Does Your Website Need an Overhaul?

Many site owners put off site redesigns over concerns that they may lose their existing customers or confuse regular visitors. In fact, you will rarely see large companies redesigning their site over a period of several years. The way that your site appears to visitors is a part of the branding process and confusing visitors is not something that most site owners want to do.

However, there are several cases where your site may actually need an overhaul and in fact, this overhaul could improve your overall sales and response from your visitors. Let’s take a look at some trouble spots that many sites experience.

1. Dated overall look and interface

Is your company’s site trapped in the 90’s? Many companies have set up websites using technology and graphics that were new in 1997, but have since become relics. A great example of this would be using the old yellow “new” graphic intensively, or animated graphical line breaks that clutter up your site. Other examples include dated java “lake” effect images or just plain html pages that look tired and old.

In this case, a major makeover will increase your site’s overall appeal and may even make it easier for you to maintain. A quick installation of a Content Management System can improve the overall look and feel of your site, as well as its navigation system, while making simple maintenance tasks much easier.

2. You can’t remember the last time you updated your content or graphics

If you don’t remember when you last updated your site, or if you have let it “run itself” for too long, it is definitely time to step in and take a proactive role. While it is true that visitors become comfortable with a set design, it is also true that they become bored and may stop visiting your site on the impression that the content is out of date and that the site owner has abandoned the project.

3. Your complaint box is spilling over.

If you get regular emails complaining about your site navigation, appearance or technical problems, an overhaul is definitely past due. For every complaint email that you receive there may be possibly hundreds of other visitors that didn’t take the time to tell you about these problems and just left your site, never to return. Listen to your customers, they may be speaking for a large group of dissatisfied people.

Before you begin your overhaul, make an announcement on your site that it is imminent. This will help your regular visitors adjust slowly to the change and may even encourage them to keep checking back on a regular basis, just to see what you have up your sleeve.

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Posted on 02/23/06 3:30 AM

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