For businesses the world over, a website is the path to new clients, a better first impression, and a healthier bottom line. Yet, an outdated website can hamper all of these – which is why it might be time to redesign your website.
A website's design encompasses all sorts of elements, including layouts, colors, graphics, and fonts. All of this makes a difference – 46% of online customers judge a website's credibility due to its design.
There are many different approaches to site design, but above all, the site needs to deliver what its intended audience wants. It needs to highlight and complement the values and content that the website has to offer.
These days, customers expect a modern feel, whether they're browsing on a desktop or a mobile. If you're keeping yourself busy running a business, you can easily let your website get a little dusty. And since so many potential clients make their first impression of your business online, an outdated website might be the biggest customer bottleneck you have.
For anyone too busy to redesign a website themselves (or who simply don't know the first thing about website design), dozens of professional design companies can help. Pick the right one, and the website redesign process can feel effortless. Here's what you need to know about redesigning a website.
Even if your website appears to be working fine, a redesign could easily be the shot in the arm it needs to become even better. Why? Because a handful of small design problems can cumulatively have a massive impact.
Here are a few common website issues that indicate you're overdue for a revamp.
Dated or overused imagery — You likely don't want anything too stock photo-y, but the images that are “overused”, rather than dependable classics, can change with the industry. For example, Colgate smiles might be cheesy, but they'll always win on a dentistry site. Just skip the fidget spinners: this isn't 2017.
Poor color scheme — Snapchat aside, garish colors won't win over an audience. But, the right color schemes can be hard for an untrained eye to pick out. Done wrong, your website's colors could cost you customers.
Non-mobile friendly — In 2019, this is a mortal sin. A whopping 63% of web traffic was on mobile last year, and that percentage is still rising.
Cluttered navigation — Too many options can be paralyzing. Your customers won't know where to click on your site, and will head for the ‘back' button instead.
Slow loading speeds — Page performance can have a massive hidden effect on website traffic. How big? The average page loading time is 22 seconds, Google noted in a 2017 study, even though 53% of mobile site visitors close pages don't load within the first three seconds. Yikes.
Website Redesign Ideas
There's no shame in redesigning a website as often as possible.
Take a look at Quartz, a thriving news website that has redesigned not once, not twice, but five times since its 2012 launch. After its latest redesign earlier in August 2018, it proclaimed that number as a point of pride:
“This is the fifth full version of QZ.com in six years. That unusually rapid rate of change is a deliberate part of our strategy to serve you better. It helps make product development more efficient, avoid technical debt, and quickly adopt new web technologies,” Quartz wrote.
Thanks in part to that focus on fast-twitch adaptation, Quartz attracts a young, smart audience.
So, what should you be thinking about to attract the right audience via your site? When beginning a redesign, the first step is determining what end results you'll need.
The website should look better, obviously. However, the definition of ‘better' is vastly different from one site to the next, depending on the key function of your site and business
You'll want a logical flow, as few extraneous pages as possible. You don't want to confuse an audience landing on your site
The site should also have a color scheme that's right for your business.
Also important are the backend, behind-the-scenes details. Is the new site tough to maintain, or can you make ongoing changes with ease?
The update might even affect your ranking in Google search results, although you'll likely have to check with a website designer to know for sure.
The end result should be a site that's fit for the purpose of your business, and is at the same time speedy, modern, and uncluttered.
A professional website redesign should always be a custom job. That means there's no set price list to expect — and that's a good thing. An expert web designer will take the time to understand the needs of your business and the scale of the job, and give you a personalized quote.
However, a few factors can influence the cost range that you're likely to be quoted, including:
Number of pages — a larger site can be harder to design in an intuitive way.
Size of team — that's the web design firm's team, not your own. A UX designer, graphic designer, SEO engineer and web developer are all separate job titles that need their own expertise.
Quality of the service — the best web design firms have the best customer support and the best track record.
Here are a few examples of different types of price ranges, and the types of redesigns they'll cover.
$250- $650 — A brochure-style website with 1-5 pages including a landing page and a contact page
$650-1300 — The same website, but more feature-rich, including social media integration, better placement in Google searches, and analytics options that let you track your site visitors
$1,300-3,250 — An ecommerce site, including a delivery tracking function, a live chat feature and an order management system
$3,250-13,000 — A database-driven website with advanced functionality, aimed at a local or regional audience rather than national or global
$13,000 and over — A database-driven website which is either aimed at a national or global audience or just has a functionality customized to that business
Expect around a four-figure quote for a small, professionally designed website. The most expensive website redesigns might land as high as the low six figures, while the least expensive will cost three figures.
How to Redesign Your Website
To keep things easy, we've boiled this process down to 6 Essential Steps for a Website Redesign:
When you speak to a designer, make sure you have a few core ideas in mind. Do you need faster load times? Less clutter? Every designer needs a little direction. The last thing either of you want is a new website that doesn't fix the old one's problems.
Step 2: Speak to Some Web Design Companies
You want a selection of qualified web design firms to choose from. Too few and you might not find a fit; too many, and the less qualified might crowd out the best. Tech.Co has done the homework: We've rounded up the top web design companies and you can contact them yourself through our simple form.
Step 3: Get Price Quotes
As with any other industry quote, web design quotes will be bespoke to your needs, and you should only settle on the one you're happiest with.
One common mistake to avoid: Don't come up with a budget first, and then only hire a sub-par designer who's within your preferred price range. Instead, be willing to pick out the best designer and listen to their offer.
Compare Quotes from Website Designers in Just a Couple of Clicks
Once you know who to work with, get the terms of your agreement on paper. You'll both need to agree on a timeline for the design work and a schedule for the payments, as well as the number of revisions you'll be allowed to request. You'll likely need to give a deposit before the work even starts.
Step 5: Let the Work Commence
You'll likely need to touch base with the web designer throughout the process. Getting your website redesigned is a collaboration – you will both need to offer your opinion and need to know when to defer to the designer's expertise.
Step 6: Review and Approve
Finally, once the job is complete, you'll need to review the work. It's not just a once-over – click through everything and make sure it's technically correct and promotes your business accurately. Check everything, right down to the email newsletter sign-up. You'll want to stick to the technical and factual aspects of the site, though, rather than the design particulars. Trust that the designer knows how to create clean navigation and a strong color scheme.
It may feel like the trickiest part is choosing the right design firm. The good news? There are some great ones out there. Once you've signed the contract, you can relax, knowing you're meeting your clients expectations from the first moment they come across your site.
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Adam is a writer at Tech.co and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for the last decade. He's also a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry (and Digital Book World 2018 award finalist) and has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect. When not glued to TechMeme, he loves obsessing over 1970s sci-fi art.