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The Dos And Don'ts Of Website Redesign

Jun 4, 2008
So it's time for a redesign of your website, and you want to do it in a way that will cause the least disruption of service to your customers and will also maintain your brand identity.

There are a number of different reasons why a business may want to redesign their website. Often a company has grown so much that the original website design no longer serves the needs of their customers.

Or, the original website may have been thrown together hastily just to establish a website presence, like putting up a sign in front of your brick and mortar store. Now, the time has come to re-evaluate your website and see how well it's really serving and informing your customers, and how well it's advertising your company's brand.

When you are redesigning your website, don't rush. And don't skimp.

You don't want to have to go back and keep tweaking things and adding that one element that you forgot, or taking out a bunch of elements that you now realize are distracting and irrelevant.

And you don't want to pay so little for your web design services that you end up with a poorly designed, hard to navigate website.

When you are getting ready to embark on a website redesign, make sure that you communicate your needs to the website designer. You will want to discuss the scope of the project, how many pages you will need, what type of information that you want to convey, what type of audience you will be speaking to - conservative, creative, younger, older, students, race car fans...this will have a huge impact on the look of your site.

You will want to decide if you are going to have a static website or if you are going to update it regularly with industry news or company news, and if so, who is going to do the updating - you or the web designer?

And finally, here are some factors to consider in your redesign, that you will want to discuss with the design company that you hire:

Do you need to completely change the look of your website? You may want to do so if your website is poorly designed and not pleasing to the eye, and if it does not contain any logos or color schemes that are consistent with your company's overall brand. If your company does use a logo and a specific color theme, and those are already in use on your site, at the very least you will want to have your web designer incorporate those into your new design.

How SEO friendly is your website? Many website designers use images where they could be using text. Search engines can not "read" images so important phrases that would help to make your site easier to find on the internet - say, "Colorado cosmetic dentists" - will be unreadable to the search engines. So make sure that you hire a website designer who understands search engine optimization as well as design.

Look over your current website to determine what works, what should be kept, and what needs to go. First, put yourself in the mind of a new potential customer who has never been to your website before and knows little or nothing about your services. Does the top portion of the home page, the first area that a potential customer sees, clearly communicate what your company does? The Jacoby and Myers website, for instance, says "Jacoby & Myers Law Offices" - and underneath that is the tagline, "America's Most Familiar Law Firm". Potential new clients immediately know what services the company provides and they also know the company's USP - unique selling proposition.

Now look at the website as if you were a regular customer returning to the site. Is it easy for your customer to find what they need? Is it easy for them to place a new order or contact customer service, or do they need to search for the links that will allow them to do so?
About the Author
Richard James works for Just Web Designers, where UK companies can get quotes from up to 4 reputable website design firms. Visit http://www.justwebdesigners.co.uk for details.
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