Design methods are fluid, and new elements are being introduced into the marketplace everyday. Because of this, we suggest a website re-design about every three to five years. A re-design not only keeps your site updated and competitive, it also may boost functionality, using new technology. Your new site should be great looking, visually pleasing and function well. The layout should be simple, well-organized, and include call to action elements for user friendliness. The menu should be easy to navigate, and be informative for viewers.

All websites are not created equally:

Bad website DesignA top complaint from folks who email us is that their new re-design does not look appealing. They used a design company they found online and the result was disappointing. Finding a design company online will not guarantee that you’ll be happy with the outcome.
All developers are not created equal, and all have different skill levels. To receive a top design, you must use a top design firm. The design team must have advanced design and programming knowledge. Many clients sign up with design companies just because they were the cheapest option they found after asking for price alone.  That is not a good way to spend your money. The end result normally follows the rule, “you get what you pay for.” Instead of saving money, you could lose your initial investment by choosing an inferior design firm.
Research should be done on just how long the design company has been in business. You must also review other client samples to determine if they are an industry leader in design and programming. Do they offer SEO solutions and what is the cost?  All of these questions must be answered before signing up with a design company.  If you find a company who does not advertise other sites they have done or cannot provide “real” testimonials from others who have used their services ….run away!
Good designers are aware of the advanced methods needed for top design.  If you hire a mediocre web designer, or one that does not have the expertise to optimize and customize the site correctly, you’ll get a less than satisfactory looking website.

Optimize your new site by using a mobile-friendly platform:

More than 50% of all adults in America are using their mobile devices to browse the web. Google has picked up on this and is encouraging site owners to use a mobile platform for new re-design projects. Otherwise you may discover that your site is not listed in mobile searches. Your site may also receive a lower rank which will lower your ROI (Return On Investment). Our company is no longer building websites which are not mobile friendly.  The main difference between a mobile device and desktop computer is the screen size. Converting your current website to a mobile platform, or choosing a mobile platform for re-design, will allow the site to resize for any device used for viewing.  Your site will look good on a computer, tablet or smart phone. The images on your site will also automatically be optimized to fit the device used for browsing the web.

Choosing a universal font, easy to read:

One of the complaints we hear a lot is that the font on the website is hard to read. During your re-design make sure you use only fonts that are easy to read. Google offers a list of fonts which work well. There are many different styles and sizes to choose from. Stay away from low contrast fonts. In other words, never use light fonts on a light background or dark fonts against a dark background. Your visitors are on your site to get a question answered quickly and efficiently and if they find the font too hard to read, they will most likely look for another option to find information.

Fast loading websiteHome pages with too much going on:

The re-designed home page should be minimal and limited to the essential information for quick loading. Google is suggesting a maximum of 300 words. Using bulleted lists are helpful when conveying services clearly and concise. Keep the graphics to a minimum and consider a virtual private server for a faster loading site. A messy looking home page with too much bloated content and too many links will always receive a lower rank in listings.  Offering too much information on the home page will confuse the viewer. Save some of the information for other pages to cut down on the content.
We hope these few suggestions will help you as you choose to re-do your site this year.  As you search for a new design shop, please include us as an option. We meet with local clients each week and there is never a cost to meet with you and discuss new design work.  Thanks for stopping by and hurry back for more next time.
Jean Holland-Rose
Chief Creative Officer and SEO Technician
Inside Design Orlando