We’ve talked about it before — your website is a work of art; never finished, only abandoned.
That means that you can’t just throw your website up online and expect the job to be finished — it isn’t.
From content marketing to WordPress updates to backups and security maintenance, your website is a living tool that needs your attention and support.
Embarking on a website redesign is a big part of the lifecycle of your site. It may only happen once every few years, but when it does, it gives you an opportunity to ask a few questions, including:
- What is the purpose of your website?
- Is your website doing its job?
- Can it be doing more? Should it be doing more?
These answers to these questions can help you decide if a redesign makes sense or if incremental improvements are enough.
Here are three signs that it’s time to redesign your website.
1. Your goals have changed
We focus so much on your website’s goal — why it exists and how it’s used to serve your business.
Perhaps when you first launched your website, it was only meant to let potential customers know you existed, with basic information about your services or products and generic contact information.
But over time, you added more in-depth lead generation content or an e-commerce section or a community to the site.
These things happen over the lifetime of a site, and as these new parts of your website become more and more important, a site redesign gives you the opportunity to refocus your efforts on your changing goals.
Our partners at Fanspeak have seen this throughout their lifecycle of their website. They started off as a community, with users sharing updates about their favorite sports, then shifted more towards blogging. But they’ve found the most success with their sports tools, including the On the Clock NFL Mock Draft Simulator, which generates millions of pageviews and thousands of new email subscribers each year.
When they’ve changed their focus, we’ve redesigned their site to better support their new goals.
2. Your design can’t support modern technology or best practices
Your website design shouldn’t be preventing you from implementing current best practices or modern technology.
For example, your design should support:
- integration into a content management system (CMS) like WordPress
- responsive design, for mobile and tablet visitors
- flexibility in building pages with appropriate layouts
Over the past few years, we’ve retrofitted responsiveness into a number of websites. Retrofitting responsive design fulfills all of the requirements of making your site mobile-friendly, but it’s not perfect. For example, it can be clear that responsiveness has been added from the way that elements stack or layout on smaller screens.
It does the job, but it’s not as good as building mobile-responsiveness from the ground up in a full redesign.
When our partners at Global Beads, Inc. wanted to shift to a new e-commerce platform (moving from Shopp to WooCommerce), it made sense to incorporate it into a site redesign. With the new e-commerce platform, we’d need new layouts for the product and shopping/checkout pages — so we did it all.
You may also consider a redesign if your website is too bloated or can’t perform as efficiently or quickly as newer technology allows it to. Obviously, try to cut out the website bloat first; but you may find blowing everything up and starting from scratch makes the most sense.
3. Your brand has changed
There are ways to update your existing website to reflect your new brand, but you can’t just slap on your new logo and colors. It’s still an intense process to go through your website and make sure all of your styles are correct, your visuals are updated and your imagery fits the new brand.
Eventually, however, you’ll want to redesign from the ground-up with your new brand driving the direction.
Your goals may have stayed the same with the new brand, but with all rebranding projects, you’re getting a fresh start. Your website should be a part of that.
There’s no set timetable for how often you should redesign your website, but there are certainly signs it’s time for one. And when you’re ready, here’s how to prepare for a website redesign.