by Nancy Ruzow
My website was way past its prime. I knew it for a while. Heck, I subscribe to industry magazines and stay on top of trends; I don’t live in a bubble! But I was busy with client projects. And time kept passing by. I was a self-admitted shoemaker’s child—creating relevant designs for my clients while having a website with holes in the soles. Finally, I had to act. The reasons in favor of a website redesign became undeniable.
What finally motivated this designer to redesign her own website? Here are 6 factors. Perhaps you can relate. You know it’s time for a redesign if…
Google can’t find it. We all know Google favors responsive websites and regularly-updated content. While my old site was missing both marks, my new site is responsive and has a blog I can easily update. (And I have been!) As for SEO, I’m already on the first page for “Graphic Designer Westport CT.” Drastic improvement!
Your portfolio is hidden. Is finding relevant samples simple for visitors? When a prospective client wanted to see my work, it was like embarking on a game of hide-and-seek. Easy-perusing of my new portfolio was a priority.
Testimonials are M.I.A. Is it evident that clients enjoy working with you? I’d been in business for 30+ years, but the fact that I have great relationships was near-invisible on my old site.
It is difficult to update. Adding new content was laborious on my old site—which means I didn’t do it as often as I should (ahem, it has been a few years). Now, it’s painless. New projects, testimonials and services can be added in a snap.
It doesn’t accurately reflect your business. Even though we don’t look at our own websites too often—potential clients do frequently. My outdated site was seriously missing the mark; my business of today is totally different than the one represented on my old site. I honed in on the message and well as the visual.
It doesn’t set the stage for client intake. Maybe you prefer clients to call or email you to discuss a project. I don’t mind either of those things, but if a potential client is serious, I’d prefer they fill out an estimate form—so I added one.
Why am I sharing this? Because you should not put if off any longer — even though you are busy, even though clients need you, even though you’ve got so many deadlines you can’t even see straight. My new website is a far better representation of my business; I should have done it sooner. So if you hear the reasons in-favor of redesign, move yourself to the top of your client list — even scheduling an hour a day to work on it is moving in the right direction.
In The Strategic Web Designer, Christopher Butler will teach you how to think about the web, and in doing so, prepare you to lead web projects from the critical inception phase through to the ongoing nurturing process every website needs. That’s what web strategy is all about: having a comprehensively informed point of view on the web that enables you to guide a web project intentionally, rather than reactively.