Custom website redesign
You have a website, but there's something not right with it. A website redesign is similar to building a brand new Phoenix website, but there are some added issues to consider. These are discussed in Part 2 of website redesign, "Thoughts for custom website redesign". But first....
Why redesign your website?
There are a myriad of reasons why you might redesign your website, but they'll fall under 3 main categories.
1. A website which isn't working
There may be a number of scenarios why a website isn't working and needs a redesign. Perhaps it's a branding change that isn't yet reflected on the website. You could redesign your website feel and colors to better reflect the feel and colors of your business. Or maybe the theme is just plain dated and isn't representing you adequately to today's audience.
Your content may be poor or lack the right keywords (more on this in Phoenix SEO) resulting in poor traffic volume. This may not always call for a total website redesign, as you may be able to update this just by rewriting some copy. However, there may be issues in doing this that crop up in points 2 & 3.
The website design is clunky, unfriendly and/or not giving visitors what they need or you want them to have. Again, this may be able to be fixed without a total website redesign, but also see 2 & 3.
2. You want more control and/or to pay less
Old websites were written in static code. They were difficult or impossible for the average business owner to update beyond some basic elements if the pages were so designed. Modern CMS (Content Management System) web design programs allow much better control for the site owner in regards to content addition and update.
Hand in hand with the difficulty of updating was the cost of having your designer handle all the updates. It generally meant going to your web designer cap in hand and paying whatever they asked for to do the changes. This often led to point 3!
3. You and your designer disagreed
It could have been a number of things. Style, theme, changes, costs, hosting. Sometimes, especially if the breakdown was a little acrimonious, the designer may not have released the necessary files to you. Sometimes, the choice of new designer means a complete website redesign into the program used by the new designer.
Thoughts for website redesign
Do look back?
Whilst your old site may not have been performing as you had hoped, if it's been around for any decent length of time there will be backlinks (off-page SEO) in place, and the SEs will have it indexed. When redesigning your website, it's crucial to keep this in mind so that links don't become broken and give 404 - Page not found errors. Much of this can be handled with permanent redirects by a competent designer.
Trust your gut
Choose someone you feel happy about, not necessarily the highest or lowest price, the fanciest credentials or the most happy testimonials. These will also be factors in your decision, but the bottom line is this. Your designer will be the make or break of traffic to your website and will be the most involved in the website redesign. Plus you will have an ongoing relationship with them after the website redesign, not just during.
One stop shopping
This is a personal preference and part of the reason we set up the way we did. We combined website (re)design, hosting and SEO (both on-page SEO and off-page SEO) to give our customers the comfort of knowing all their problems can be answered at a single email address or phone number. No finger pointing at someone else!
Modern CMS websites allow authorized persons (not just the designer or you) to access the content on the website and make alterations or write new articles and content. Not just blogs (though they're important too - see our Blog article "Blogging in Business"), but the articles that make up your site. Your involvement in less critical content can save you time and money.
Changing of the guard
During the process of redesigning your Phoenix website you can also update website color, themes and content. While you're in the process, why not change all those things which have bugged you and your visitors. We have begun putting our little "Report a bug" icon on all our new websites so visitors can help enhance their own enjoyment by telling site owners what they want.
More than ever, the quality of your website's content will positively or negatively effect traffic and rankings. Google is getting smarter at spotting duplicate content, even if it's been spun to vary it somewhat. Visitors will link back to your content if it's good, so spend time, effort, and, if need be, money on making great content outstanding.
1 picture = 1000 words
A very old saying that holds somewhat true in website (re)design. Google doesn't read text in graphics (that anyone is saying for sure) so, while your graphics may speak volumes to human visitors, they, for all intents and purposes, say nothing to SE spiders; except for the "Alt text" tag. This is a must-have for any image and a good element to check for during the website redesigning process.
A written testimonial is great; an audio one is awesome; but, for the biggest impact, go video. Visitors trust written testimonials less and less, but, when they see a client talking on video, they accept it as truth almost without question.
Lights, camera, ACTION!
Static pages are passe. Yes, some pages on your site may still not have movement (though rotating banners or galleries in the header can alleviate that), but it's important for the major pages to have movement and interactivity.
Once you're committed to redesigning your website, do it right! A half-hearted attempt will negatively impact your business's bottom line!