October 4, 2016
As of 2015, there were more than 3.2 billion Internet users the world over. This number comes from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which is the United Nations’ agency in charge of international communications. Let’s put that in context. The global population is currently aggregated at slightly more than seven billion.
This means nearly half of the world’s population is actively using the Internet. Let that sink in for a moment.
The way the world communicates has changed drastically with the immense popularity of the Internet. Everyone looks online for information that will be worth the search. This has resulted in the creation of an information ecosystem where websites have taken center-stage. Whether it is a company’s official website or a niche blog about a specific subject, websites are the one-stop shop for sales, marketing, content and anything else you can think of. You might think that your website accurately portrays what your product or service is all about, and exactly conveys your brand message.
But does your website actually have the right appeal to grab the attention of your target customers in an ocean of 3.2 billion people? If you are not so sure, it’s probably time for a website redesign.
Website redesigning is a bold and significant step because your individual or corporate identity is intrinsically linked to your homepage. It is a step that should be undertaken after careful consideration.
Here are six vital questions you need to ask yourself before embarking upon a website restructure.
1. What do you want out of your website?
Before you even begin the process of redesigning your website, you need to figure out what you want to get out of it. Is it visual changes, functional changes, content changes or something else entirely? Make a list so that you know what you want before you go about with the rework of your website.
2. Is your current website fulfilling all your needs?
Each website is built for a purpose. Of all the things that your website could possibly do, you might just want to sell products, raise your brand profile, provide information, showcase your company’s services or your individual talents, or just purely entertain your visitors. Identify what your website’s goal is, and then check if your current website is matching it. If it does, you might not need a redesign at all.
3. Is your current website mobile-friendly?
According to the same ITU study mentioned earlier, there are seven billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, and the global penetration of mobile-based broadband connections has reached 47 percent as of 2015.
Nearly half the world has access to mobile-broadband, and there are enough mobile connections circulating the globe to cater to nearly everyone alive today. As far as your business or service is concerned, mobile-friendly websites have moved on from being a luxury into a necessity. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, then you should definitely consider some changes to make that possible right away.
4. How much can you afford to invest in your website?
Website redesigns do cost money, and while most Web designers are used to working on fixed budgets, there is almost always a minimum amount that must be invested to bring effective change. The more complicated or versatile you wish to make your website, and the more changes you choose to incorporate, the more expensive your project shall turn out to be. Settle on your limits for expenditure before you get started.
5. How soon do you want to launch your redesigned website?
If you are approaching a third-party vendor to get your website redesigned, the closer the deadline, the more expensive it is likely to be. Think carefully about the timeline for your website upgrade.
6. What is your long-term goal with the website?
You might not want to start direct retail sales from your website in this upgrade, but if that is something you plan to do somewhere down the line, it is better to have that chalked out. This will allow the Web design team to lay the groundwork in this update.
If you have answered all these questions for website redesign, you can start the process right away with complete confidence.
Andrew Walvington is Web designer and writer. Andrew started his career as Web designer and has worked with several organizations. At present, Andrew is working at Echazen.com, an Arizona-based Web design company.