According to Bob Phibbs, “The Retail Doctor,” on The Kinesis Blog, it takes less than 0.05 seconds for online users to form an opinion about a Web site (1). This impression forms users’ opinions about a company and dictates whether they will stay or leave the site. As a business, it is important to develop a cohesive, professional brand on your Web site—and to overhaul it when the time is right.

Here are our five favorite tips for Web redesign, courtesy of Phibbs (1):

1. Do the hard work and know your target customer. Know exactly who your target customer is before your redesign. Phibbs says on his blog, “I can’t tell you how many retailers who when I ask, ‘Who is your ideal customer?’ reply, ‘Everyone.’ Well of course we’d like that, but a site should be created to speak to your ideal customer.” He also suggests to take all details into account when identifying your customer by asking questions like, “Who is he/she?” “What does he/she look for?”

2. Make it less about you and more about how to access you. Communicate effectively with customers. First, it makes your company seem more personable, and it is also more convenient for your customers. Phibbs says shoppers want to know the basics about your business: hours, directions and contact information. Also, if customers have any questions, comments or concerns, be sure to answer them in a timely and polite manner.

3. Remove the clutter. Clutter overwhelms customers, especially when browsing a Web site. If you include too much content on each page, customers will get frustrated and distracted. From his own experience, Phibbs says, “I used to try to put everything I offered on each and every page. It distracted the reader. You must focus their attention.”

4. Use hyperlinks throughout your text to keep visitors on your site longer. Online users love to click on things. Continue to keep your customers interested by including links to other articles on your site. Also, always provide your contact information in a noticeable place. Phibbs makes a good point on his blog when he says, “The longer visitors stick around, the more likely they are to purchase your products or services.”

5.  Hire a professional. Creating a site from scratch is overwhelming, which is why Phibbs suggests that you seek help from a professional. A professional knows the ins and outs of Web design, which saves your company time. Although you won’t be saving money, hiring a professional is an investment for your company’s brand. Phibbs suggests that basic sites should have at least 10 pages. According to Phibbs, the most important pages are the home, product/services, “about us,” directions and contact pages. WF

1. B. Phipps, “Why I Had To Trash My Website Design—And You Should Too,” July 30, 2014,, accessed Aug. 11, 2014.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, September 2014