As some of you may know, we recently rebuilt/redesigned our site. It took us four years to get the thing done. A classic case of the “Cobbler’s kids needing shoes.” We have needed a redesign for a while, at least I keep saying as much.
Our old site was designed in 2010 and it looked like it. It was par for the course of other such agency-like sites of the time. It didn’t stand out and it didn’t have personality; I knew that something needed to change.
I could go into my own journey of how and why, but I think it’s a better use of my time to try to condense things down a bit.
How do you know you’re ready for a change?
Knowing it in your gut.
I knew that our old site didn’t represent what I could do with custom development; it didn’t represent my knowledge or expertise; it didn’t represent all the cool things we could do, collectively, Chris and I. So, how do you make a site that represents what you do and what you’re good at?
Your site “looks” dated… Design trends come and go and they do so quickly. Sites can look pretty suspect without too much time passing. If your site is making use of design elements that do look dated and don’t stand the test of time, it might be time for a change. Ask your designer friends to have a look; ask your folks to take a look.
Actually, ask folks that don’t even know all that much about design to have a look and heed their input. The untrained eye can carry literally tons of great information. I used to have another business with the unfortunate name “Concentric Concepts.” I had my aunt take a look and she asked me “You’re in the Contraceptives business?” Fail, Vasquez!
Your site no longer represents you or your business…
There’s no simple answers, but what I can tell you is that a website should highlight your knowledge and sense of style in some way or other. If you’re working with a design, defer to their guidance, but be aware of what you like and don’t like. For DigiSavvy, I didn’t want it to look like the typical “Agency Website.” It was important that it stood apart from the pack; it was important that it was colorful and had personality.
I put my know-how into this site and Chris put in his and we bounced ideas back and forth. It’s still not perfect, but it better represents who we are as professionals.
From copy, to calls-to-action, while the site isn’t perfect, it’s perfectly us.
Your site’s functionality is limited or is hard to update…
One phrase I recall seeing is from Bill Erickson and he wrote: “Your website should be easy to use and hard to break.”
I. Love. That!
We live in a day and age where anyone can have a site, put it together without much to do with coding. You can host on Wix or Squarespace or a number of other providers and build something. You can do this with Drupal or WordPress also. The point is that the Average Jane (or Joe) can do this today, right now. Everyone should feel empowered to make the changes they wish on their website and gosh golly, everyone should!
If your site is inflexible and incapable of supporting your initiatives then it’s time for a change. Obviously, here, we recommend WordPress. But I’ve worked with clients using other solutions that do the trick also. It just matters how flexible the solution is and how easy it is to use.
The overarching point I’m trying to get you to think about is what reasons you feel you need a redesign. It shouldn’t be a “just because I wanna” impulse. It should serve a real goal or represent some sort of change that’s inline with your own business. That is, if you’re a big business, high-end type of provider, your site should also reflect that. It should represent your ideals, your sense of fashion and taste. In all. It should represent YOU.
Image Courtesy of: http://www.scifiscoop.com/