From time to time websites do need to be redesigned. A look at how often and when it should happen.
I have a confession to make: I love realty television. No, not like “The Real Housewives of Walla Walla, Washington” but the type that play 24-hours a day on HGTV, DYI and A&E networks. There is an endless parade of shows featuring the remodeling and redesigning of rooms, homes, gardens, restaurants, etc. and I shamelessly admit to loving them all. I am constantly absorbing new ideas for changing and upgrading things in our home. Of course, executing these ideas is another story completely.
You see, I often struggle to find the motivation to invest actual time and resource into upgrading something that seems perfectly fine the way it is. I admit, that the envisioned finished project is tempting, but it’s far easier for me to watch another episode of Restaurant Impossible than to actually engage in the project. And frankly, I incur few if any obvious consequences when that wave of energy to upgrade the kitchen is redirected towards playing a video game or trying out a new recipe (OK, I’m hooked on the Food Network too). There have, however, been occasions when I actually follow through on an idea for redesigning a physical part of our home; typically this happens when I share the vision for redesigning with my wife. She’s a bit more tenacious and has a more difficult time letting go (she’s not a fan of video gaming). As you might imagine, once completed, these remodels are almost always gratifying and successful, adding to the value of our home and improving the ambiance for ourselves, our family and guests. As I was completing the touch up painting in my son’s bathroom – recently transformed from the generic grade school sports motif he enjoyed for the past 7 years into a daring bright green, blue and grey shrine to the Seattle Seahawks – it occurred to me that there is a business lesson to be learned here, and I’d like to share it with you.
So, When is it Time to Redesign?
I’ve written a few pieces for Senior Housing Forum focused on repositioning your community for current and future consumer trends, but when is it time to redesign your social media and internet presence? Frankly, I don’t know. After a year? Two? As circumstances change? In fact, the catalyst for this piece was finding out that SHF is preparing for another redesign of this site. Why invest time and resource in another? I asked Senior Housing Forum’s Publisher, Steve Moran, about this – here’s what he told me:
“Since Senior Housing Forum started I have done three major redesigns and the goal of each one was to improve the reader experience. Of most importance is that we are publishing more content each week and want to make sure readers can easily see and access the content that is of interest to them. This calls for a continual analysis of the processes that help a reader navigate our site, like the current menu system which we want to be more user friendly. We also want our tailored information delivery systems to keep pace with the increasing content. Finally, we are attempting to grow the site revenue we will be making some changes in how we deliver banner ads; changes that will serve our partners better and improve the readers’ experience.”
Asking the Experts
Not surprisingly, Steve decided to engage Sage Age Strategies, a long-term partner, to do this redesign. I followed up with Alex Boyce, Sage Age Strategies Director of Technology and Online Marketing. He offered this, “The only time a website really needs to be rebuilt is when it stops doing what it’s intended to do or doesn’t perform efficiently. Technology changes, companies change and people change. When a website is out of balance with any of these three pillars, its performance will decline and its function will be hampered. When that time comes, it’s time for a new website. To the specific question of ‘when’ you should consider redesigning and updating your website, this is an ongoing process of evaluation.” Alex suggested that companies routinely ask themselves these three simple questions:
- Is your company transitioning into a new phase, perhaps a rebrand, or a reassessment of services or a change in products or product lines?
- Is your website optimized for the changing and increasing use of smartphones and tablets?
- Are you getting the desired results from your website?
Of course, seeking expert advice can be the best way to assess your current and future needs. To discuss your online “curb appeal” and explore options for improving it, contact the award-winning team at Sage Age Strategies. Reach out to Adrienne Mansfield, Director of Client Services, Traditional & Online Media at Sage Age Strategies. John
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I’m not a fan of pitching the services of an advertiser/”partner”/”sponsor” without being transparent about the relationship. I don’t think “a long-term partner” really makes clear the relationship between Sage Age and SHF. That aside, I’ll second the notion that the days of static websites are gone forever. You’ve got to be continually adding content, evaluating the user experience, testing response, etc. Now for my blatant plug … be.group’s site redesign is scheduled to launch Aug. 12. We’ve added a lot of great content designed to help older adults, their families and others understand senior community living, aging well and other issues of interest to seniors. I’d love to hear what SHR readers think of it. You can find us at http://www.thebegroup.org. End of plug.
Sorry you felt we were being less than transparent, Dan. I assumed the banner ad with Sage Age made it obvious that they are a sponsor for SHF, and I’ve written a number of other pieces that reference them. They are a terrific and professional organization, and I’ve been highly impressed with their team. Thanks for your comments – I will check out your site!
No worries. Even when a sponsor has prominent advertising, I believe it’s always good practice to acknowledge in the editorial content since we never know what people notice and don’t notice. A faithful reader may never pay attention to the advertising on a site.