5 Signs Your Website Needs a Redesign

Are you one of the many who hold to the adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” when it comes to your website? If so, here’s a question for you: how will you know when it’s broken and needs to be fixed?

Check out these five signs that your website needs a redesign, and please, be honest with yourself.

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Navigation Has Become Difficult

In the military there’s something known as “mission creep.” This is when troops are called upon to carry out more than their original assignment. There’s a good chance that the same thing has happened with your website. How many pages and sections have you added over the past few months? Adding pages and features on the fly can disrupt what may have originally been a very logical design. Honestly, I believe Pinterest falls into this category. There’s so much going on that it becomes virtually meaningless.

Or maybe you heard that Flash is “in,” so you had someone work up a Flash page for you. While it may look good, there’s a strong possibility that it doesn’t help your users navigate to where they need to be. I dare you to check out this System for Success page and try to decipher what it means. It seems more like a system for failure to me. Thanks to Vincent Flanders for finding this page and many, many more.

Poor Conversion Rate

Visitors must be attracted to your site, but when they get there, a certain percentage must be converted in some measurable way, by buying something, making an inquiry or signing up for a newsletter. It can be any number of “actions.” Good conversion rates vary greatly depending on what your business is and what you hope to achieve. However, if your conversion rates have gone down over time, you need a redesign. Likewise, if your conversion rates are significantly lower than what others in your industry are receiving, you need a redesign.

The Site Looks Dated

One of the unfortunate realities of the Internet is that its design and graphic “language” is constantly evolving. Some of us remember when “frames” revolutionized webpage design, and I don’t want to tell you how long ago that was! Remember that, to your visitors, your website is your image. You need to stay current. If a year has gone by and you haven’t taken a hard look at the image your site is presenting, you’ve waited too long. Furthermore, if you have a lot of yourself personally invested in the look and feel of your site, find an unbiased third party to give you an honest assessment.

The Site has More Bling than Flavor Flav

Sometimes it takes a good measure of self discipline to avoid the lure of flashing graphics and auto-play background music. Causing visitors of your website to become annoyed is not the same thing as keeping them engaged, which is what you really want to do. If you’re the kind of person who yearns to incorporate every bell and whistle on your homepage, you need some kind of 12-step program in which the first step is “Don’t do it!” Get someone to strip away and clean up all the garbage.

The Main Thing Isn’t the Main Thing

Does your landing page truly communicate the essence of what you want visitors to know about you? To express a very short amount of time, we used to use the phrase “a New York minute.” I’m convinced that “an Internet minute” is even shorter. You have a visitor on your homepage for a very brief moment in time; be certain that the one thing you want that person to know is effectively communicated. Again, have some unbiased people look over your page and give their impressions of what it tells them about you or your business.

Here’s one more “nuts and bolts” issue to think about. Browsers change. Be certain your site looks good and functions on all of the popular browsers. Make sure you have Google analytics installed so that you can see which browsers your visitors are using. You may also find out that it would be beneficial to have a mobile-optimized site.

What features do you believe make up a quality website?

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Written By James Cofflin

James Cofflin works for Arcisphere Technology, a release management and IBM software consultant company in New York City.

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13 thoughts on “5 Signs Your Website Needs a Redesign
  1. avatardaisy liddell

    Redesigning websites is really important especiall if the websites are not working anymore as you once desired. These tips are really helpful! Thanks for sharing this awesome post!


  2. avatarmoneyman

    Very useful post indeed! I agree too that we should work on our websites even though they would not need any work done to keep them up and running. For instance I have came across too many sites that are so hard to navigate and have to browse through too many pages to reach what I am searching for so they really should be reorganized.

    I also agree that poor design has an effect on conversion rate on advertisements. A good looking site will definitely get more clicks on adverts there is enough effort put on designing the ad places to match the background.


  3. avatarKiran

    Everything related to a website is evolving day in and day out. This has been an informative post, i have to admit. I would always look forward to these points when I’m launching a website of my own which I’m intending to do some day soon.


  4. avatarChristy

    Informative post, Redesign will not increase the leads, we should keep in mind that we need conversion friendly designs for websites which will definitely increase the conversion rate. Not only for desktop based sites but also we must create conversion friendly websites for mobile version too.

    The difficult situation comes when we have a eCommerce site to be made conversion friendly for mobile users. Analyze the image http://cdnext.seomoz.org/1342907315_fb55a9b6a29089028216a2d6043097ab.png In few simple steps the user is converted. This is how we should think in future for making conversion friendly mobile sites.

    So redesigning a site so that it becomes conversion friendly will increase conversion rate.


  5. avatarRick Noel

    Nice article James. One thing for Internet markets to be careful when implementing a website redesign is to note is to make sure that they don’t kills the organic search traffic and make sure to pass the rank and authority of old pages to the pages replace them, assuming that new pages are not named the same and accessed through the same file structure. In these instances, it is important to use 301 redirects to let the search engines know where the content has been moved to. Thanks for sharing.


  6. avatarMargarita

    I agree. Like every other business, owning and managing a website means you need to check out what the competition is doing. Knowing what consumers want is also important. Low conversion rates is a clear symptom that change needs to be done. Thanks for the heads-up!


  7. avatarwindfall

    Checked it, almost, all. My blog definitely need to spruce up much of the design. The problem is I have focus in writing quality content and spend less time in thinking that I should at the first glance of my site, visitors will find comfort and appeal, encouraging them to explore further.


  8. avatarglobalweblogic

    This is really excellent information! I particularly like the information on images, as I’ve sometimes had difficulty finding what I’m looking for. Thanks!


  9. avatarangeldrb

    Good article! I’ve helped my friend redesign his website and I think I considered these points. Basically, if a website isn’t user-friendly anymore, it should be redesigned. A lot of websites nowadays also have problems with updating their content and links. If their site loads very slowly, I get out of it fast. Your article pretty much sums up my thoughts about the topic. :)


  10. avatarBeniston

    When the business expands: categories, products and options increases along with that. So automatically the need for user friendliness and smooth navigation increases. If the user didn’t find the site to be smooth to navigate, he would for sure leave the site never to come back.

    Also some times the site design could come to a stage where it cannot support an advanced feature which users love.

    So in order to keep the business growing through the site, it requires re-design.


  11. avatarBloggety

    We just spent the past month updating all of our sites to mobile-friendly responsive themes (all sites are self-hosted WordPress sites). When the amount of visitors using cell-phone and tablet jumped from 10% to 35% in a six month period and our bounce rates skyrocketed, we knew we had to make some changes.


  12. avatarriku517

    I felt the need to redesign my website after a friend’s daughter said my website looked “old.” I realized it did look a bit dated even though it was created in recent times.
    Instead of looking at your website as a company, it’s always best to look at the website as a consumer. By doing this, you can see how the website effects you and your willingness to spend money on the company it is promoting.
    It’s become a common thing where I go to a company’s website and it looks like a website scammers use to steal your money, plain and bogus.


  13. avatarrzashida

    We have to constantly update websites these day. It is so easy for things to get outdated or carry the same look as our competitors. My 13 year old updated my website because she said it looked old, I must say she did an excellent job. It is difficult updating all the time.



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