One of the guiding principles behind making use of websites goes beyond things like fully managed servers and bandwidth concerns. It delves into the wicked world of design and appearance. While a website has to be more than just flash and flair, that there has to be substance underneath it, it is no excuse to neglect its appearance. This is a standing principle of web design, and one that most people remember at the start, when things are new and still need to be set up. However, the trouble is that a lot of people forget the other part of the principle: website designs need to be updated every so often.
So what are the sure signs a website really needs an overhaul?
Well, one good indicator is the bounce rate – if its high, a change is in order. The bounce rate is basically how many people are looking at the site and going away without exploring further. A high bounce rate means people stumble on the site a lot, but don’t stick around long enough for its content to sell them anything. If the bounce rate keeps going up and up and up like the bounty on a criminal that has mass destruction following in his wake, it is seriously time to give the website a massive overhaul.
Another good sign to revamp the design is if nobody can make heads or tails how to get anywhere in it. While the three click rule isn’t really a rule – more of a guideline, in all honesty – it does provide a good basis. The easier the site is to navigate, the better it will be for retaining customers and casual browsers. The harder a business site is to figure out and the longer it takes to get from Product A to Shopping Cart D, the more frustration is risked and the higher the chances of people just leaving unless they’ve really committed to their convoluted purchase.
What about social interaction? There were times when it was possible to get away with not having these, but not anymore. These days, social networking sites are a huge part of people’s lives – some say the current generation lives out its entire pathetic existence online. As such, each business site must make an effort to show that it is keeping up and have links to its own social networks. Yet, more than that, it must also provide some measure of an internal “social hub” for its customers to gather together and talk conveniently.