How often should you redesign your website? As a web design company, we recommend you do so as frequently as possible! In all seriousness, there are specific issues and reasons why it may be time to overhaul your website.
I Like My Website! Why Should I Redesign It?
Unless your website is broken in some way – in which either parts or the whole of your website doesn’t load properly in modern web browsers – deciding when to update your website is a very subjective decision. As with many other decisions regarding the design and functionality of your website, how often you update should depend on a number of factors.
Is Your Website Functioning Properly?
First, it is vital to ensure that your website is functioning properly. Deciding whether or not to redesign a functional website can be a subjective decision, but updating a website that is broken or non-functioning becomes a necessity. If it has been a considerable amount of time since your website has been redesigned – seven years or more – it is possible that your website incorporated web technologies that are out of date, causing your website to not display properly in modern web browsers.
While internet savvy readers may find it incredulous that a business or organization would host website that old, it is important to remember that many small businesses and organizations may have designed or commissioned simple websites comprised of entirely static content. Redesigning a static website may be considered an unnecessary luxury for many small businesses and organizations; however, a broken or out-of-date website can lead to frustrated visitors and lost sales, thereby turning a perceived luxury into a necessity.
What Does Your Website Say?
If your website still displays properly in modern web browsers, the decision whether or not to redesign it becomes more subjective. When considering a redesign, first consider what your website “says” about your business or organization. If your business or organization is part of an industry that places a high value on cutting-edge design and technology, fashion and/or youthfulness, maintaining an older website design and interface could be damaging your reputation with your target audience.
On the other hand, if your business or organization is part of an industry that places a high value on traditional and practical design and functionality, strongly values function over form and/or appeals to an older or more traditional audience, having a revolving door of radical new website designs and interfaces could also be detrimental to your professional reputation and business.
Content Management Systems
There are other issues with an older website that may necessitate a redesign or an overhaul, even if the website appears to function properly. If the software that powers and manages your website, also known as the Content Management System (CMS), is too difficult to use or is ill-suited for your business needs, you may need to migrate to another CMS – although in some cases this may not require a full website redesign.
If your website loads too slowly, or if you discover that a significant number of visitors are skipping your homepage or other parts of your website through deep linking, it may be necessary to overhaul the website’s design to make it faster, more efficient and better organized. Finally, if you are experiencing difficulties with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you may need to redesign your website to make it more “friendly” to search engines.
Before you begin redesigning your website, there are a number of other factors to consider. Do your employees regularly utilize your website to process customer transactions or assist customers in-store or over the phone? If so, it may be necessary to retrain your employees on how to utilize your redesigned website. Also, it is important to remember that new websites – just like new software programs or apps – may contain software bugs and/or compatibility problems. If these issues are not discovered before the new site goes life, you may experience difficulties and possibly even downtime.