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Redesigning: How Often Is Too Often?

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You’ve all seen it on some websites. They completely overhaul the look of the website every other month. Or at least it seems that way.

Then there’s the other extreme, where websites haven’t been redesigned since 1996. So how often is too often?

Change for the sake of change is pointless. Do not feel compelled to redesign your site if you are satisfied with its look. Instead, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I like the look of my site?
  • Does the design appeal to my target demographic?
  • Is the design appropriate for the site’s content and subject matter?
  • Does the current design make it difficult in any way to navigate the site?
  • Do a lot of impartial people say that the site looks dated?
  • Are there any fundamental design flaws, like inconsistency across multiple pages, that are integrated into the design?

There are, of course, advantages and disadvantages to redesigning your site. Depending on how it was set up originally, converting a lot of pages to a new design may take weeks, and that’s after the new design is done and approved.

People who come back to your site that haven’t visited it in awhile will be greeted by a look that is unfamiliar to them. Unless you are prominently using the same logo, they may initially be unsure if they have come to the right site.

However, a fresh new look can often help you retain website visitors. Individuals who might have just given your site a cursory look before may be more apt to stick around and look in more detail. And the longer they look around on your site, the more likely they are to buy, to come to your physical store, to submit articles, etc.

If your site design is more in alignment with the purpose of the site, people will be more likely to engage in that purpose, regardless of whether it is shopping online, playing online games, or just reading more about your business.

So do not redesign just because it’s been a few years. Evaluate the current look.

Perhaps you can send a poll to your top 50 clients and ask them questions about your website. See what they think of it. And then, if they feel a redesign is needed and you agree with their reasoning, go ahead and redesign!

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Tim is the owner and senior web designer at T&S Web Design. His company has developed and maintained website for dozens of small businesses and organizations. Tim also maintains a blog with free website advice for small business owners, GetASiteOnline.com.

Redesigning: How Often Is Too Often?
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