A new website design is a little easier these days. You can learn web programming online, or you can buy a template, or you can learn a content management system and build your own new design. There are also web designers ready and waiting to do it for you. Here are some things to consider before going for a new web design.
Is it really your design that is failing you?
The idea of going for a new web design may not be what your website needs. It may not be your design that is causing sales or attendance problems. It is certainly possible that people are not buying from you or revisiting because of your web design, but are you sure that is what the problem is?
It could be your marketing as a whole that is causing the problem. It could also be the moves that your competitors are making that are affecting your website attendance or sales. It could be that your products are outdated or out of fashion. It could even be an update you did a while ago that has caused a bug. You should investigate every avenue before going for a new design.
What is your backup plan in case of complete failure?
There is a chance that your new web design is going to fall on the rocks and people stop visiting in massive numbers. There are plenty of re-branding horror stories on the net where things like this have happened before. Do you have a backup plan for if this happens to you? What will you do if your new design falls flat and you start losing attendance? Saying you will revert back to the old way very rarely works (unless you count new coke).
Can you do an update instead of going for a new design?
It may be that your website is looking a little dated. You may have old design structures that are out of place in our time. You may even have old marketing techniques that do not work such as icons saying “100% satisfaction.” if this is the case, then is a big new design really needed. You could simply take your old design and change it so that it is more up to date with current web design standards.
Are you going to go responsive?
If you are going for a new design, then think hard about making it responsive. Having a website that converts into a mobile website when a mobile browser is used is the way of the future. Having desktop only websites is going out of fashion, as is having a separate mobile and desktop website. The best method is to go for responsive where you can have both, and you are able to have both with a new web design.
Are you writing it yourself, using a CMS hiring someone?
What you do and how you do it is important. If you use a content management system (CMS) then you need to be sure that you can create a very good website. It is better to design it by hand first and then try it. If you start with the website creator then it will be more difficult to create a good website. If you are using a designer then consider which one, how much it will cost, and if that designer is able to capture the essence of your brand with his or her design.
Can all the work be done offline first?
This is very important because you want as little down time as possible. The days where a website could have a sign up saying “website under maintenance” are gone. If you do that these days then Google will just kick you down the search engine results and people will stop attending your website because they assume it is broken. If you can do all the work offline then you will be far more successful.
Do you have the time and money to get a new web design?
It costs time for certain, and it may cost you money if you use your own productive work hours or if you hire a designer. Even if you use a content management system you are likely to end up buying templates and plugins for it. So, consider if you have the money. Also consider the ROI. If you are not sure that the web design is the problem, then how can you accurately predict its potential return on investment?
Are you going to have a refitting event?
If you are going to have a new website design, then are you going to advertise it and make a big deal of it? Shops often do this when they are refitted, so why not try it yourself. You can email your clients, you can create a mass media saturation campaign and you can even pay for affiliate advertising to promote the day your website changes its design. You can also state that you are going to be running discount code offers on your website for the entire week after your refitting event.