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7/24/2006
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Analysis: Seven Signs You Need a Web Site Redesign

Site design experts Best Web Site Services offer tips and tricks.

If the basic design of your Web site is more than two years old, you should consider a redesign. That's the advice of Best Web Site Services, a Chicago-based consulting firm that has launched--or relaunched--more than 700 sites. Here are seven of Best's signs that your site needs a facelift, along with advice and resources to help make it happen.

1. Your Web site was built on a tight budget. Many Web sites were launched on a shoestring. If you want to create a professional Internet presence that offers more than a static online brochure, you'll have to come up with an adequate budget.

2. Your site looks dated. What looked great a few years ago is now out of step with today's design standards and shopper expectations. Here's a primer on Ajax, one of the hottest tickets in contemporary Web design.

3. Your business has changed. Your business has grown, and your Web site is no longer a clear reflection of your business plan. Take a page from the performance management playbook and align your Web site design with strategic business goals.

4. Your competitors are ahead of you. Do competitive sites offer better presentation, navigation, e-commerce or interactive features? Lead the pack rather than following it by stepping up to features, such as personalization, that represent clear competitive superiority. And don't forget compliance. Here's the lowdown on Section 508 accessibility.

5. You've gained a better understanding of your customers. Since your site was launched, you've developed a clearer idea of what your customers are looking for and some of the problems that they might have encountered on your site. Apply this knowledge to a redesigned site that more effectively caters to customer expectations.

6. Content is difficult or costly to keep fresh. If you haven't implemented a content management system--whether commercial or open-source, behind the firewall or on a hosted service--you're probably living with a Webmaster bottleneck. Put your content contributors in charge by first assessing your needs and then evaluating available systems.

7. You need to increase your site's visibility. If your site was developed with little consideration as to how search engines rank, a redesign with new content can raise your site's search engine rankings.

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