Your business may require a website upgrade, which can be completely separate from a website redesign. Will you know when it’s necessary to upgrade, and how complicated will it be to complete?
I Just Redesigned My Website! Why Do I Need To Upgrade It?
When it comes to the internet, planning for the future often revolves around planning to upgrade the platform and infrastructure supporting a website. Does that also entail redesigning your website? Not necessarily, although many small business owners and casual Internet users aren’t aware of the differences between redesigning and upgrading a website. If a website looks the same from one month to another, many users assume that the website is simply the same month to month. Likewise, if a website is redesigned and suddenly appears drastically different, many users assume the website itself has been upgraded.
Upgrade Without A Redesign
It is true that a website can be redesigned and upgraded at the same time, and many businesses and organizations choose to do both simultaneously. It is also true that sometimes a redesign requires an upgrade and vice versa. However, it is possible to upgrade your website without redesigning it. Think of the upgrades and refinements that can be completed on a house – sometimes the outside of the house is upgraded and those upgrades are visible from the street, and sometimes the upgrades are internal and the house appears unchanged from the street. The same range of visible and “hidden” changes can be made to a website. For example, the classic Google Homepage has remained relatively unchanged over the course of more than a decade, yet countless hardware and software upgrades have been designed and implemented by Google’s engineers to the infrastructure powering that webpage.
What Are Some Of The Ways To Upgrade A Website?
By and large, the overwhelming reason most businesses and organizations upgrade the infrastructure and/or platform of a website is due to growth. Just like a growing child can outgrow clothes and shoes, a growing business or organization can outgrow their existing website.
Change In Hosting Services
The most common way to upgrade a website is through a change or an expansion of hosting services. Some hobbyists and business owners choose to host their own websites through small web servers, although maintaining a web server that is both reliable and secure requires technological knowledge and an ongoing investment of time and money. More commonly, a website or blog with a limited audience and user base can be hosted for free (through services like Google Sites and blogging platforms such as WordPress.com or Tumblr) or for a small monthly fee. These introductory hosting packages usually include web hosting and a range of basic services like email, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), and small, basic database hosting.
Watch Bandwidth Fees
However, there are definite drawbacks to these introductory packages. If the website begins drawing more and more pageviews each month, the website owner could be hit with escalating bandwidth fees. The reliability of the hosting may be limited by the fact that small websites often share space on piece of hardware. Finally, the services offered may not scale properly with a growing business, including limitations on both the reliability and versatility of those services. A growing business or organization should consult with their web host regularly and decide whether or not he various web hosting upgrades are needed to fulfill business needs.
Another reason a business may want to upgrade their website is through an expansion of the capabilities of the website itself, which doesn’t always require a website redesign. If a business or organization wanted to add an online store to an existing website, the Content Management System (CMS) or platform hosting the website may have to be expanded or upgraded. Likewise, a growing business may want to add a company intranet, or internal website and web-based services, that is integrated into their existing website. This may require a major upgrade and expansion of infrastructure behind the scenes, while the public-facing website remains unchanged.