If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Yes, a sage adage, indeed. However, when it comes to your website, if you consider it to be functioning adequately and in a satisfactory state, it’s probably not performing at an optimal level and could be jeopardizing your digital strategy.

We look to our Yardstick graphic design team, Lindsey Meer and Daniel Wedderien for their advice on when it’s time for a redesign. These signs also help you determine if an unprincipled designer is merely trying to push extra/unnecessary services you don’t require and how to tell the difference.

Don’t confuse updates with a redesign. Regular updates are essential to elements like your product offerings, photos, blogs and the like, but if your technology is outdated, for instance your website is running on software that is no longer supported, or it’s not responsive (mobile-friendly), your business is undoubtedly losing marketing traction, not to mention potential customers to your competition. It’s important to stay on top of both functioning trends and design. When you invest in a website redesign—given your specific business goals—you can expect a positive return, and likely, within less than a year.

1. Visually Unattractive, Antiquated

Lindsey immediately identifies crucial web standards: “If your website is more than five-years-old, if it’s outdated and difficult to use, what does that say about your business? Does it accurately reflect your brand?”

Understandably, your business will lose authority in your industry; the appearance of your site directly reflects your business appeal. Ensure your website aligns with your brand and what you represent to maintain your authenticity. Your website’s visual attraction affects your customer’s buying decision as well as their return visits; a modern presence has a knack for reducing your bounce rate, too.

  • Photos are extremely important, especially the hero image (an oversized banner image at the top) because it’s the first impression, it’s attention grabbing, and will immediately impact the rest of the site; people are best in the hero image for relatability
  • Optimize images for fast load times

2. User-Friendly

Daniel’s quick to point out, design for the user first. “Users want to find information quickly and if they don’t, they’ll go to a different website. It’s especially important when the website has a lot of information on it or has complicated content.”

  • Old designs often have a busy layout with less whitespace
  • Images/icons should be crisp and clean
  • Text should adhere to accessibility guidelines and offer enough contrast for impaired users
  • The navigation should have adequate aids like a breadcrumb, and highlight where on the site a user is right now

3. Security

Avoid getting hacked by keeping your software and programs aligned with modern technologies. “Users tend to avoid websites that have poor security,” says Daniel, “which in general is associated with a dated design.” Book an audit with a reputable firm such as WordZite Security to ensure your site is secure and performing its best.

  • Critical Alert: websites that don’t have SSL encryption (a global standard and Google ranking factor) will now say “Not secure” right in the browser, which will immediately drive away users before they have even viewed your page
  • Red flags: weird/old password fields, poor privacy policies, tracking and data collection
  • An old design gives the impression that the underlying technology is dated and not reliable
  • Account security with support for OTPs

4. Responsive/Mobile-friendly

You’re apt to lose web traffic if users view your site across a number of devices and your content is not responsive, that is, does not scale or display correctly. Potential customers may become frustrated when they can’t acquire the information they searched for, or worse, leave without converting. In other words, “the user experience is bad and they’d rather visit an optimized website from a competitor,” says Daniel.

  • Load time (modern sites are more optimized for use of mobile data connections)
  • Nowadays user often visit sites from their mobile devices and old websites are usually not optimized for this
  • Old sites on desktops were optimized for screen sizes of 800×600
  • Today you have to keep all the different display sizes in mind (720p, 1080p, 1440p) (responsiveness)

Yardstick Services offers a full suite of web design and development services. If you have any questions, or are looking for support, please feel free to contact us by email or give us a call: 604.474.3631.