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Friday, Sep. 18, 2009 at 11:24 am

Redesign? Ask The Right Questions!

By Jeff Sexton
September 18th, 2009

Seth & GrokSeth’s blog post on “Things to ask before you redo your website” is a must read for everyone involved in online marketing.   Seriously.  If you haven’t seen it yet, go read it now.

What I love most about this list is the way it segregates into sub-components or elaborations on Future Now’s  three questions that are the basis of Persuasion Architecture:

1) Who is coming to the site?

2) What is it they are trying to accomplish?

3) What action do we want them to take, and how do we ensure this matches up with what they are trying to accomplish?  In other words, what do they need to know/feel/believe in order to confidently take that action?

Separating out Seth’s List

Here’s how I see Seth’s list falling into those categories:

1) Who is coming to the site?

  • Who are we trying to please? If it’s the boss, what does she want? Is impressing a certain kind of person important? Which kind?
  • Who are we trying to reach? Is it everyone? Our customers? A certain kind of prospect?
  • What are the sites that this group has demonstrated they enjoy interacting with?
  • Do people find the site via word of mouth? Are they looking to answer a specific question?
  • Will the site need to be universally accessible? Do issues of disability or language or browser come into it?

2) What is it they are trying to accomplish?

  • “If it’s the boss [that we are trying to please], what does she want?”
  • “Are they looking to answer a specific question?
  • Does showing up in the search engines matter? If so, for what terms? At what cost? Will we be willing to compromise any of the things above in order to achieve this goal?

3) What action do we want them to take…what do they need to know/feel/believe in order to confidently take that action?

  • What is the goal of the site?
  • In other words, when it’s working great, what specific outcomes will occur?
  • Are we trying to close sales?
  • Are we telling a story?
  • Are we earning permission to follow up?
  • Are we hoping that people will watch or learn?
  • Do we need people to spread the word using various social media tools?
  • Are we building a tribe of people who will use the site to connect with each other?
  • Is there ongoing news and updates that need to be presented to people?
  • Is the site part of a larger suite of places online where people can find out about us, or is this our one sign post?
  • Is that information high in bandwidth or just little bits of data?
  • Do we want people to call us?
  • How many times a month would we like people to come by? For how long?

Operational [and larger] Questions

Yet, while Seth’s persuasive questions are covered within these three categories, there’s a pile of operational questions left over:

  • How many people on your team have to be involved? At what level?
  • Who needs to update this site? How often?
  • How often can we afford to overhaul this site?
  • How much money do we have to spend? How much time?

In other words, what will this cost us? A question that opens the door for much larger debate of, do we really need to incur this cost in the first place?  What makes us think we need a redesign?

And that gets us to the question that our own Jeffrey Eisenberg tackled within his free report 7 Big Questions of Highly Effective Online Marketing. For starters he suggests that people interested in redoing their site should ask the big questions first:

  • Do we need a redesign, or can we work with what we have?
  • Exactly how would a redesigned site better serve our visitors?
  • If the best-converting sites are often boring in their design, are we willing to design our site with that in mind?  [in other words, do we have the intellectual integrity to separate out an notional "want" for a prettier/slicker website from a real business need]
  • Will we incorporate a scientific testing methodology into our redesign so we can optimize user interactions based on predictions of how our different audience segments will engage with the site? [in other words, are we really serious about redesigning to improve performance?  Serious enough to bake accountability into the very fabric of the redesigned site?]

And if you’re not sure if you need a redesign, perhaps it’s best to take a cold hard look at your current Website in order to:

  • Isolate what isn’t working and what is
  • Determine whether you need to re-conceive your site because too many elements bog down the original design

On Target as a Precursor and Follow-up to a Website Redo

While Future Now has been involved in hundreds of successful Website redesigns and renovations, Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg clearly saw that there were far more sites out there in need of optimization and improvement than full scale redesigns.

And far more Website owners who couldn’t answer the majority of the questions posed in Seth’s post and Jeffrey’s report.

That’s how OnTarget was born.

OnTarget allows Website owners to gain insight into what is and isn’t working with their current site, and provides them with prioritized recommendations to optimize the site, fix the leaks, etc. Think of it as an incremental redesign based on measurable results.

With OnTarget it is only when major persuasive and usability obstacles can’t be surmounted without major retooling, re-skinning, etc. that a site redesign is contemplated.  And in those cases, the business owners are able to answer those critical questions posed by Seth and Jeffrey.

This often means walking away from big redesign projects.  But it always means providing the client with the wisest and best use of his online resources.

[Editors Note:  The author of this article is now blogging at jeffsextonwrites.com]

Add Your Comments

Comments (171)

  1. Having just completed a major redesign, I can certainly see the importance of Seth’s points, as well as the additional suggestions you make. A large redesign project can encompass so many facets of your business that it’s often difficult to make sure you capture them all. Is it a functional update? Look and feel change? Each type of update has its own challenges.

  2. I am building a whole new website from the ground up on a new domain. I plan to use some of the advise I have gotten and learned along the way.

  3. To me the primary value of Seth’s list is that it focuses on site visitors, a tough things for many site publishers to consistently wrap their brains around. The operational issues are also crucial so key decisions are driven by hard realities of resources and outcomes. Publishers (as opposed to marketers) looking at site redesign have found my article on website requirements docs (http://bit.ly/k8cGQ) helpful as well.

  4. Hi,
    that’s a really good article which well should be followed when redeigning a website. Currently I’m only some minor steps away from redesigning two websites, but I’m a little afraid to do so – I don’t know, but I think it’s normal!?
    I just bookmarked your site to have a guiding hand if I start.

  5. That’s a solid list of questions you created, Mitch. Nice job and thanks for sharing.

    - Jeff

  6. Fantastic post.

    Questions posed will keep any serious online marketer busy for weeks.

    Suggestion: Copy these questions down in a notebook and answer them as honestly as you can although you think you don’t have sensible answers.

    Refine the answers over the coming days.

  7. This a great list, not just for a redesign but a design itself. It makes me want to redesign a couple of my sites.

  8. This has been a fantastic eye-opener to a subject that I am just learning about properly for the first time. As a business start up project, I have purposely focused on content and realise now that what is needed is optimization and improvement rather than a than full scale redesign.

    Thank you so much for the starter for 10.

  9. Jozefa,

    Glad you liked the post. When reorganizing, pay attention not only to how you categorize the content, but also to how you link the content together through embedded hyperlinks. Those embedded links can help tie the content together in a more conversational and associative manner than you can usually get away with when sorting content by category or hierarchy.

    - Jeff

  10. Awesome post! the questions were really helpful! I am definitely going to use these advise to improve my site.

    Alex,
    Vom Bullenfeld German Rottweiler puppies

  11. Great list of questions. I think that it seems like common sense but we all need it layed out. Thank you so much for sharing.

  12. #

    Great list of questions. I think that it seems like common sense but we all need it layed out. Thank you so much for sharing.

    http://www.methoo.com

  13. LOL, I’m busy re-doing a client’s website but after reading your post and thinking about the questions you listed… Looks like I’ll have to restart again!
    Thank you for this valuable information.
    Johan Roode

  14. [...] “redesign” konusundaki yazılarıma, hem de az önce tesadüfen karşıma çıkan bir iki Seth Godin yazısına göz atacağım. Ama asıl önemli olan siz ziyaretçilerin yorumları, [...]

  15. And here is The Right Answer: Just Do Website Engineering (see here about it: http://www.gorelkin.blogspot.com/)

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  17. [...] Source:Redesign? Ask The Right Questions! Share and Enjoy: [...]

  18. This is all so true but it is lack of knowledge that makes people decide to redesign their website. I have people saying that they don’t have many visitors so they think they need to redesign. They just don’t understand that a redesign might not necessarily improve their rankings, and that rankings can be improved on their old site with some SEO.

  19. Other questions to ask: Do you have data available to answer these questions, such as through analytics, surveys, interviews with customers and listening labs? If not, do you have the resources to obtain this information and to analyze it?

  20. [...] your church website? Seth Godin offers a series of questions to ask before you get started. And Future Now expands on those questions, even covering whether you even need a redesign at [...]

  21. [...] there was Jeff Sexton’s post about asking the right Persuasion Architecture questions before redesigning, which was inspired by a Seth Godin post. Then, Jakob Nielson had some good thoughts from the [...]

  22. [...] there was Jeff Sexton’s post about asking the right Persuasion Architecture questions before redesigning, which was inspired by a Seth Godin post. Then, Jakob Nielson had some good [...]

  23. So True. As a former Web Manager I got our B2B site among the top 10 b2B sites using continuous improvement. After moving on the “next guy” continuously did nothing for 2 years and is now looking for 1 million to “redesign” the site.

    I like you think Redesigns are usually not needed and recognize most of them being driven by marketers who don’t know how much easier and cheaper over the long run to make positive incremental changes.

  24. The post by rob above is a good example of people not wanting to read your shit…

  25. Hi great content mate. It is very NLP like. At last an internet marketing company that understand buying behaviour.

  26. Surely the evaluation of every action on any website should be montiored using any analytics package-as feedback from any change you make to any marketing medium should be monitored for effectiveness. Some things may be good and some not so good-from this data you can really refine the way a site operates to its users.

  27. I agree that your website should fit your target audience. Not only that but you should be engaging with your audience.

  28. Very interesting article

  29. For sure, redesigning a website is an uneasy job !
    I made it twice for the moment on my “<a href="http://www.tout-le-japon.com/"blog sur le Japon” and you’d better make de kind of “to-do list” in order to make everything correctly.
    So, your article will help many webmaster for sure !

  30. For sure, redesigning a website is an uneasy job !
    I made it twice for the moment on my “blog sur le Japon” and you’d better make de kind of “to-do list” in order to make everything correctly.
    So, your article will help many webmaster for sure !

  31. Great post. All excellent points. We’ve recently redesigned our website so I totally appreciate the challenges involved. We’re open to any feedback!

  32. i like what you have posted above.
    Things are changing everday.In order to be competitive,redesighing is inevitabl.
    And an effective way to redesign is asking the right questions.

  33. Thanks for the list, I’ll definitely put this in to consideration when creating my sites.

  34. I have a problem with number 2 – willing to compromise the questions from number 1 for a better ranking. Search Engines will not buy your product or services. Being on the first page of a search engine is obviously a huge benefit, but only if you are targeting the right people.

  35. Coulee,

    I fully agree with you that trading persuasion for Search Engine Rankings typically represents a bad trade-off. Posing the question isn’t advocating for the trade-off; posing the question merely forces a conscious decision about the matter.

    - Jeff

  36. Seth’s “Big Red Fez” is one of the simplest books he’s ever written, and one of the easiest to read – and yet it deals with simple fundamentals that a lot of companies still have problems with! Get with that banana!

  37. A quite throughout outlining of things to consider when redesigning your website.
    I personally think that the main factor is to correctly determine and target your niche.

  38. But, we have Good Solar Resources. ,

  39. There is no hidden agenda or implications to it. ,

  40. Jeff your question list help me impress my customer.

  41. I’m glad you raise some operational questions, since it seems that most redesign discussions just concern *what* should change, and not *how* to make it happen. The “how” can be complicated for large sites in particular, so for example creating a compelling vision to get everyone on board will be important for large sites (see http://ow.ly/wyX8).

  42. Great article. These questions are THE starting point for a good redesign. Thanks for sharing!

  43. More expert info from the design guru himself :)

  44. Thanks for the list, i will use that methıds before create a new website.

  45. Useful lists, especially number three. -Bryan

  46. I asked the wrong questions and paid the price!

  47. Thanks for this guide!

  48. Good one…Considering the quality and quantity of visitors is also a major point to think.

  49. Hi Jeff, thanks for the recommendation to Seth’s blog post and thanks for taking the time to put this extremely useful article together. Much appreciated.

  50. This a great list, not just for a redesign but a design itself. It makes me want to redesign a couple of my sites.

  51. Thanks for this interesting article !

  52. Thank you for the list :)

  53. Rite question for power knowledge and wrong ans is the creativity

  54. Thanks for the attractive info how to redesign,,

  55. Love the info. I have several websites in French myself and I will use it when redoing them.

  56. Just done a complete redesign ;-)

  57. Looking to implement ideas in my new website. Thanks.

  58. Thanks for the info :)

  59. Great info. Just testing it

  60. Thanks for putting thsi useful information together. I really appreciate it. Thanks

  61. Thanks, very informative! I just searched for such information.

  62. Well, redesigning is just really a choice to think and take..

  63. now this what i call a complete guide to solve your queries…the information provided is superior thanks,it would prove helpful to all

    snowboarding guy

  64. The above three question are no doubt very important in order to redesign a website but methinks the most important thing from the above three is what others means people need to see in your website. If this factor is accomplished then the other two can get automatically.

  65. Thanks , the questions made me think how to impove my webpages!

  66. Great information, we used the information to totally redesign our Free Ads and Free Classified site, now we have 100% more page loads and 25 % more new users.

    Free Ads

  67. Thanks for positing this info. I will really looking this info

  68. I think social books is the one of the major things that people are re-desing theri sites
    they want to add those feature in their sites which changes their site look and fields

  69. this isn’t any groundbreaking information but the way it’s organized makes it very easy to follow and implement. no excuses to not take action today!

  70. Great list of questions. I think that it seems like common sense but we all need it layed out. Thank you so much for sharing.

  71. Good questions to ask, will take them on board, and use them in my clients door handles website. Cheers

  72. Great read Jeff! Another good tip is to use the new meta tag for canon. Matt Cutts wrote about it in his blog last month.

  73. Great post, i like some of the ideas given by you and commentators mentioned, let me think whether they suit me or not.

  74. Thank you for the post. It really have a professional advices

  75. That’s a solid list of questions you created, Mitch. Nice job and thanks for sharing.

  76. The way you have laid out the plan and the check list of questions you need to ask yourself before a redesign is fantastic

  77. yes That’s a solid list of questions you created, Match. fine job and thanks for sharing.

  78. profesional advices and very much realistic

  79. Much more exciting proffessinal disscussion. and we act upon .

  80. That you convey the above are basic things very often we forget as a webmaster. Thank you for reminding me again about this.

  81. Great post, I will be taking some of this into account on future projects.

  82. yes well that we need to know the target visitors before making a website. there are a variety of market segmentation in the internet world and we should be more specific in determining the target so it can be a maximum.

  83. Absolutely mint!!!

  84. Thanks for your post it contains useful information for me.

  85. I wish Jeff would blog in this site again. I missed him! His redesigning ideas were always the best.

  86. Great points. I’m considering on redesigning my site to placing the actual photos of what I’m selling instead of just texts, and see how this will affect my traffic.

  87. 1. Determine which specific questions you really want answers to.
    2. Determine who, specifically, you want to get feedback from. (Hint: you want to help the “vulnerable” people make a commitment to your service or product.) Write a description of this person is.
    3. Solicit feedback from people who match your potential consumer for this specific offering. You will end up with several different kinds of people that you solicit feedback from for various initiatives.
    4. Don’t be distracted by the loudest feedback. Be sure to look for answers from the most vulnerable, and those most likely to buy/consume/download or use your services and products.

  88. I agree that your website should be designed for conversion towards your target audience. Not only that but you should be engaging with your audience to stay on the page longer than 30 sec.

  89. I agree with you idea that design should help target your visitors thanks

  90. Interesting – I have never really thought about the design of a website in this way before. I suppose the main thing to accomplish is ease of navigation and a simple, pleasing to the eye layout.

  91. @Animals that is exactly right. Design is everything!

  92. Solid post Jeff. K-I-S-S and don’t give them more than what they are asking for. Don’t use ten words when three will do, and make sure you are conscious of your clients time. Everybody is busy busy, put yourself in their shoes for a change.

  93. @ Israel hotels

    A picture says a thousand words!

  94. I think point no 3 is the most important thing: What action do we want them to take. Offcourse you want to monetize your site, hence conversion rate optimization is playing the role here

  95. The biggest point that should be kept into consideration while redesigning your website is “What kind of users will be visiting your website?”

  96. Hello Jeff, we last spoke back in September 09 and I took your recommendations about embedding links into my website to create a link to content and it has been fantastic!

    I regularly get great comments about my OFQT.com website and am even being asked to design other people’s websites (not bad for a non-technie).

    Now, I am using your ideas and this blog’s comments to design a new website for me to sell my audio learning packages, fingers crossed this will also be a success.

  97. hello i saw this blog / web its preaty amazing and nice article many thanks

  98. Seth is right. Those questions he have are really must to ask before doing a redesign.

  99. When you publish a website to any community that you already think about your purpose. Of course everyone always using website for their purpose and re-design it’s important step to make it friendly with visitor.

  100. IT will be hard to redesign….

  101. Thanks for great post :)

  102. nice info .. thanks for this article

  103. The operational issues are also crucial so key decisions are driven by hard realities of resources and outcomes.

  104. Definitely, wonderful web site you got here. I think something might be wrong your web site although as every post appears to have precisely the same name.

  105. I like everything is simple, just redesign if it make your site more simple with your users.

  106. Redesign website every year to make your visitors not bored is better.

  107. Could you possibly show me how I can find several of your older posts? There’s a whole lot here that i’m finding real intriguing.

  108. Very well said. I just realized that there are more questions I need to answer before going to re design my site. Some of your question was already on my list and some were really helpful and informative. Thanks a lot.

  109. I think the first step is very important, define your visitors, will help you know how to redesign your themes.

  110. I agree that your website should be designed for conversion towards your target audience. Not only that but you should be engaging with your audience to stay on the page longer than 30 sec.

  111. The redo process is a very research-intensive procedure and IMHO should be done after some surveying your list subscribers.

    Reza

  112. We recently completed the redesign of our main website. That was an experience!

    I laugh when I saw:
    ““If it’s the boss [that we are trying to please], what does she want?”” on the list above…

    We tried to please the boss but how can we do it when he does not even know what he want!

    So good article Jeff and Seth’s stuff is also always Gold IMO.

    Mark

  113. Number 1 question is very important. “Who is coming to the site?” It’s primary concern knowing your visitors will give you more ideas on what to improve and what to write.

  114. “Who are we trying to reach? Is it everyone? Our customers? A certain kind of prospect?”

    Bingo Seth! If you don’t know the needs of your target audience, then you’re off to a miserable start. Yoo need to understand the market and then build to accommodate it. Build and they will come is rubbish. Trying to please yourself with the re-design is totally misguided…on and on it goes.

  115. Exactly on my thoughts! Not knowing your target visitors before designing a website might not be such a great thing.

    Interesting reading.

  116. Thanks!! I think these steps will really help me while designing a website. They are more informative and i hope i can utilize these steps to offer better services to my customers.

  117. Perhaps it’s better sometimes to create a new site than to rebuild the existing. It’s much easier, I think.

  118. I think the first step is very important, define your visitors, will help you know how to redesign your themes.

  119. I agree with this one… Some things may be good and some not so good-from this data you can really refine the way a site operates to its users.

  120. you really helped me, I enjoyed the articles you linked to as much as your article. thanks for your effort and please keep writing articles like these.

  121. I think too, that you have to keep care of redesign a website/blog, because the old design ist already in the thoughts of your visitors.

  122. I agree with this post, the website’s interface is the most important, you must redesign it every year.
    Thanks.

  123. Yes, its important to redesign the website. But not too often!
    I think its nice for the visitors to see a new and beautiful design. Their interest in the website will increase because of that.

  124. With my own experience I can say, that redesigning a website makes sense. For example it’s always nice to see when Google changes the design of their logo.

  125. Yeah, I think the first step is very important, define your visitors, will help you know how to redesign your themes

  126. Thanks for this useful tipps.
    My website is online since one year and I think i redesign it now. Maybe I’ll get good reactions from my users

  127. It is my great pleasure to visit your website and to enjoy your excellent post here. I like them very much. I can feel that you paid much attention to those articles, as all of them make sense and are very useful. Thanks so much for sharing.

  128. Hmm, redesigning is just really a choice for some sites on a monthly basis

  129. Well, after I have recently re-designed my site (outsoursing) I can now evaluate the work done…

  130. Great Post. It helps me for my website. I think I will redesign it now ;)

  131. Thanks for this great tipps. Very nice Post from you and Seth! I’m not a webdesigner so I always have to pay for one to redesign my website and that’s expensive, but it has to be done.

  132. I just redesign my website and got more visitors!

  133. Separating who’s coming to the website is best reference to redesign the website..

  134. Couldn’t agree with you more on that one, brother man.

  135. Definitely have to ask “who is coming to the site”. That’s number one without a doubt

  136. I have no idea how I should redesign my site but you have some good tips for me. Thank you.

  137. Project planning from the start is also quite important too, because that makes us think logically and ask even more important questions that we might have missed! Analytic’s and trends of sites are important to gauge traffic too! and the most important is make your site SEO aware.

  138. hello i saw this blog its pretty amazing and nice article many thanks

  139. This is really food for thought. I think many people only consider the aesthetic perspective when designing or redesigning their sites but considering these things would be much more profitable.

  140. Thanks for this great tipps. Very nice Post from you and Seth! I’m not a webdesigner so I always have to pay for one to redesign my website and that’s expensive, but it has to be done.

  141. Really helpful, makes me rethink some of the things I’ve done in the past and can help me better in the future. This also helps me with my own websites too, cause I can ask myself these questions just as easily as I can ask a client, sometimes I’m so busy asking myself “What will everyone else like?” and not enough time asking “What do I want to come out of this?” Great post.

  142. Hi great content mate. It is very NLP like. At last an internet marketing company that understand buying behaviour.

  143. This is really food for thought. I think many people only consider the aesthetic perspective when designing or redesigning their sites but considering these things would be much more profitable.

  144. I think that #2 is one of the most important ones to ask. Knowing what it is that your visitors are looking for can make or break an online business.

  145. This is an excellent post. With design / redesigns always best to focus everything around 2 things – Users and SEO.

    By keeping everything highly user orientated and SEO friendly you will always build killer sites.

  146. After being involved in the web for 1 year, i now believe i know where my site falls down and the changes that need to be made to give my potential customers all they need and more.
    My site is screaming out for a re-design to make it more slick and streamlined but i am choosing a different path to eventually end up at the same place.
    To re-design will be a massive undertaking and one that will take place in the course of time as the lessons learned from my site and the feedback i get from speaking to every single one of my customers will be implemented. But before this happens, i am undertaking the construction of a second site that retails a similar type of door, but will have the inner workings that site no1 has to have to make it more succesfull than it allready is. Is this a good idea or should i concentrate all my products and design changes to one site?

  147. When redesigning a website, does the in-links will be affected? Will it make a difference in the keyword rankings?

  148. Things to ask before you redesign your website = requirements analysis.

    I think your article breaks down this university-textbook-babble (I just made that up btw!) into a very simple list / process of how to go about defining and analyzing the objectives and goals of the user. Once you have nutted this out, then you have a solid platform upon which to base your redesign.

  149. Great list. will using it has a guideline when i will redigin my site.

    One more thing to keep in mind is not to delete any old article or page which is indexed otherwise you will end up with 404 error.

  150. It is not always easy to clients to look beyond their current web site. It is our job as web designers to make them aware on how a web redesign will benefit their business.

  151. Your Target Audience and your website’s Business Objectives; that’s two of our favourite categories when considering these types of questions.

  152. To re-design will be a massive undertaking and one that will take place in the course of time as the lessons learned from my site and the feedback i get from speaking to every single one of my customers will be implemented. But before this happens, i am undertaking the construction of a second site that retails a similar type of door, but will have the inner workings that site no1 has to have to make it more succesfull than it allready is.

  153. My site is screaming out for a re-design to make it more slick and streamlined but i am choosing a different path to eventually end up at the same place.
    To re-design will be a massive undertaking and one that will take place in the course of time as the lessons learned from my site and the feedback i get from speaking to every single one of my customers will be implemented.

  154. I don’t believe in redesigns any more I think they will become a thing of the past. Look at amazon. They just split test different elements on the page and slowly over time the design changes. I design to make money not to make things look pretty.

  155. I’ve worked on several software projects over the years. Thankfully, a lot of the guidelines for the project management professional certification lends itself well to these types of projects.

    It is crucial to properly document the objectives and requirements up-front and then have the proper communication plan to make sure that you give the customer what they need on time and within budget.

  156. What I love most about this list is the way it segregates into sub-components or elaborations on Future Now’s three questions that are the basis of Persuasion Architecture

  157. A website is in the first place a communication tool supported by technologies. Knowing your audience is what will keep it going.

  158. But before this happens, i am undertaking the construction of a second site that retails a similar type of door, but will have the inner workings that site no1 has to have to make it more succesfull than it allready is. Is this a good idea or should i concentrate all my products and design changes to one site?

  159. My site is screaming out for a re-design to make it more slick and streamlined but i am choosing a different path to eventually end up at the same place.
    To re-design will be a massive undertaking and one that will take place in the course of time as the lessons learned from my site and the feedback i get from speaking to every single one of my customers will be implemented.

  160. @hats shoping – yes, a well thought out continuous optimization program can often produce better (and validated) results than a complete site redesign. Although, beware!… customer feedback is a good place to start, but ultimately you must believe what people do, not just what they say they will do.

  161. Great post!
    The content of the website is of course almost as important as the code; knowing some SEO really helps! However, most importantly, your initial trio of questions is what a good copywriter keeps in mind at all times.

  162. Redesigning your website can be a huge undertaking. Sometimes it’s better to focus on improving content.

  163. A blog or a website is, first, a means of communication. So, while its content’s job is to connect with visitors, its design or look is how it presents itself to the world. They must blend with each other.

  164. Other questions to ask: Do you have data available to answer these questions, such as through analytics, surveys, interviews with customers and listening labs?? If not, do you have the resources to obtain this information and to analyze it…

  165. It is not always easy to clients to look beyond their current web site. It is our job as web designers to make them aware on how a web redesign will benefit their business.

  166. I think the right question to ask in 2011 is “Is your blog or website mobile ready?” – growth in mobile usage is on the up!

  167. I find that 90% of the time, a re-design isn’t enough. The site is so old and the platform not flexible that we build a completely new site in Joomla. So to me the right question is: Where do you want to be in 5 years time?

  168. Hi Jeff Sexton
    It is not always easy to clients to look beyond their current web site. It is our job as web designers to make them aware on how a web redesign will benefit their business.

  169. I hate how some websites change their looks every once in a while with only one obvious purpose: it is going to look absolutely different from how it looked before. But it is frustrating for existing customers not to find the things where they used to be or not at all. I think people should think more before deciding “it is time again to do 100% redesign”.

  170. While I understand the motivations behind redesigning a website – to rejuvenate a newer look to an existing brand – I agree with the sentiment that too much redesign causes the website to lose its original identity. Rather than undergo an entire website redesign, I think it’s much better to make little tweaks in the existing design here and there to improve the user experience.

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Jeff is a Persuasion Architect, Web copywriter, blogger, and instructor of FutureNow's Persuasive Online Copywriting workshop. Follow Jeff Sexton on twitter

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