Your site was a huge investment when you were starting out, and you expected an impressive ROI from it. Your web designer now suggests website redesign, citing that your online presence and reputation is at stake. Well, you can’t imagine yourself putting in more cash, especially if the site hasn’t met the expectations raised by the exaggerated promises that your designer made to you. After consulting another developer, the report is no different, and it feels like they have conspired to cleverly steal more money from you and your business. Well, the new designer is reputable, and your friend cannot stop singing about how well he does his job. Here are 4 technical reasons why you should take the plunge and redesign your online platform:
1. The first reason is outdated web technology. The technology that you use to manage your website affects your site’s performance and efficiency. The technical term for this manager is a CMS- Content Management System. It could be outdated, or even obsolete. Technology changes very fast- in fact, 1 year translates into 4 internet years.
If your CMS is using technology that was being used 5 years ago, then you are 20 years behind current technology in terms of internet years. With such an outdated CMS, your editing options are very limited, and you cannot make use of new features. It becomes very easy for someone to hack your site. This is dangerous to your reputation, and it could compromise on the security of your financial transactions. Redesigning will not only help you to stay up to date, but also ensure greater security.
A robust CMS should have the following features: simple and accessible content editing on a variety of devices – PC, desktop, android; fast loading time; Search Engine Optimization, that is, it is easy for search engines to access it; many users, for instance, wordpress; and support and frequent updates from developers.
2. After taking a critical look at your CMS, the other technical issue could be the fact that your site is not mobile friendly or lacks a responsive design. The latter refers to a site that delivers in the most effective way no matter what device the user uses to access it. A mobile friendly site can be accessed from your phone. A mobile site needs to be mobile intelligent.
At least 30% of web access is from mobile devices. Moreover, there are higher conversion rates among tablet and smartphone users when compared to desktop users. Mobile users like to access sites very fast, so a feature like one click dialing will come in handy. Desktop sites look awkward on mobile devices and navigation is close to impossible, as it is difficult for the user to access menus, open links and access required information.
If your site can only be accessed from a desktop, you are simply getting all wrong and losing customers to your competitors who have sites with responsive design, and those that are mobile friendly. Your mobile site should also have fast loading time. Otherwise, your clients will get frustrated when they cannot access the site, and opt to try elsewhere. A responsive web redesign ensures that a larger audience is reached. Your developer will advise on whether redesigning your site is necessary for your situation or not.
3. By now, you must be eager to take up whatever deal your developer brings to the table. But, before you do, have you considered whether your online platform appeals to the eye? What first impression does it create? Is it visually interesting? An aesthetically appealing design makes your clients spend more than the average 7 seconds on the platform. Can your website be categorized among the 10% that clients will be inclined to? Clients will share your site with other people if they find it visually interesting.
The design is a reflection of what your company and products are all about, what values they convey, as well as the quality of the products or services offered. Interestingly, overall design is subconsciously submitted to emotional judgment by your viewer. If it is below average, visitors tend to perceive your company and its products and services to be the same. The reverse is also true. Work with your developer to come up with a design that makes your site professional, contemporary, fresh, yet compelling and unforgettable, depending on your niche, and the products and services that you offer.
4. Lastly, before buying into your developer’s seemingly great idea, have you checked your links? If you are selling products or offering a service, do you have links in the first place? You must have a link that allows them to buy a product, or ask for a free quote. The link should be located on more than one page, packaged in various ways, and your content should lead clients to the link.
Are the navigation links aptly named? Are they descriptive, short and precise? For instance, a link that leads to your contact information should be aptly named “Contact us”. What about the body text links? They should be longer than navigation links. An entire sentence is more effective as a body text link when compared to a single word.
How are your navigation links spread out on your web pages? Are there more at the top than at the bottom or vice versa? Most visitors will not scroll to the bottom of the page, thus navigation links should be located at the top. Repeating navigation links at the bottom as texts rather than image links allows visitors who scrolled through to the bottom get around the site without having to go back to the top.
Well, these are some of the technical reasons why website redesign would be a great idea. There are many other reasons, though not necessarily technical, like when your company rebrands, if your conversions rates are too low, to add functionality for instance, a blog, and to ensure that it is updated. A professional evaluation by a web developer will help you decide whether web redesign is the way to go. Remember, redesign could translate to a few changes in functionality, or an entire overhaul. Either way, it will be for the better.