5 things when changing your websiteWebsite Design - 5 things to consider before designing a new web site

At Net Quality Web Design, we have the design skills and expertise to deliver stunning website designs to Small Business in Nottingham and the Nottingham area. It is what we do and what we have done for many years. We have amassed a wealth of design, usability and technical skills which we bring to all our website design projects and which enables us to deliver outstanding results.

Any business web site design can be improved, and we are in an ideal position to accompany you on your project, whatever size your business. However, and unlike many of our competitors, we will not jump in and quote you for a new design of your business web site - there are at least 5 factors to consider first.

1. Ensure you are changing the web site design for the right reasons

In my experience, the number one requested reason for a new business website design is the wrong one. I hear so often “it’s been almost 12 months since the last design and it’s time for a new one”. This is not logical, is based on a purely random time interval of 1 year, and worse may reduce the effectiveness of the existing design.

Some valid reasons for a new website design include making your business website:

More user friendly - in an ideal world this will have been discovered by empirical evidence where test subjects have shown the existing web design offers a confusing user experience. The redesign of your web site will therefore address the issues identified from the test subjects.

More search engine friendly - either new keywords or key phrases will have been identified for your business and you will want to target these, or the existing keywords will not be performing as well as you expected, and a new design of your website could emphasis these and increase your rankings in the search engine results pages.

More accessible - a correctly designed site will offer all users, of all abilities and disabilities, equal access to information and functionality. Therefore if a visitor experiences problems the web accessibility could be improved by a correctly designed, developed and presented web site.

2. Ensure you use a proper web designer for your website design

Sounds common sense, but again it is amazing how many times I see this golden rule being broken. I am still hearing variations on the old cliché “my 15 year old nephew can design an e-commerce website for me for £50”.

I accept that this is true. In fact when I was 15 I actually was designing websites, so I know it is true. However, the finished product will never be of the same quality. My experience gathered over the last 14 years has empowered me with the necessary knowledge to provide a professional website design, exactly matching your business needs, and geared precisely to your requirements.

In a similar way, a 15 year old could align the rods, fine-tune the speed differentials or carry out wheel and tire balancing on a BMW, however I for one would be much happier paying a professional a professional salary to perform these tasks.

It should be no different for your website. This is a vital tool for your business operations and as such you should ensure you use a proper web designer to perform any design work for your business website.

If you do use a professional web designer for your business website, the next 3 factors will automatically be covered by him. In fact, you should use them as a check list to ensure he really is a professional web designer.

3. Minimise changes to your URLs

Google and the other search engines are constantly trawling all websites on the Internet and compiling a database of each address (the value you type in within the address bar of your favourite browser or URL) and the contents on that page. If the URL is changed, the page effectively disappears from these databases.

The result is that the history and advantages of being included within search engines will also disappear. The result may even be worse and the search engines can penalise your business website as it regards this practice as non professional.

This can easily be avoided by a proper web design agency. They will ensure that all changes to the URLs within your website will be kept to a minimum, and if they really have to be changed, these changes will be correctly identified to the search engines. As such, there will not be any negative side-effects.

4. Try and restrict the website redesign to the CSS

If your business website was professionally designed originally, it may be that only the format and layout of the individual web pages are affected by the redesign. This is the ideal. The content therefore stays the same and the risk to disrupting your site in the various search engines listings is minimised.

Professional web designers will try and limit the changes, and if possible restrict them to the CSS. In this case, less really is more...

5. Keep the previous versions as backups

The results of even the most professional and well-thought out change to the design of an Internet website are unknown until the redesign goes live. The worst case scenario is such that the new version of your website performs poorer than the old version. As a short-term solution, the original website should be reinstated and this will minimise the negative impact.

It will also enable a breathing space for the new design to be inspected and evaluated. The reason for the decreased performance can then be identified and fixed, before the redesign is then put back live on the Internet.

A new web site design can be a good thing...

To conclude, all websites should change and evolve through time. New goals and new standards will be identified and should be integrated into your business website, and the more inefficient and less accessible areas will be recognised and should be improved. The danger is to change your web site for change sake...an even worse danger is to change your web site and reduce the existing quality.

At Net Quality Web Design, we will advise and work with you to ensure you are only performing tasks that should be performed, and that these are always performed to the highest standard to guarantee that your business website is the best it can be. Do not hesitate to contact us to see how we can manage business website design change for you... 

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