Web Design: When Is It Time For A Makeover?
First impressions happen fast. In as little as 3-7 seconds, website visitors decide whether or not you’re worth their time and money. So it pays to make a positive — and immediate — impact. To do otherwise is to risk losing a prospect or lead.
If your current website isn’t doing the trick, it could be time for an overhaul. A website redesign gives you a second chance to make that first impression. A well-thought web design will better engage your audience, strengthen your messaging, and streamline the user experience.
How do you know if it’s time for a website redesign?
Website Redesign Checklist
Determine if your current site is:
- Optimized for latest web browsers and mobile friendly (responsive). Are you operating a separate mobile site? If so, you may be inadvertently doubling the amount of time it takes to keep the two sites in sync
- User friendly for you and your customers. Is it easy for your site visitors to find what they want or need? Have you asked? If not, a survey may be a good way to find out if your user interface design (UI) needs updating
- Optimized for search. With recent changes, getting and staying on the first page of search results can be challenging
- Up-to-date visually, technologically or in terms of content. Managing content is getting simpler thanks to improvements in popular website Content Management Systems (CMS)
- Tuned to your target audience’s needs and desires with Buyer Persona development
- Easy to maintain and update content elements
- Measuring up to the competition’s web presence
- Has a below average “bounce rate”
If you’ve answered “NO” to three or more items on this list, it’s time!
The Importance of Mobile Websites
Mobile-friendly websites are a necessity in today’s world. Consider the following:
- Average smartphone conversion rates are up 64 percent compared to conversion rates for desktops.
- 61 percent of users are unlikely to return to mobile websites that don’t load properly, and 40 percent will visit a competitor instead.
- 57 percent of consumers won’t recommend businesses with poorly-designed mobile websites.
- 88 percent of consumers who search for a local business via mobile will call or visit that business within 24 hours.
The takeaway: Mobile websites play a huge role in lead generation and conversions. If you’re using an “automated” mobile website conversion service to deliver a responsive web design, you may be losing prospects.
Mobile-Friendly Web Design Themes
The quickest way to revamp desktop and mobile websites is by implementing pre-built themes. Using premium WordPress design themes and templates, you can deliver a effective website to your customers affordably. Benefits include:
- Rapid deployment, reduced costs: WordPress design themes have been shown to reduce creative development by as much as 40 percent
- Faster coding: Themes allow you to build on existing code, rather than starting from scratch
- Compatibility: WordPress themes are compatible with functionality widgets, text editors, SEO plug-ins and other customizable add-ons and upgrades
- Community and support: Countless websites and forums are available to provide tips and discuss best practices for using themes and templates for desktop and mobile websites. And reliable premium WordPress themes are well-supported by the author/developers
- Freedom to focus on developing high-value content and user engagement: Designing engaging desktop and mobile websites can take a great deal of time and money — especially if you’re new to the process. Using pre-built themes streamlines the process and frees you up to optimize your content marketing strategy, SEO and advertising
You can search and view some of the most popular WordPress themes and templates at Envato Market. Be sure to sort your searches by popularity and user ratings. The most dependable solutions will have sold thousands of licenses. Check out the Artbees Jupiter theme as one example of power and flexibility. Jupiter integrates a customized version of Visual Composer, a “drag and drop” editing interface.
If Your Current Site Is Already Powered By WordPress, you’re well on your way
With so many custom design themes and templates available, it’s not always easy to spot a WordPress site. There are numerous ways to find this information, but the easiest is to view the source code for the page. Options for viewing the source code vary by browser, but here are a few common methods.
- Chrome: Menu>More Tools>Developer Tools, or right click to view page source.
- Firefox: Menu>Developer>Inspector, or right click to view page source.
- Safari: Develop>Show Page Source. (You may have to enable the “Develop” menu option. Menu>Preferences>Advanced (tab)>Show “Develop” menu in menu bar.)
Once you have the page source available, look for text that says “wp-content”. That’s a clear indicator you are already running WordPress. Look further for text that reads “wp-content/themes/(theme name). If you search the theme name, and it’s not custom built for your site, you can get more information on the development team, popularity and current versions. If a theme hasn’t been updated in the past 12 months, it might be time to consider an update of your site.
Too busy to do it yourself?
If you’re busy managing your business and the idea of working on the web design seems daunting, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are plenty of professional graphic and web design firms who can help. You can find a few free tips on how to Search for a design firm in your area. You can also contact us directly for more information on the process and costs.
About the author: Tom Weinkle is a founder and partner of Vortex Communications, a graphic and website design firm who offers brand agency services, graphic and WordPress web design, build, troubleshooting and training services along with search optimization, social media and inbound marketing services. Based in Miami, Florida, Tom has over 25 years of experience in branding and visual communications for the healthcare, medical, law, accounting, software, financial services and banking industries.