Think about your favorite websites, the ones you frequent most often for news, sports, shopping and entertainment. What do they have in common?
Now think about your own website. Does it have those same characteristics? If not, it may be time for a simple update or a total redesign. Here are five questions to ask yourself:

  1. Does my site look up-to-date? You don’t want a site that is too trendy, only to fall out-of-date and favor next year (think Flash), but you do want your site to look current, professional and relevant to your business.
  2. What was the last time I added new content or features? If you can’t remember, it might be time to do something about it. Has your logo changed? Do you have a main graphic on the home page? Do you link to an article where you were interviewed in 2001? Get something new and fresh up there, and make a plan to do so regularly.
  3. How many clicks does it take to get to… ? If you run an online retail site, how many clicks does it take your customers to check out? If the process currently has eight steps, perhaps you should consider redesigning the checkout process and taking it down to just four steps. Also, one of the number one things that web users look for on a website is the “contact us” link. Make sure that link is easy to find, not hidden several clicks in.
  4. Am I getting the users and readers that I should? As you might imagine, we get lots of web hits from folks looking to purchase hammocks. But we try to keep our content focused and dedicated to custom media and custom publishing so that hammock shoppers know quickly they might want to shop elsewhere.
  5. Does my site follow current best practices? A quick example: I logged into my retirement account recently to check things out, and when I went to log out of the site, I couldn’t find the “log out” or “sign out” link. They had redesigned their site and that link now says “exit.” Be sure to use words and conventions that web users are accustomed to.