It can be confusing to know exactly when your website needs redesigning.

website need redesigningYet, I’ve often found that if you’re even thinking about a new website, then it’s probably time.

You’re well aware that your website is often the first thing people see and experience about your business. That’s certainly true if they find your through Google or social media. But it’s just as true if you’re getting referrals from past clients. Your website will almost always be the first thing people see about you and your business.

Your website needs redesigning when you have any idea that it’s not doing its job. In most cases, your website needs redesigning when you know that it could be better than it is.

Today, redesigning your website is much more than creating a new look. It goes deeper. Your website needs redesigning so it loads slowly, when some feature isn’t working to get you clients, when you can’t update you content yourself or when your business isn’t presented well.

Since there’s so many things to consider, I’m going to list a few questions that will help you decide if your website needs redesigning. The more questions you answer ‘no’ too, the greater consideration you should give to getting a new website.

Can you edit your content yourself?

How you answer this one question could be the difference between whether your website needs redesigning or not. If you can, then you should be updating your content when you need too. But if you can’t update your content yourself, it’s time to get a website where you can.

Marketing today is so much about content. Search engine rankings, social media marketing, generating list subscribers, and so – marketing online today is all about content. If you can’t create new pages or edit those you have, then you’re loosing out to the tens of thousands of coaches, healers and other professional service providers who can. This is the biggest reason your website needs redesigning.

Is your website mobile responsive?

Ever since smart phone and tablets exploded onto the scene, mobile ready websites have been a need. But now, many years later they are a must. If you just stop an think about how often you browse the internet on your mobile device, that should be enough to show its importance.

In the U.S. about 25% of all website traffic is coming from a mobile device. If you’re unsure what mobile ready design means, take a look at A Beginner’s Guide to Mobile Responsive Design from my friends over at StudioPress. If your website can’t adjust to screen sizes you’re possibly loosing access to 1/4 of your potential clients. That means your website needs redesigning to account for mobile.

Are there things on your website that no longer work or you no longer need?

Has your contact form stop working? Or did your Facebook Fan box break? Are there things you just need to get off your website? These are signs that your website is ripe for a redesign.

When you redesign your website it gives you a chance to fix all these things that aren’t working. It also gives you a chance to add new things that potential clients would like such as social sharing buttons or an email subscription form to get your free download.

Is your website slow to load?

If your website loads too slow, you really need to consider having it redesigned for a number of reasons. First, slow load times cause all sorts of problems on mobile devices. Second, people loose interest and leave your site if it take too long to load. Third, Google rankings are affected negatively by slow loading pages.

While there’s debate on how fast a page should load, if it feels long then your website needs redesigning because the code under your website is what’s likely causing the problem. Starting fresh with a new design and fresh code can make a huge difference between your site working for you or being a problem to you.

Are people going past your home page?

You’ll need something like Google Analytics to figure this one out fully. Or maybe you just intuitively know that you’re loosing visitors when they see your homepage.

You want your homepage to entice people deeper into your website. If it’s not, then you’re loosing a huge percentage of your visitors before they can even get deeper into your content. If this describes your homepage, then your website needs redesigning.

Are you getting fewer visitors over time rather than more?

Are you finding that fewer and fewer people are coming to your website? This, on its own, may not mean your website needs redesigning.

Yet if you combine other factors like loosing people on your homepage, slow load times, and your content looking old and outdated it would be a factor. Both people and search engines want to find new, fresh content. And if they don’t, Google is waiting right there for them to leave your site and find one that looks updated.

When was the last time you completely overhauled your site?

My general rule is that you should consider revamping your website every 2 to 3 years. That’s not a hard-and-fast rule and depends on many factors (see those above). But it’s likely that if your site is older than 3 years than it looks outdated and may not function correctly.

Over the years there technology changes that require website updates as well. From different coding methods that browsers use to new technologies like mobile or social media, your website needs redesigning every few years to keep up with the changing world. Honestly, I wish it wasn’t that way, but it is.

Do you have a blog on your website?

Let’s just skip the talk about whether you should be blogging or not, how much and how often. Your website should give the ability to publish content, articles, video, infographics, photos and any other sort of content any time you like. This is the function of a blog.

While I’m not a fan of the term blog myself (I prefer publishing platform) being able to post when you want is a vital part of having a successful website. And you want your blog integrated as part of your website (read: use WordPress) so you can gain the benefits of having posts out there that lead back to where information about your services can be found. And there’s huge SEO value. So if you don’t have a blog on your website then it likely needs a redesign.

Do search engines even know you exist?

You know you need to be found in Google (and Bing, Yahoo, etc). So much is said out there about good SEO in terms of getting your site found. What search engines like are well-coded, often changing content.

If you not getting found in search at all a new website can help. With WordPress, for instance, there’s a number of things that can be done to help you get found and rank in search results. Getting found in search will help you get more people to your website.

Is the copyright year in your footer any other year than 2014?

As of this writing, we’re in the middle of 2014. If your copyright year in your footer says 2013 than you’re signaling to every person who comes to your website that it hasn’t been updated in at least 8 months. If it’s older, say 2012 or 2010 then you’re signaling to potential clients that you don’t update your website and they will more than likely leave.

It’s a pretty good bet that if your copyright isn’t current for the year that your website needs a redesign. Otherwise, you’re sending messages to potential clients that you don’t really keep your website up-to-date. At that point, what’s the reason to have it?

It’s not just on your shoulders to decide if your website needs redesigning

I can help. I’m happy to look over your site with you and give you some advice. Sure, I’m a website designer and see with those eyes. Yet I’m also honest and will tell you what I really think. If you don’t need a new website – I won’t tell you you do.

Your best next step is to give me a call or email me and let’s talk about it. The first 20-minute consultation is free. And at the very least I can answer your questions, help you find clarity and point you in the right direction – even if it’s not working with me.

(note: image from twig73010 on Flickr some rights reserved)

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