Redesigning your website is great, there is nothing like finding that fresh look, but the trick is knowing when and what to upgrade. A redesign should always benefit your customers, if not, you are doing it wrong.
How do you know if it is time to upgrade? Well, styles and technology change every 18-24 months, once your site passes this time-frame it is probably due for a radical redesign to get back into the present. There are several other indicators you need to look at as well.
If your site passes those tests, then you should not radically change your site, if you do you could easily hurt your conversion rates. Why? the answer is simple:
YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IS CONVERTING
Your website is a bunch of elements all strung together in a (hopefully) logical order. You probably have no idea what parts are helping and what parts are hindering. Therefore, if you want to take out the Russian Roulette part of the re-design project, what do you do?
THE ANSWER IS EVOLUTIONARY DESIGN
Evolutionary design is the practice of changing your website one element at a time over a longer time frame. When coupled with conversion optimisation practices it will allow you to test the effectiveness of each portion, this way the end result will be a guaranteed improvement rather than a chance “roll-of-the-dice” kind of design.
This may not be that important if you are only dealing with a few hundred visits per month but when you build into the thousands, this can make a powerful difference.
Are you getting more than 10,000 visitors a month? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to have a look at your site.