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Stop! Before you Redesign Your Website, Think About These 4 Questions

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The start of a new year is a great opportunity to bring your business’ web presence to another level. Even if you have a website you’re happy with, giving it a facelift is important in order to keep your online brand looking fresh. But before you begin a redesign project, take some time to answer these questions in order to ensure that you’re 100 percent thrilled with the final results:

What is and isn’t working on the old site?

It’s important to identify both the positive and negative components of your current site. Perhaps you love the photo gallery, but hate how complicated it is to place an order online. Figuring out what’s great and what needs to change helps to shape the direction of your new site, ensuring that you love the finished product.

What’s the goal of the new site?

Before you embark on a redesign project, it’s smart to consider what you’d like to accomplish with this new site. Do you want to sell more products online? Do you want to get more subscribers to your e-mail newsletter? Once you identify these goals, you can make sure that the website helps to meet them.

What are the essentials?

If you add every bell and whistle possible to your site, it’s going to become busy and not very user friendly. To avoid this problem, zero in on a handful of things that are “must haves.” From there, make a list of items that would be nice to have if there’s space. This way you’re not cramming every widget and tab possible onto the site, preventing it from being aesthetically pleasing.

How do I feel about my content management system?

Before you do a redesign, consider the content management system you’re using. How is it working for you? Is it easy to use? Is the functionality good? If other people are updating the site, do they seem to have an easy enough time doing so? If not, now is a good time to explore other options.

Lastly, as you’re getting ready to do a redesign, think about timing. If you rely heavily on online orders, do you really want to be redesigning your site right around Christmas? What if it goes down for a day in the process and you miss out on a significant number of orders? If you’re a florist, it’s probably best not to be toying with your site right around Valentine’s Day. Find a period of time where business is a little slower and possible downtime won’t be detrimental.

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Image:  John Talbot

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