A website assessment enables you to build on your current website, instead of throwing it all away to start from scratch.

Before dismissing your need for a website assessment, consider this: You have a website and are generally happy with how it represents your business, but you feel it could be doing more. You also see new and exciting things that look cool on other companies’ websites and wonder if that’s the difference between you and those who are really crushing it online. You start to think that maybe it’s time to redesign your website.

Sound familiar?

The downside to moving directly to a redesign without a website assessment is that your decision is based on a feeling and not by looking at what value your website already brings to your business.

You see that there is more potential for what could be and just know that your website is not measuring up. Before you engage in a discovery session and start the redesign process, now is the time to take a step back and assess everything about your website as it stands today.

The value in your current website is huge, even—and especially—if it is not measuring up to your expectations.

Your current website’s missteps is living proof of what is not working to achieve your goals online. Tossing these aside without first assessing where you stand leaves you open to having the exact same results after making changes to the website. This is because instead of making changes to evolve the site and address existing missteps, a blind redesign starts from square one as if you don’t have a website.

Most website professionals take into consideration your current website when making recommendations on what to change in a redesign—an assessment remains objective.

By first getting a website assessment before considering a redesign you are not prematurely skewing the recommendations made by the assessor. Instead of discussing your website within the framework of a redesign project, you are getting a read on where it stands today without any assumptions. This allows the professional taking the assessment to remain objective and not “be on the lookout” for things that could be done differently because the website is being redesigned.

Let’s break it all down.

All aspects of your website will be reviewed, including but not limited to the design and underlying code.

You will want to make sure the professional you hire to assess your website is able to provide a report that includes more than one piece of the puzzle. Branding and design, ease of use and code quality, content and readability, and how well you define and speak to your target audience all impact how your website is found and used by visitors.

Emphasis is on a better user experience.

By engaging in an objective assessment, emotion and personal attachment are removed from the process to give you valuable insight on how your website is viewed by the average visitor. Unlike feedback from existing customers, employees, stakeholders, friends and family, a website assessment is written by a third party with no established expectations.

A solid website assessment specifically outlines the good, the bad and the ugly.

A truly objective website assessment provides insight on what is clearly working in your business’ favor as well as what can be improved. In both cases, this means specific descriptions that apply directly to your website, not blanket tarot card readings that could apply to anyone.

Recommended actions are prioritized based on how critical they are to your users’ experience.

The end of the assessment should include recommendations based on and speak directly to the findings included throughout. These can include critical updates that directly impact the usability of the website and suggested updates that strengthen your overall message, branding and ease of use.

At jenn suz hoy, I provide website assessments that include both critical and suggested updates as separate lists so you can easily determine what to prioritize and how to move forward.

Many times the recommendations don’t require a full redesign, but easily fit into an affordable website maintenance package, should you decide to resolve them.