There are a lot of things to consider when redesigning your website, but the very first thing is, is it the right time? I’m breaking down the most common reasons clients come to us to redesign their website and the surefire ways to know it’s time to redesign.
Over the years we’ve worked with so many clients who come to us with various needs for their website redesign. There have been many trends along the way of why clients choose to redesign their website. So if you’ve ever wondered if it’s the right time to redesign, read below to see if any of these reasons resonate! You can always reach out to us to schedule a chat to see if we’d be a good fit to work together to redesign your website! Take a look at our services and reach out!
You can’t make any changes to your site
I see this all the time with clients coming and saying how previous designers built it in a way that they can’t customize anything.Those of us who are designing for bloggers or food bloggers specifically, know how important it is to make sure that your website is robust and that you can really customize it in the future.
For food bloggers, there’s a really good chance you could be updating and tweaking things on your website regularly. You should be able to customize the experience for your reader based on the time of year, your niche, or based on just what is going on in the world. It is completely within reason to need to be able to change that and to want to be able to change that.
When you are designing a website for the next time, or you are updating your website, make sure you’re able to customize things and create new experiences on your website, without feeling like you have to redesign the entire website every time.
You can’t tell what’s a bandaid from the original site design
If you can no longer tell what is a band-aid from what was the original site design, and this honestly happens to everyone, then it may be time for a new website. You will of course have small fixes here and there, but there comes a time when you just end up with a ton of band-aids and it’s hard to remember what the original site design or theme was like. Now, because technology changes a lot, if you haven’t had your site professionally designed, or at least used a very basic pre-made theme in a few years, chances are you have a lot of moving pieces that could start breaking down.
Keep in mind the really common misconception when it comes to a custom website versus a pre-made theme. You can make a pre-made theme very custom as well as add a lot of things on top of it to make it feel custom, but at the end of the day, you’re adding a lot of stuff on top of a theme that wasn’t designed to hold it in the first place.
When moving forward and making a change to your site, think about the impact that it’s going to have for your readers.
We have to be very intentional about the things that we are adding onto our websites that are not originally designed within our theme, as many things can go wrong by adding on these different layers to your website. Sometimes it’s just easier to start from scratch with a fresh install of the exact same theme you started with.
You have hundreds of blog posts buried in archives
This is actually one of my favorite challenges to deal with and this is something that almost every single one of our clients has some sort of a problem with. They’re coming to us with anywhere from 400 to a thousand blog posts, or more, and the most common thing we hear from those clients is that they have so much great content, but it’s buried in the archives, and no one can find it.
The number one priority for food bloggers is to create a great user experience on their blog. Unfortunately, a lot of the pre-made themes really skip this step and may forget how users are going to interact with your website. This IS possible with a premade theme but this strategic element is often missed when you are just installing a theme and following a demo because premade themes are built for the masses – not YOUR site with your readers in mind.
There ARE things that you can do from a content level to help people navigate your website though. In previous episodes, I talked about a couple of things from a content level, that you can do on any theme with any type of web design. It has to do with the way that you’re writing your content as well as the overall experience that someone has on your website.
Here are a couple questions to consider:
Is it easy for them to find the content that they are looking for?
Is it easy for them to browse your category pages?
The best way to answer this question for yourself is if someone comes from Pinterest or from Google, and they land on one of your blog posts, are they going to know what to do next? Have you set up your homepage clearly so that someone will have one to three actions that they might take on there? Something that will further their experience with you? Do you really think about what your readers might be struggling with?
You really have to get into the mind of that reader and figure out what they need, step-by-step, on your website. If you don’t take that step back and really think about this journey and this process, then you’re really not going to be creating that great user experience on your website.
You want your site to stand out from the crowd
I realize this may seem like a sort of vain reason for wanting to redesign your website, but let me explain why this is important. I think so many food bloggers miss the fact that they have a unique story to tell, and they are in a unique position to be able to help their unique set of readers.
Unfortunately, there is so much of a trend of people blindly following the advice of other food bloggers, of using the same pre-made themes, following the same recipe templates and using the same plugin.. This becomes a problem whenever your website starts looking exactly the same and this can be a detriment to you as a content creator, in that you are no longer memorable.
So many food bloggers started their food blog because they wanted to make an impact. Whatever that really heartfelt reason is for wanting to start your blog and the reason that you put in the blood, sweat, and tears for this entire process, that is why you want your blog to stand out from the crowd. You want your readers, the people who are going to resonate with your message, to care and to immediately get it when they land on your website, that this is the place for them.
This same logic applies when you think about wanting your website to stand out from the crowd for sponsors and brand partnerships. If your website looks like everyone else’s, there’s no reason why they will choose to work with you over the competition. There’s no reason why people are going to want to purchase links that you recommend and products that you recommend over somebody else’s. We really have such a split second to be able to make that impression with people and a beautifully and strategically designed website, with a perfectly curated next step for your reader, is what is going to do that.
If you’re still not quite sure whether you need a new website, I would encourage you to listen to Episode 40, where I talk about how to know whether it’s time for a new website design. Listen to that episode and see if some of those ideas resonate with you. Even if this is not something that’s in the cards for you in the next few months, maybe it’s in six months or in a year, it’s really important to know that this is a goal of yours for the future.
It is important to keep in mind a few things in this regard; the fact that 1) It is a big Investment, both in time and money, and that 2) Designers are usually booked out months in advance.
While we as designers do everything we possibly can to make this a super easy process for our clients, there is work that you have to do when you’re redesigning your website and it’s important to really think ahead, to make sure that it is the right time of the year for you to take such a big project on.