How to know when it's time to refresh your website
If you’ve visited my site before, you have probably noticed that I redesign my website about once per year. As a designer, I understand how a website is ever-evolving. But, the thing is...
What most people don’t realize is that not everyone is ready to redesign or refresh their website.
And this applies to the very first website you create as well as the 16th iteration. There are prerequisites that you have to have in place before any kind of purposeful design can occur.
And, in the absence of purposeful design, your website refresh is not likely to drive you toward your business goals or to drive your audience toward theirs. That’s why I call my process “goal-driven design” – because we’re getting clear on both your goals (as the business owner) and your ideal client’s goals, and then we’re blending them in a very intentionally designed website.
What are the prerequisites for a website refresh, you ask? Good question, young Padawan.
- First, as mentioned above, you’ve got to be clear on your objectives [clarity].
- You also need to connect to the struggles and desires of your ideal client [connection].
- You’ve got to analyze your unique position within the competitive landscape [analysis].
- And you’ve got to review where your website is currently leaking conversions [audit].
- Next, you have to edit your copywriting for each page of your site so that it speaks to your ideal client in a way that drives them toward action (and clarifies that one primary action per page) [format + flow].
BTW – I do all of these foundational things in my signature website design package.
Really, those prerequisite components are going to take the longest and will be the most difficult parts of the web design process. When I redesigned my site, I spent 90% of the time doing that foundational work and the actual site design + build was pretty quick and painless.
I’ll admit that the addition of some quality photos of myself added immensely to my personal branding and the overall site aesthetic. (I go over how I got those photos and my tips for your own brand photography in detail in THIS POST).
Now, I’m not the only one who’s recently done a website refresh and gotten great feedback on it. My friend Megan Minns of MeganMinns.com has a beautifully redesigned site.
Megan was so lovely as to answer a few of my questions regarding her website redesign:
Q: How did you know it was time to do a redesign?
A: I didn't feel like my current brand represented me, my style, or the type of business I'm building. I wanted a brand that felt bright, elegant, timeless, professional, and yet still very interesting, fresh, and energetic.
Q: How did you prepare? What's the first step you took?
A: I created a Pinterest board to gather inspiration! It was full of colors, textures, logos, business cards, interior design, personal style, and anything else that I felt captured the aesthetic I was going for. Then I started looking for a designer to help me execute!
Q: Afterward, how did feel? Did you notice any improvements in your metrics?
A: Rebranding changed my business in so many ways! I got such a positive response from my audience that I have no doubt it was the best thing I did in 2016. My website traffic skyrocketed and so did my email list. Plus, I was finally proud of my brand and felt like taking advantage of opportunities and creating content that I would have been too embarrassed to promote before!
When it comes down to it, the very best thing you can do for your website is to design it for simplicity and clarity.
Make it super easy for your website visitors to find what they’re looking for and to continue their relationship with your brand (without making them go on an easter egg hunt or leaving them totally confused). And clear wins out over clever every single time – make sure that your copy is infused with your brand personality, of course, but also that it is clear and concise.