Does your website look trapped in time?
Website design is a little like fashion – trends come and go. The key is not to let your website wear a leisure suit.
You might not wear the cutting edge of fashion. I don’t. But I also don’t wear the sweater vests or scarves that I did in high school.
Website design trends change fairly rapidly. Over 10 years in business, most of our clients get 3-5 years out of a theme (that controls the design) before their site starts to look seriously dated.
Why would you need to keep your site design current
Part of what you are trying to communicate with your site is not just text-based information. You’re also trying to send more visual signals as well. Often, these will not necessarily be things that the site visitor is consciously aware of.
When your site design is outdated like a leisure suit, you might be conveying that you aren’t keeping up with your industry’s recent developments. Or that your products or services are not based on the latest technologies or best practices. Or worst case, you might even make the site visitor wonder if you are really still in business.
Think of your website like the sign for a brick and mortar store. The sign doesn’t need to change every year, but if it’s old, messy, or broken, there might be customers driving by without stopping to shop or purchase.
Why wouldn’t you want to re-design?
Usually, it’s cost – in either time or money. Site content (text and images) can usually be fairly easily updated, but site re-design requires either a lot of work, or the help of a developer (which costs). When you are calculating costs though, don’t forget to include the business that you might be losing because your site doesn’t convey competence, current skills or a sense of connecting with your potential customer demographic.
Tips about website re-design:
- If your site design is more than 5 years old, you almost definitely need to start planning for a design refresh.
- When you do a design refresh or re-design of your site, lean into something that is closer to today’s cutting edge of design (even if that’s not “your style”), so that it will hopefully last you a little longer. If you “update” to something that looks like it was from 2 years ago, you won’t get very much mileage before it starts to look dated.
- Make mental notes as you are surfing the web about what’s changing, and what is more cutting edge. About what your site might need to include.
- When you get ready to seriously consider a re-design, Google “current website design trends”. You might find something like this, that will help you start thinking about the sorts of things you might include in your site.
- This might be a time to consult a professional web developer. After all, it’s their job to stay current on web design trends, and keeping sites effective for businesses.