When you are looking for ways to trim your website budget, design is one of the things that often gets cut. You probably feel like “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” That may be true, but I would encourage you to spend a little time evaluating your website design, before you completely dismiss a redesign from your budget. Full website audits can be time consuming and costly, but there are some simple questions that you can ask to get a sense of whether or not you need to invest in website design next year. Open up your website and ask yourself the following questions:

What is your first impression?
It can be hard to look at your site without some personal bias, but think of what a new visitor will think when they land on your homepage? Does your design foster trust? Is it immediately apparent what your company does and what you offer? Is your site uniquely different from your competition? Does your site look dated? If your first impression could be improved then you should probably include design in your website budget.

How easy is your site to use?
You can navigate your site quickly because you use it daily, but what about someone who has never seen your site? Find someone who has never seen your site and ask them if you can watch them as they interact with there site. Give them a simple task, like finding a certain product. Watch them fill out forms. You may be surprised where people get confused or stuck. If you see this person struggling to use your site then you should probably include design in your website budget.

When was the last time you added fresh content to your site?
If you can’t tell the difference between your website now and a year ago then you should probably include design in your website budget. Not only will search engines reward you for fresh content, but your visitors will, too. If your site is constantly changing people are more likely to bookmark your site and come back for more.

Chances are, you probably will see some areas of your site that could use some design attention. This doesn’t have to break the bank, and there are probably affordable solutions that can fit into your web design budget. The next step is prioritizing your needs, which I will cover in my post next Monday. Thanks for reading!

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