Design updates are not the same as content updates. You’ll update content on your site as often as your audience requires, such as blog posts, calendar events or testimonials. Design updates mean you’re overhauling the entire look and usability of the site. Design updates are recommended if you answer “yes” to any of these questions:
- Is the site easy to view on a mobile device? Check out our Mobilegeddon information for more on mobile friendliness.
- Does your site use Flash?
- Does the text look small on the page?
- Has your target market changed?
- Does your site look dated? Check out some of these big web design trends from 99Designs for things to consider, such as large images and clean, simple designs. Or check out Mashable’s list of outdated web design trends that need to disappear, such as Flash intros and generic stock photography.
Usability includes how visitors are able to navigate and consume content on your site, but that also includes “hidden” usability elements, such as page load times and mobile friendliness. As developers find ways to minimize files needed to display websites, your site may benefit from some data dieting to help it run more quickly and efficiently.
Browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari and Firefox, are routinely updated. Sometimes these updates can cause trouble when viewing your website, particularly when it comes to styles used to display content. Typically newer browsers cause less issues than older versions, but if a new browser is released and users have trouble viewing your site, you’ll need your developer to tweak the style sheet accordingly.
Once you’ve posted content to your site for a year or two, you’ll want to audit it for broken links and usability. Is it easy to find? Do you need to remap your navigation? Should you curate or archive some content to clean up how your site looks? These are all great questions to ask yourself, then discuss with your web developer.
Search Engine Optimization
Log into your tracking program, such as Google Analytics, and review how your site is doing in search engine results. Discuss these findings with your web developer and find out if there is anything you can do to your site to boost your page rankings in search results. This added traffic could be the difference between lackluster site performance and increased sales conversions.