re-design plan should be implemented.
Every website has a specific approach, so a re-design can address all the above areas. Later we will look at how you can create a website plan. For now, let’s look at the ideal re-design strategy.
Branding or personality. Yes, your website has its own personality. It in effect talks to your customers on your behalf. So what does your website currently say? Is it putting new clients off? Forcing them to hit the back button to give their custom to your competitor. It may be re-branding is the way to change this and enable your website to stand up and invite your next customer to choose you. For help visit these articles on branding.
How can you measure whether your visitors are engaged? Google Analytics will clearly show if your current site is fully engaging people. Also, Google Search Console is a dream if you want the overview of your website visitor with less detail. With both Google Search Console and Google Analytics, you can view the bounce rate of your website. Take a look at the bounce rates. If they are high, then this tells you visitors are not inspired enough to buy or stay.
A website re-design helps keep it simple. Cluttered and crowded web design is the most common mistake small businesses make when designing a website. If your business has grown or evolved, the message and choices you offer can be so confusing. I’ve seen it before. rookie webmasters have tried to make something stand out by using additional formatting and font colours. The text is formatted larger and larger, then even more bold added, then the next even more important message is increased to a more prominent size and so on and so on. Web re-branding will remove the cluttering and allow the true content to breathe. White-space is your best friend so use it and keep it for clarity.
Every website re-design plan includes the call to action button. If I were to re-brand your website, no matter what the business, a call to action button is essential as it tells your visitor where you want them to go. Likewise, if you are not clear what action you want your visitor to take, how on earth could they possibly signup and take the next action? Additionally, visitors can be in various states of readiness. One may be finding out about what you can offer, another may require the ability to purchase from you. Therefore a simple button is needed. The call to action button should be a striking unique colour on your site. A colour never repeated, just set aside for action buttons.
The buttons can say “click here to find out more”. This is ideal for those who have interest, I would then take them to a landing page that would send them more information via email. Using this method, I now have their email address to offer further assistance if needed. I suggest two buttons. The 2nd button is further down the page and throughout the website aimed at encouraging more commitment e.g. “buy now” or “signup now” this is where you can receive some return on your investment.
So to recap on the above
If you realise that the re-design checklist above, is making you sweat, then its a sign that a redesign is pretty clearly needed. But your not left in the dark. Now you know you need a re-design, lets show you an example of one we did last year.
When I meet with the client, I like to understand what of the failings in the checklist above is driving there reason for wanting me to redesign there web site. Is it the need to change the brand? Have they purchased a new business and want to have both brands amalgamated? Or in most cases, the common reason for a website re-design is because they need a website to work properly on a mobile device.
Below is an example from a local client who had 3 major issues and was desperate for a redesign. Firstly his previous web designer had left him without a website, as it had been attacked. Secondly he had no ability to recover his emails or website, but did have control of his domain name (Essential) Finally , if i could recover his old website (which was tired and not at all made for a mobile device) he would want the same content but with an updated layout, cleaner look, an additional gallery and fully mobile and tablet friendly. So that’s a re-design in another words.
You will also notice; the logo is now clear. The branding has increased. His text is now readable. The menu is usable. He had a web site that works using standard functions. Google is ranking his website again and he is seeing return on his investment.
This is what our client said thereafter. Visit there site here on a mobile if you wish.
I was introduced to Zane by a very good friend who has used him for years.Mark Lake & Keith Stone – S&K Furniture by design, Bournemouth
He has re-designed our whole website as it was corrupted and unusable. The previous web based company did not want to know and it was a struggle to contact anyone. We have had full cooperation and amazing communication from Zane and he has worked with us to bring back a re-modelled fully loaded website back to life. Within 2 days of going live we were receiving enquiries again for quotations! It goes to show that a website is essential in today’s market place and we couldn’t recommend Zane Clements at Zanet Design Ltd highly enough to provide all of your online presence and ongoing support within the World Wide Web.
Whether a re-design or a design from scratch, I have a clear approach. This helps my clients also tackle the project with confidence as we work together. So here is my process for website design.
The first part of the design process is communication. I always meet with client, either via Skype or a call or in person. What’s the aim and purpose? Communication. I take notes and make sure I fully understand what the client wants to achieve. When the client and I understand what goals we want to achieve, we can work together. They have the understanding of their business. I have the understanding of how the web site can achieve whatever they need it to accomplish. That’s a winning combination.
Clarity through questions is essential. If there is a project brief and documentation, then everyone can work to achieve the same goals. What are the time lines? What would help us judge the project is a success? If we redesign the website, what reports and stats do we have from the previous year to compare it to? What changes are definitely needed? Do we have any functionality that is mandatory for the re-design?
So what are your competitors doing better than you? Are there new techniques they are using that you must have in your re-design? This is now the time to not hide your head in the sand, but to be brutally honest with yourself. It can hurt, but the web redesign is the perfect time to look at these improvements. You can learn a lot from analysing competitor’s web sites. You have ample opportunity to fix the areas you have neglected. Now you have to do it even better than they are.
The web design would always benefit from a consideration of the layout. We mentioned previously that being mobile friendly and certainly having a responsive design is now essential. But have you tested your website on a mobile. Does the layout really work? How will the layout look on large screens, a laptop, or a tablet? With definition improving, do your images look lost on the page? Do you need new photography or purchase some royalty free images? Does the process of enquiry to an application or purchase really work? Who has actually tested the process out?
You will notice from an article called The meaning of colors that web sites can thrive or dive based on using the correct colours. Makes sure you have a colour that truly reflects the right words in your visitors mind. Don’t just pick your favourite colour, pick the right colour. Inspiration and mood boards can work well here. Think about your headers, links, navigation, animations, and typography.
At this point, I normally produce some redesign ideas using Latin text and reflecting the layouts , images and agreed approach. This is always the most effective way of moving forward in a positive way. Now instead of words we are seeing visuals. To make changes based on what you can see is immensely easier and really rewarding. From these conversations a final version is worked towards. Once this has been approved then the new template design and theme is built, tested and when the re-designed website is ready to go live we then set a date and flick the switch
That’s the website re-design plan in detail. This process has worked for all my customers and I hope it helps you too.