10 Things to Consider in a Website Improvement Project

Posted on June 20, 2013 by

There shouldn’t be limitations to your creativity and it is necessary to make positive changes when improving an existing website. It’s very important that any change and enhancement don’t affect the core principles of the website. There are many approaches and strategies that work equally well for a website. In order to make a website performs better than before; you should apply the following principles when improving a website’s design:

1. Prioritize

A good web improvement project requires prioritization. Website traffic is influenced by well-researched actions. You can achieve it by focusing only on elements that can bring the most results, such as adding new relevant text and images.

2. Consistency

It is important to maintain or achieve consistency in a website design when improving a website’s design. Look at the original design of the website; texts, background colors, fonts, headings, images, photos and others. But make sure they match perfectly with the website’s main theme and with each other. With consistent web designs, visitors can easily correlate one element with others. Inconsistent web design tends to unpleasantly surprise visitors and can result into a website that looks less than appealing. Consistency can only be achieved through careful planning and common sense.

3. Typography

Typography elements include colors, length, size, font styles and others. Consider whether the original font style is still relevant with latest trends in the industry. If the website owner decides to make some changes on the main theme, web designers should determine whether the original font style is still appropriate. Other elements such as placement, colors and spacing also hold great values during the actual web improvement project.

4. Spacing

Check if the original web design uses space carefully and wisely. It’s absolutely important to allocate some blank spaces in any webpage. Blank spaces also have positive effects to visitors’ reading experience. Over time, website owners may add new spots for ads, text and other webpage elements; and a website improvement project is a good opportunity to re-arrange all the clutter.

5. Target Audience

A quick scan on the original web design would tell you whether it still matches with latest visitors’ requirements. Does the headline still speak effectively to target audience? Check if the website only lists what it can do to the visitors without clearly saying how it will benefit them. Keep visitors’ requirements in mind during the web improvement project to keep them motivated and take desired actions, whether that is to buy a product or sign up for a newsletter.

6. User-friendly Navigation

Determine whether it is currently easy for visitors to locate specific content. Webpages should be named and organized in a way that people will understand easily. For example, a page for downloadable content should be labeled “Download”, instead of “Resources”. Logical naming and consistent navigation structure can help avoid confusions among visitors. Make sure that all links are working properly and the most important or popular content shouldn’t be more than a couple of clicks away from the main page. Changes in navigation structure may represent a significant part of web improvement project and it could be necessary to make compromises to save time and money. Check if the website already comes with a reliable search feature so people can easily find what they’re looking for.

7. Maintain a Simple Design

Improving a website design doesn’t necessarily means adding an extra layer of complexity over the original design. Some designers try to cram as much information as possible in a single webpage, while using black background and white text. This strains your visitors’ eyes, so consider whether it is necessary to reduce the contrast in the original design.

Overusing and misusing text can overwhelm visitors. Some website owners made mistake, by making their website looks overcrowded and flashy during a website improvement project. You should break up text into bullet points and subheads, which can make webpages more scannable. Your visitors don’t have time to scrutinize every sentence in your pages and if necessary, you should draw attention to specific area of your page using proper design elements.

During a website improvement project, you need to take a step back and make sure whether all elements in the website really serve their purposes. Check whether any of them detract from the original purposes of the website. If possible, make the website looks more unique and put everything where visitors expect them to be. The new website design should be able to comfort visitors by offering excellent navigation system, which can answer users-related issues.

8. Speed

Loading speed isn’t determined only by how much bandwidth your server has, but also by how well the website is structured and designed. It doesn’t take long for visitors to hit the back button if they find your homepage loads too slowly. Over the years, web administrators may add extra elements to the main page such as animated banner ads and images, resulting in longer loading time. During a website improvement project, you should assess the average loading time and evaluate how landing pages perform under heavy loads. Remove unessential graphics and use CSS whenever possible. Most flash-driven websites are no longer considered efficient and you should consider revamping them.

9. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

A website may have added new products and services, so it could be necessary to add new keywords in meta tags and titles. SEO improvements may easily add a few hundred of new visitors each day.

10. Use Tracking Service

Many websites still don’t use tracking service and tools like Google Analytics can help you keep track of traffic characteristics, such as how many of them came, where visitors came from, what pages they viewed and more. If the website already uses a tracking service, you can use the data during the project, to help improve the site significantly.

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