Refreshing your website for 2015

It’s January, 2015.  Game time.  You know your website is beginning to date, or you know it can be performing better – now is the time to look at your website and reflect on whether or not things need to change, and what should be changed.

When was the website updated last?
If the answer is, ‘over a few years’ then it’s definitely worth considering refreshing the look. People are quick to judge a book by its cover, or a business by its website – if it looks old and outdated, potential customers can feel the business is out of touch, isn’t a high performer, or worse, presume the business is no longer running!  Of course, not all websites have to look futuristic and innovative, but if a different look is intentional, it still needs to convey your key messages in an easy to read fashion. If you have a portfolio, is it up to date with your recent projects? Does your website look good on mobiles?  Remember that a website shouldn’t be a ‘set-and-forget’ item like an ad in the phone directory, but rather as a performance tool to be maintained, like a well-oiled machine.

Is it providing results?
When you boil it down, the main purpose of having a website is to help your business to sell. If you’re not finding much benefit from your website then it’s a good sign to look at revamping your site.  Google Analytics is great for this as it can show you where all your traffic is going, and what pages will result in most people leaving your site. From there it becomes a matter of finding out what isn’t working and why, so you don’t repeat the same mistakes.

Remember the importance of functionality
Every page of a website should serve a purpose. It’s easy to come up with ideas to add to a design because it looks good, but all of it means nothing without proper structure and functionality – each section and element of your website should help guide your visitor to what they need and want.  For example, if your website is about music and gigs, you may want to provide calendar widgets and social sharing links, to help your visitors tell their friends about upcoming events. Ease of use, navigability and functionality are all important to consider in your redesign.