Has your website lost some of its focus?

I hope that when your current website was first put together, some thought had been given to the image it gave, the path through which it would take visitors, and the prominence of the most important messages and calls to action. However, what tends to happen over the years is that the company’s image changes subtly, unexpected stuff needs to be added which doesn’t have an obvious home, and extra furniture gets put on pages to keep people happy. The result is that, for all the care you’ve given it, the site starts to become a bit messy.

Now, it could be that you’ve let your house fall into such disrepair that it’s a cost-effective option to just move on. But for most people, a thorough spring clean might work wonders. Here then are some questions you should ask yourself. Has newer content be added to the site which is distracting from the core “story” which the site was set up to tell? What are the most important pages on the site, and are they still flagged clearly from every other page (and not buried in menus)? Have pages been removed or renamed, leaving error messages for people following links to them? Has the way you write moved on, but the older content not been updated accordingly? And have the calls to action been given less prominence by clutter which has been added?

A new website design should be a last resort, when your existing infrastructure can’t cope any longer. It will take up a lot of your time, and considerable expense. Address the issues above one-by-one, and you might find there’s life in the old dog yet. And don’t forget that “design” is about the inner workings of the site, not the coat of paint on the outside. It shouldn’t cost much at all to get a website designer to spruce up the look of your existing – tidied-up – site, to finish the job.

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