The BizFilings blog covering business tips and trends.
Know When to Revamp Your Website and What to Look for
Published on Sep 4, 2013
Pondering a website revamp, or at least a refresh, should be on the mind of every entrepreneur. We explore some factors to consider beforehand.
Although your incorporation has likely revamped its website within the past few years, your business has also probably made several changes during that period of time. Does the website reflect those changes?
Your incorporated company’s products, or customer base, may have changed since the website’s initial creation. Maybe the website was built on a WordPress template, which hasn’t succeeded in meeting the company’s needs as it has expanded. For example, your company can only list five open positions in its career section at a time, and it isn’t optimized for mobile.
Maybe it isn’t that blatantly obvious your website is due for a revamp. Nevertheless, pondering a website revamp, or at least a refresh, should be on the mind of every entrepreneur. What are the factors that should make this consideration a priority?
There has been a strategic shift. Perhaps the incorporation has moved downstream and is selling directly to end users, where before it sold to resellers. Maybe the incorporated business is moving into a brand new industry, where a different level of professionalism is needed for the “look and feel” of the site.
The pictures are dated, or out of place. For example, imagine an engineering firm that actively markets itself to the defense industry with plenty of military imagery on their website. When the company finally secures a classified contract, the military orders the company to trade out those photos for more generic images.
The budget has changed. It’s a given that a website is the front door to an incorporated company’s value proposition. Maybe at the time the website was created, your small business incorporation couldn't afford a more compelling design. Times have changed, and your company can now afford a website that sizzles with a “wow” factor.
Now that you know you need a website, what should you look for in a design firm?
Creativity. A firm, after interviewing you and the other principals at the business, should be able to provide you with at least two unique concepts.
Reasonable pricing. Gone are the days when paying $20,000 for a revamp or refresh of a website is the norm. Entertain bids from multiple firms. The high end should be $10,000, unless there is a tremendous amount of database work or custom programming.
An understanding of branding. “Websites like businesses are a dime a dozen,” said Cyrus Igono, the founder of a Phoenix-based firm Mill & Broadway. “You need to have something that is identifiably better than the rest. For example, you buy a Polo Shirt, not a Walmart Shirt. The experience and perceived value of your company is something that can never be lost or mistaken.”
Avoid friends and family. The entrepreneur should hire a firm that gives you its full, undivided attention. You are treated no less or better than any other customer. Relying on a family member is a short path to disappointment.