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Website redesign: 5 easy DIY upgrades

Aubrey Beck

If the thought of a website redesign leaves you feeling overwhelmed you're not alone. Changing the face of your company with a new website isn't a small decision and it's not a task that gets checked off your to-do list in a day or two.

Even the largest companies in the world understand that designing a new website is a huge undertaking because it's the type of project that demands a large commitment of time, resources and energy.

A website redesign requires taking the time to dig into who you are as a company and find out exactly what it is you're offering people. It means going through every page of your site and analyzing whether it serves a purpose and is functioning in a way that best meets the needs of your site visitors.

5 Things You Can Do Today

Brands can't afford to have ineffective, broken, outdated or visually unappealing sites. There's just too much competition out there and web users will exercise their option to leave your page for even the smallest missteps.

Even if you're not ready to invest in a new website right now, here are 5 things you can do today to make sure your site presents your brand in the best light:

1. Fix Dead Links
First, create a sitemap to inventory every page on your website. Although the thought of this may seem daunting at first, it's a job worth carving out time for. Especially with larger companies, and businesses that have had a web presence for many years, it is not atypical to find a dead link or two are sprinkled throughout your site. Using your sitemap as a guide, run through every page and double check that all links are active. Mark off the pages on your sitemap as you complete them.

2. Keep People On Your Site
While you're checking that all links are active, make note of any links that direct a site visitor off of your site. If outbound links open up in the same browser tab, you can reset the link settings to ensure that any time someone clicks an outbound link (one that will lead them away from your site), the link will open in a new tab. This ensures that your site visitors can easily come back to your site after viewing the information you're guiding them to.

3. Fresh Eyes Proofread
Use the sitemap again to double check every page and read through all the content on your site with fresh eyes. Be on the lookout for misspellings, bad grammar and areas that read awkwardly. You may even have someone from a different department take a look and let you know if there are any parts of the site that are confusing to them. Again, use the sitemap to make sure you don't miss any pages.

4. Break Up Text
Break up large blocks of text. Use more paragraph breaks than you think you should. People tend to skim over large areas of text and may be missing important information about your business by doing so. Using more paragraphs and breaking text blocks up into smaller sections makes it easier for people to read through the content on your site.

5. Get to the point.
Make sure someone can grasp from very first glance exactly what it is you're offering as a business. People won't spend more than a few seconds looking for the information they need. At the very top of your homepage should be a distinct description about what product or service you're offering. The details can come later.

Asking The Right Questions

Most of us could click through our own sites and find at least one or two things that could improve user experience or aesthetic appeal. Maybe your homepage loads a bit slowly or images take longer to appear than other assets on the page. Do random words or characters appear when you hover over images? When was the last time you ran through every page on your site -- line by line -- and made sure all of the information was up-to-date and worthy of real estate on your page?

Top brands are held to a high standard by today's consumers so it's more important than ever for marketing teams to make sure their online presence is polished and up-to-date.

Deciding to invest in an overhaul of your current site is a major decision so you'll want to do some research before signing a contract with the lowest bidder. The market is flooded with companies offering "website services," but what do they specialize in?

Are they experts in SEO or graphic design? Do they write custom code or manage eCommerce stores? Do they have references you can talk with? Because the first step in deciding to build a new website will be in choosing who to trust with your website redesign.

Is a Growth Driven Design strategy the right approach for your next web redesign? Learn more in the ebook: A Web-Dev's Guide to Growth Driven Design.
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