We all know that most websites need a face lift every couple of years, but before you rush out and spend big chunks of your marketing budget, you need to step back for a moment. Let’s consider these 5 important factors to ensure your new website earns its keep.
I'm not asking this question to suggest you don't need a re-design, but rather I want you to focus on your goals.
Sounds simple, but the reasons for your re-design should be the foundation of the new design itself.
Make a list of the key reasons for the re-design and make sure they are part of the specification you give to your web designer.
Don’t just rip out the old site and start fresh without taking some lessons from your old website.
Be careful you are not removing features and content that have worked well for you. This is the time to dig back into your website anaytics and find out how your old website really performed. Don't just rely on instinct and biased internal focus. You might be surprised when you see the real statistics. Threw away successful content, that attracts traffic and your new website might have a negative impact rather than a positive one.
Planning for a new website is a great time to look at you competition and be sure you are competing to your full potential. I’m not saying you should create an exact copy of another website. However, if a competitor has really useful features, that attract customers, it is worth taking note.
It goes without saying you need to keep on the right side of copyright, trademarks and plagiarism.
Individuality is also good. You want your business to stand out as well as compete. Looking at your competition, can also help you consider how to stand out from the crowd, without alienating your target market.
This is not just about the design specification for your website. Don't get me wrong, a good specification is essential, but also build in what happens once the website goes live. Think marketing plan and content strategy, to ensure your shiny new website continues to support you into the future. Be sure you know what resources you will need, to keep your website successful and fresh.
Finding the right web designer is key. Have a look at their portfolio. Do you like their design style? Arrange a meeting and have a chat. If you can communicate your ideas and build a rapport then the whole project will go a lot more smoothly. Go with your instinct and talk to more than one designer before you make a choice.
Most importantly enjoy the process and get excited. This is your website and you should take ownership of the process if it is going to be a success.