After spending loads of money on a good website design and after a couple of years of seeing the same old page, webmasters usually get bored and look out for new options and a significant overhaul of the layout and design. Let’s just say that they want an excuse to change the website design. It’s happened to all of us who have been in the industry since a few years. This article explains when and why to allow your website to evolve into something better.
Don’t change the core
While the webmaster and the website owner maybe thoroughly bored of their website, a visitor or user maybe most comfortable with the same design. Over a period of time, your users and visitors have mastered the interface of your website and have memorized every nook and cranny which is useful to them. They are most comfortable with navigating your existing site and have figured out exactly what is where. A sudden face lift may trigger panic and confusion, especially if you have not sensitized and trained up your users for the switch. Hence it is best to avoid changing the core layout and theme of your website, when it is not necessary and only make modifications to the existing layout.
Changing parts of your site during festivals and special day’s can draw some much needed attention to it. Many website’s change color based on the season, with the site sporting a yellow or bright colored theme during summer and a cool blue or white theme during the winter season. Small motifs and the festival mascots adorn the site’s to signify the website’s celebration of the festival. Many Europe or America based businesses deck up their site and offer huge discounts during Thanksgiving and Christmas. In India and South East Asia, many businesses offer promotional pricing during Diwali and the Hindu New Year. Businesses based in the Middle East, put up decorations and fancy banners during Eid to connect with their local clients and prospects.
When a company is hosting or organizing a trade show or large event for their industry, its very overtly visible on their website. Changing your website to reflect the theme of your event or conference can help boost the brand image and positioning of the event and your website. Not only will related traffic flow through your website, but even event related sales are sure to get a boost when your website is also in sync with the event. If you have setup a stall at an event or trade show or exhibition, it will surely benefit you if your website also carries the event branding and your location at the event. Many webmasters renovate the home page or at least a major part of it and dedicate that space to provide details of the event.
Search Engine changes
Search Engine compliance is one of the main things for a webmaster or website owner to look out for. If your website does not adhere to the best practices or guidelines of Search Engines, it is best to revamp the website to ensure compliance. Search Engines compliance takes priority over design and layout. Businesses spend hundreds of dollars on getting their website optimized for Search Engines. Many businesses spend in thousands to correct mistakes which have led to their downfall in Search Engines. When Search Engine ranking is concerned, its best to ensure that your website complies with the requirements at all times.
As programming languages evolve, every website made with old programming techniques should also be upgraded. What HTML standards were used in 2000 are mostly phased out and replaced with new and modern standards which modern devices and browsers understand. Outdated code can become a nuisance for users of modern devices and may also lead to lower rankings in Search Engines. The latest HTML5 and CSS3 standards incorporate features for efficient use of system resources while reducing duplication of coding. If your website is using ancient HTML code, it will not validate with the latest standards and will fail in many newer browsers. Its best to overhaul your entire site with the latest CSS scripting techniques as soon as possible.
With the advent of tablet PCs and internet enabled smartphones, there is an urgent need for Responsive Design to enhance the site visitor’s experience on those devices. Most websites do not have any special optimization for viewing on mobile devices. Not many webmasters even know that you need to optimize the site for smaller screens. Many who are aware of this try and take shortcuts by using software and scripts to "mobify" their website. All it takes is just some modification in CSS. However, if you are really interested in serving up quality content on phones and tablets, it is best to make a mobile website specifically designed for those devices and browsers.
Don’t forget to make Backups of your website before you try out any design changes or allow others to make changes to your website.