You invested your heart and soul into your old website, but it just doesn’t load as fast as it used to. You still have the vision that inspired the site in your mind, but it takes more searching to see that vision when you look at what your site has morphed into through the months or years. Visitors aren’t responding to the site as well as they once did, and you know that it is time to take action.
When the analytics for your site start to look far less impressive than you are willing to tolerate, you have two options. You can embrace the need for change and breathe new life into your site’s design, or you can abandon the site entirely and watch it decline into nothing of value. You have invested far too much time to let it go completely, which leaves you with the first option: revive the site through change.
A thorough analysis of your old website will help you decide what type of change you need. Here is a quick checklist to help you complete this analysis:
- Identify features that are used most often by visitors and which hold visitors on the page longest.
- Identify features that are no longer used or are quickly abandoned by users.
- List all complaints that you have received from visitors.
- Test your navigation system to make sure it is still efficient.
- Identify outdated or irrelevant content that needs rewritten or eliminated.
- Have friends or family members give you their opinion on your overall site design.
In most cases, you will find that a completely new site design is needed to bring the site back to life. You can work with a professional designer to tackle this project, which often turns into a balancing act. While you need to maintain the essence of the site so that your loyal followers do not lose the features they find useful, you also need to upgrade to something more eye-catching and appealing to a larger audience.
Decide What Features to Keep
Make a short list of the features or design elements that you know should remain on your new website design. This will help you feel better about moving on from your old website, since you get to keep the elements that make the site unique.
Any features or pages of content that your regular site visitors use frequently should make it onto this list. You may end up redesigning some elements of these features, but you know that they must remain on the site to appease your regular followers. You may also want to keep evergreen content that gets a lot of attention from search engines and human visitors. You may also identify pages that are struggling but which might thrive if you give them a makeover with fresher content and better SEO strategies.
The Excitement of Going Live
It can take several months, to completely overhaul your website design into something more appealing to today’s viewers. Get in touch with your market and view competing websites so that you see where your new website design can one-up your competitors.
When it is time to take your new website live, prepare for a period of analysis. Make sure to analyze the elements of your old website that were not working to ensure that they do work with the new website design.