Should I Completely Redesign My Website?Some companies and organizations want to redesign their website, while others may just want to upgrade it. When it’s time to scrap everything and start over from scratch, it’s time to consider a completely new website.

I Hate Everything About My Website!

We have previously discussed ways that a website can be redesigned or upgraded. While these two projects don’t have to happen simultaneously, some businesses and organizations choose to do both at once. When it comes to both redesigns and upgrades, there are many “legacy” elements that are carried forward from the previous design or infrastructure. A redesign can leave many legacy elements intact, including color schemes, fonts and logos.

Leaving Legacy Components Intact

An upgrade, especially an upgrade of the same CMS or platform, can leave many legacy components of the site intact – in fact, sometimes an upgraded website completely retains the original site design, making the upgraded site indistinguishable from the legacy site. However, there are times when a business or organization needs to completely start over and build a new website from scratch. At other times the new website is so fundamentally different from the previous site that very little of the original design and infrastructure remain.

Fixing Broken Websites

A new website is often required when the original web designers created a site with fundamental flaws or omissions, such as designing a website that is broken or completely incompatible with the business or organization’s requirements. This can occur when the owner, manager or designated representative of the business or organization chooses to neglect the project or negligently approves of designs that are flawed. The fault can also occur on the designer’s end, such as when a web designer ignores a client’s requirements or chooses to implement a CMS or platform – either through negligence or miscommunication – that is incompatible with those requirements. Finally, it is possible that an unusable website may not result from negligence at all – a business or organization may choose to undergo a complete rebranding, migrate to a completely different business model or industry and choose to build a new website.

Is A New Site Necessary?

First, it is important to determine whether or not a completely new website necessary. If an existing website is broken, deficient or outdated in some way, is scrapping it really necessary and is the decision to do so rooted in pragmatism or emotion? We often jokingly refer to throwing something “out a window” or destroying a malfunctioning printer with baseball bats, but cooler heads should always prevail. If something can be repaired, or if the problem stems from user ignorance or error, then discarding or destroying an asset can be very costly.

Side Effects

If you believe that your website needs to be completely scrapped, it is important to correctly identify the reasons why and then consult with a web professional. If the problems or flaws can be fixed with a redesign or an upgrade, either of those options could be less expensive and prove to be less problematic over time. If your existing website is replaced with a new one, your employees may need to be trained on a completely new interface. Also, there may be a period of downtime in transitioning to a new website that could also prove to be costly and difficult.

Consult With A Professional

If you decide that your business or organization does need a new website and you want to hire a new web designer or web design firm, it is important to consult with a professional before making any changes to your existing website or service arrangement. Some owners and managers of businesses are unaware of the differences between domain registration, web design and web hosting. If you are planning on terminating an existing business relationship with a third-party involved with your website, make sure that you understand all of the services that this third-party is providing and actively handling for your business. If the same individual or company handles “everything” and you simply want to hire a new web designer, don’t terminate your service with your existing provider – you may suddenly find your website and domain have vanished from the Internet, and it may prove to be costly or impossible to get them back! Instead, consult with your new web design professional before making any changes or severing any existing relationships.