As technology and the internet evolves, so do the expectations for your website. A website today should be easy to use, aesthetically pleasing and have a clean layout that is responsive across all devices. Users should be able to find what they need quickly and easily. But there are many more clues that it's time to redesign your website.
You're embarrassed to share it
I hear this all the time! If you're ashamed to share your website, it's obviously doing you and your brand no favors.
It's not really about having the "latest" design, but ensuring that everything on your site makes sense and the content is purposeful (so users can find what they're looking for quickly).
You can accomplish this with a full redesign, taking content and user flow into account, so that it's optimized and a healthy part of your marketing mix. But you can also refresh your design as a stopgap to update the look of your site and revive content, without overhauling it entirely.
It takes too long to load
The first sign your site may be due for a redesign is if it takes too long to load. Test it out on a site like Pingdom to see how long it takes; ideally it's under 3 seconds, but many factors can influence how fast your site is. Is your hosting too slow (meaning it has too many sites on it, slowing yours down)? Good hosting doesn't have to break the bank. Is it a "heavy" site with a lot of imagery and videos? It all can be optimized! Is something else, like outdated software, keeping you behind? It can be fixed!
Regardless, if your website does not load quickly, visitors will lose patience and leave. And that's the last thing we want!
Small changes are difficult or impossible to make
Another sign your website may be due for a redesign is if it's difficult to make small changes.
If your web designer created a pixel-perfect site, any minor adjustments or small changes will be difficult or impossible to make. I see this a lot with custom themes that don't allow others to edit without a lot of time digging into code. This can also indicate that the design you are working with is outdated and needs to be updated.
It does not work across all devices
Another sign your website may be due for a redesign is if it doesn't function properly on different devices and screens. This is an "old" issue as mobile responsiveness has been around for years, but I still see many sites struggling with it.
If users cannot access your site because of device compatibility, they will leave and not return. It's necessary for your website to function well on all types of screens so that potential customers can find what they need without their experience being compromised.
Users get frustrated while trying to use it
If users get frustrated with your site or spend more time trying to find what they need than is necessary, it could be a sign that you need to update your design.
Your website should help visitors quickly and easily navigate through your content without confusion or frustration. Give them exactly what they are looking for the first time so that they convert to being a customer, or at least will return!
Not sure how your users feel? You can ask your clients, but a great method is to utilize heatmaps, along with your analytics. They're an integral part of my website audits, too.
When you feel that your website is no longer meeting your needs or user expectations, think about a redesign to ensure it stays relevant and as up-to-date as possible.
Customers bounce immediately
If your site takes too long to load or is difficult to use, customers do not stick around. Or perhaps your content doesn't really reflect your business, or is uninspiring.
There are, of course, contradictions to this rule. There is plenty of Google Analytics spam out there, and it's easy to see your numbers jump because of bots.
Your site is not SEO friendly
If your website was made a few years ago, you may have struggled with SEO at the time and didn't put enough focus on it, which means your site might be buried in search results.
This doesn't necessarily mean you must redesign, but you can adjust content (and keep it up-to-date, along with blog posts if possible) and utilize SEO best practices to make your site more findable.
Your site is cluttered
If your site's design is too busy, it can confuse users and prevent them from finding what they need. If you have multiple calls to action on the same page, there may be too much clutter which will create confusion for your visitors.
It's more than 5 years old
You may feel your site is great despite its age, but your users may not feel that way (and they're the ones we're trying to keep coming around!). They may not know if you are still a trusted source, or even who you are.
And if your content is also this old, how relevant is it to your business or your potential clients? You may be missing out on business opportunities.
Even minor updates to your site can help you stay relevant and boost traffic, which leads to more conversions (and hopefully revenue).
You've redesigned or changed your brand.
If you've recently changed your brand, or even if it's just been awhile since you last updated your site, make sure it speaks to your new image. Brands are growing and changing all the time so be sure that your website is consistent with that.
Web design has evolved a lot over the years, and it can (and should) play an integral role in driving conversions. If you’ve been considering redesigning your site or making any minor tweaks to ensure that it meets user expectations (especially if they are quite high), but don't know where to start, I can help! Redesigns are one of my favorite types of design work, and they can truly impact your organization and be a driver for growth.
Designer + WordPress developer for 20+ years. Love design, travel, good food and the Iowa Hawkeyes.