Websites are the representation and the foundation of your business online. These important assets need to be taken care of and updated according to the changes in the world of business and technology. The most common reason businesses redesign their websites is because they are not attractive or interesting to the target audience. They need a new look and the best way to accomplish this is through a professional redesign. The following are the 10 big mistakes you should avoid when redesigning your website.
Before we dive into these mistakes, we should look at reasons why the redesign is important. Some businesses want to change their products and services, while others want to launch new services and products. A redesign will give your website a new appearance that will attract more traffic and meet all the new rules set by search engines. To achieve this, the process needs to be carried out by professionals. Making simple mistakes could end up making your site worse than it initially was. These mistakes will also cost you a great deal in money and time especially due to the downtime.
If you decide to go ahead with the redesign, the following are mistakes you should avoid by all means.
Not having the Correct Goals for the Redesign Project
Prior to starting any project or fixing a problem, it is important to understand what the problem is and find out the causes. Without this kind of analysis, finding out what to solve, where to look and the expected results will be a difficult task. Creating a plan for the website redesign starts with setting of goals, the processes involved and which need more attention than others.
If all the analysis and the goals are complicated to you, the best thing to do is find a website you want your site to look like. You can then explain to the designer from here and this will be easier and it will make more sense. Not having goals means the project can go any direction and you might not like the results.
Putting Aesthetics over Functionality
The reason you are redesigning your website is so that it looks better but most importantly, it works better. The truth is that sometimes these two elements will overlap and you will need to choose one. A good appearance is important but it should not be prioritized at the expense of functionality. No one wants a website that looks like a million dollars but functions like 1 cent.
Above every other aspect, you should always ensure that the site is delivering on functionality. This means that is has great search and is created in such a way that the target audience can find whatever they need fast and easy.
Lack of Website Analysis
You cannot set your goal without a proper analysis of the existing website design. You will need to analyze the metrics to find out what needs a change and what needs an improvement. This analysis will give you an opportunity to understand the problems you are currently facing and an identification of things that are working and those that are not. These elements should be incorporated in the redesign for the best results.
After the re-launch, it is also crucial that you monitor the elements you had analyzed. This will help in immediately identifying the problems and fixing them before they cause any problems. You will also get a chance to find out how much the redesigning has helped your site and your business. This means that the metrics are important and the professionals handling the process can avail them.
Limiting your Budget
It is crucial to have a working budget to prevent overspending and under spending. Most website owners are on the lower side for obvious reasons. If your last redesigning project was half a decade ago, it does not mean the cost you paid is the same. Things have changed and so has the cost. A few years ago, all that was needed in the redesign was a few tweaks and an online brochure. Well, there are more things to be handled now and this increases the cost. Businesses are in competition with each other and all are trying to improve aesthetics while maintaining an impressive functionality.
With things such as responsive designs and content management, your website will do more than you can imagine and you cannot simply expect to pay a small price. Though you should not overspend, limiting your budget will mean that the changes will be limited and this will not be much of a change for your website and business.
Having an Unrealistic Deadline
Okay, it takes time to redesign a website properly. Though it should not take a whole year, you should not expect to have a new design overnight. There are a number of phases that have to be followed such as researching, wire framing, creating content, design change, web development and testing. Depending on the wideness of your site and the work that has to go into each process, the project can take more than three months.
In most cases, website owners will want the process handled fast. This is based on fear of losing clients for the time the site will not be working. The process can be handled faster and this means a few corners will be cut. The resulting website will be a good example of a mistake. The clients you were so afraid of losing might actually not appreciate the hurriedly done redesigning.
Forgetting About the Client During the Redesigning Project
As you handle the redesign, it is crucial that you let your clients feel at home. They should know what you are doing and that you have not closed your business. If you have a physical store, you need to let them know that the shop is still open. This is possible through social networks which can represent your website while it is getting a facelift.
Keep in mind that a first time visitor that visit the site during this transition might actually never come back regardless of whether you inform them what is happening or not. After the redesign, make sure you inform your customers that you are back and that there were some changes done to improve their experience. These simple gestures can greatly tell your clients that you really care about them. Whatever you do, never forget about your customers.
Giving the Redesign Task to the Wrong People
Simply put, the redesign project will turn out as good as the people handling it. In this age, websites are important assets in the business world and they need to be treated as so. If you are changing the design, you need to make sure it is professionally handled; there is no room for trial and error. Go for designers with exceptional design abilities and technical skills. They need to be aware of what goes on in your relevant industry. Choosing an incompetent designer will end in a catastrophic website and this is something you just cannot afford.
Content Strategy Neglect
Excellent functionality and great design is half the journey. It does not make any sense to have an attractive website that is at the bottom of the ranking list on search engine result pages. Everyone is aiming to be on the first spot. After the redesign, you should reinforce the new look with fresh interesting content. The content strategy you select should involve all the buying steps your customer should take.
Using the metrics from the previous analysis, you can organize the content based on the visitor’s behavior. Note where the visitors are paying attention to and where they are not. The content strategy should include relevant information such as news, industry details and other things your target customers will like. You should ensure that the content you are writing is interesting to your audience and friendly to search engine. This is where SEO comes in. The content should be optimized to push your site to the top of the search result pages.
Forgetting About Mobile Users
If website redesigning is in your mind, it is important not to forget about mobile phone users. Most of the website visits today are from mobile devices. There are more people using mobile phone to access the internet than those using desktop computers. This means that the redesign should not lock out the mobile users at all costs.
Probably, your website will get more mobile phone users than other users. As the developer is planning on starting the project, you should make sure they optimize the site for mobile users. They should have an experience as good as the desktop user. Most mobile users will not stay a second longer if the site is not mobile friendly. Your guess is right; they will visit your direct competitor.
Discontinuing All Efforts After the Launch of the New Website
Most people feel as if all the work is done after the redesign process. Well, if you stop putting in more work, the redesign was actually for nothing. Running a website is not just about having an attractive design and useful content. What was useful yesterday might not be all that useful today. This is where the smaller important tasks come in. You need to make content updates to attract customers and generate sales.
Smaller adjustments are beneficial in seizing sudden opportunities for engagement, conversion rate and sales. You should focus on growth and no growth will happen if you do not keep on working on the website to address the current changes.
In time and money, website redesigns can be a good investment which explains why you need to be cautious when carrying out this project. Avoiding all these mistakes will ensure that your project is worth your time and your money. You just need to focus on the important elements and your website will be a strong driving force in your business’s growth. Of course, there are other mistakes that people make but the 10 are the most common and carry the most weight.
Working with professional designers in your redesigning project will reduce the chances of these mistakes occurring and save you a great deal of money and time.