So many businesses out there set up a website and then think, “There, that’s done with” and never bother to re-evaluate their website’s design or position in the marketplace. But looking at a website as a static, unchanging bit of advertising will put you at a disadvantage sooner or later. Trends in website design change over the years (and even months). What looked cutting edge in 2006 is going to look incredibly dated in 2009. Even things that were popular in 2008 are starting to look dated (glossy, Web 2.0-ish designs being one case-in-point). In this article we’ll review some of the most important aspects of site redesign, so you can use the information below as a guide for your next redesign.
It’s much better to look at your website as a constantly-updating and evolving part of your online presence. Your design should be updated regularly to reflect new developments both in your business (or personal development if it’s a personal site) and should be redesigned thoroughly whenever necessary. Use the guide below to help you along the path of a redesign.
How to Know if Your Site Needs a Redesign
1. It Uses Outdated Technologies and Techniques If your site uses technologies or design techniques that have become dated, it’s probably time for a redesign. While deprecated code is the most obvious of these, there are a lot of other things to watch out for, including:
Frames While the occasional iFrame might not be anything to worry about (and are often used for widgets, affiliate programs, or advertising), if your site makes use of frames for a major portion of its design, it is definitely time for a redesign. Frames have been outdated since around 2000. Get rid of them.
Intro Pages Intro pages were all the rage in the early 2000s. Most used Flash and/or audio content. While intro pages aren’t necessarily a completely outdated design technique, it’s becoming more rare to see them. If your site has a lengthy Flash intro, it’s probably time for a redesign.
Outdated Content Modern websites need to be updated on a constant basis. Even if you have a “static” site, you still need to make sure the content on it stays current. Many older sites weren’t built on a content management system and can be a pain to update, especially for people who aren’t comfortable with coding. If your site isn’t built on a CMS, it’s probably time for a redesign.
Your Site is Entirely Flash Most sites nowadays are not built entirely with Flash. Even those that appear to be, often have content pulled in from XML files, instead of being hard-coded into the Flash files. If your site was built with only Flash, it’s likely you’re suffering in the usability and SEO departments. Consider a redesign.
Tables Tables were de rigueur a few years ago in website design, but tables were never really meant for laying out the design of a site; they were intended for formatting data. Designers just figured they were handy for creating complex website designs. If your current site is designed using tables, it’s time for a redesign.
Trendy Design Elements If your site was designed with trendy elements (such as Web 2.0 glossy buttons), it’s probably a good idea to redesign it as soon as those trends start to fade. Don’t wait until you’re the last site around using one trend or another. Stay ahead of the curve and redesign while it still looks at least somewhat fresh. Also, consider steering clear of trendy elements, or at least incorporate them in ways that will be easy to change in six months.
2. Your Site is Largely Unchanged from 2 Years Ago
Websites should be updated continuously. If your website looks largely as it did a couple years ago, it’s likely time for a revamp. While you don’t necessarily have to do a complete redesign every two years, you should go through your site to see what looks outdated and what could use some improvement. There’s almost certainly some things that could benefit from tweaking.
Quality, Goal Centered Web Design. Your site should be designed and structured around getting results. If you're selling widgets, I'll help you convey that so that your website visitors realize that you're the best widget store around and do it within the first 2 seconds of the visit. read more
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