More money is wasted on bad redesigns than is lost through not keeping your old design, and this rule does not just go for website redesigns. It also goes for product and brand redesigns. Sometimes you have to ask yourself if the website you are redesigning really needs a redesign, as it is not often the website that is at fault. It is often the website marketing or website branding that is at fault.
When is a good time to decide to redesign?
In order to avoid your website redesign mistakes in the first place, you need to examine as to whether you actually need a redesign. Here are some good reasons for a web redesign.
You are creating/upgrading to a dynamic website
It is sometimes easier to just re-do every web page so that it is easier to make it dynamic. Some pages are so complex and full of different elements that it would take too long to fix and maintain the same site.
You are removing old features that HTML 5 have made redundant
You may have Flash videos and other animations that can be set up with HTLM5 in a far more efficient manner.
Your pages are too heavy and it has a drag effect on your SEO
Sometimes a redesign is better than trying to lower the weight of your pages, as they often start to look a bit empty and vacant.
Your site navigation is too fragmented or too old fashioned
Fragmented navigation can become a planning nightmare if you have a big site. Sometimes it is simply better to strip the web pages and start your navigation from scratch, including linking every page.
Your site is full of ugly and old fashioned elements
This is as good of a reason as any to redesign your website, as it is old fashioned and out of date.
Your web code is so dirty that a redesign is quicker
Fixing your code so that it is made up of mostly HTML can be a tricky task and involve more debugging than is pragmatically necessary. It is sometimes necessary to simply redesign the page.
Your website is too complex and needs to be simplified
Simple web pages last longer and have fewer bugs. It may be time to streamline your operation, and a redesign will help you.
Making the same stupid mistakes you made last time
This is such a common problem and often stems from the web designer being used to using a certain technique to make websites. Invariably, the same mistakes reoccur as a result.
Jumping on the band wagon with the rest of the fools
There are always new techniques to use and new elements to try, but you need to decide upon them yourself. If you do things that are popular now then you may have to change when they fall out of popularity.
Building the site to accommodate advertising as a primary concern
This is a silly mistake because it is not SEO friendly, so you will end up with a lot of adverts on a website that nobody attends.
Copying and pasting HTML code
This is how you get bugs on your website. No matter how good you think you are, every time you copy and paste code you are adding errors into your programming.
Not telling your customers you are doing a redesign
This will result in the customers visiting when your website is down and them buying from elsewhere. If your new design just appears then people may think that they have gone to the wrong website. Don’t forget that people don’t like change and so you may have to ease them into your new design.
Moving where the logo is placed on the page
This is a mistake because people learn where your logo is and expect it as part of your website. It is a mistake because people may start to assume that your website is a new one by a new company, or that you have changed in some way.
Putting the tag line in text instead of in an image
Your tag line will have to be repeated across numerous websites, so be sure that you put a tagline image where your tag line text should be.
Written by Kate Funk: Kate Funk coaches individuals in SEO and business networking skills at rushtutors.com