Perhaps you have a website that has never been exactly up to par. On the other hand, maybe your website used to work but is simply looking a little shabby and dated. Either way, no business can afford to have a website that is not the very best it can be. The world is filled with competitors who have professionally designed sites, as well as customers who are busy surfing the internet for new businesses to patronize.
However, the redesign process can be scary for people who have never been through it. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make the process go smoothly and end with a positive result.
- Identify your reasons. You probably are planning your redesign for a reason. Are you hoping to achieve better profits from a newly designed site? Are you trying to bring your online brand in line with your offline locations? Are you unhappy with your brand as a whole? Are you hoping to move up in search engine results? Know what you want to achieve from your website redesign and communicate this with everyone working on the project. This will ensure that you get positive results.
- Work with a professional. Designing a business website with brand appeal takes more than a few months of practice or a few Dummies books. You need a mix of formal education and experience working with similar businesses. Unless you have this combination, hire a pro to handle the process for you. The results will usually pay for themselves quickly and it will save you quite a few headaches in the process. In many cases, the reason for needing a re-design in the first place is that the original was not a professional product.
- Avoid drastic changes. Sometimes these are necessary, but in many cases the website only needs tweaking. In fact, you may already have a loyal customer base that will be alienated by a complete overhaul. There should always be a few elements left alone so that former customers will feel comfortable. If you stay focused on your objectives, you’ll be able to weed out necessary changes from less essential ones.
- Keep your brand in sight. We mean quite literally in sight; your brand should be the basis of your website’s color scheme and all of your visual elements. Your logo design should be prominently displayed on all of your web pages. Most important, the language, framework, and overall feeling of your website should be in line with your business brand. Your designer will be able to give you suggestions for accomplishing this.
- Be patient. Nothing great is accomplished overnight, so be willing to invest a little time in the web design process and then to wait patiently for results. Everything worthwhile takes time—designing the website and waiting for results both will require some as well. However, if you follow these five steps and invest in both your business and your website, you are sure to get the results you desire.