How to Know When It's Time to Redesign Your Website
We're frequently asked by clients, "How often should I redesign my website?" As experts in the industry, we get the impression they are looking for us to give them a golden rule for the number of years a website should last. In truth, however, some websites may need to be redesigned only a year after going live, and others will make it nearly a decade and still serve their organization well.
The decision to redesign your website should not be determined by a set number of years. It should be determined by whether or not the design is serving your business needs. Here are some signs it's time to redesign.
The Design Acid Test
Compare your website to the websites of your most prominent competitors. If your design is far behind the quality of your competitors, web searchers may overlook your company when they are ready to contact a vendor.Your website's design is frequently the first or only impression a potential customer may have of your business - make sure it looks good!
This same test may be applied to your social media profiles, as well.
Re-branding your business generally consists of more than just a change of colors - it's often about changing the way people think about you as a company. A deeper re-branding of the website may include changing your messaging, as well as the tone of the content. It may also mean rethinking your imagery and media selections and how you present them. Auditing the content and design of your website may help you to reconsider its structure and what it says about your brand. For example, if your brand messaging emphasizes customer service, the links to your customer service portal should be prominently featured "above the fold", rather than linked to in the bottom footer of your homepage.
From time to time organizations go through big changes. These changes may include acquiring a new company, creating a new division, adding a service line, or any occurrence that alters your business in a substantial way. A well-organized website will allow for growth of content, but sometimes the changes to the business are so great that the website is no longer effective and needs to be re-thought.
Let Your Web Team Know
If you're thinking about a website redesign or facing any of the situations above, let you web team know. Your web team can help you plan ahead and tell you whether or not they think a total redesign is appropriate. If a brand launch is to include the website, it is a bad idea to wait until the month before to order the redesign. You may be able to salvage the underlying systems used to maintain your website. With a quality content management system, new design templates can be applied, photography changed, and content re-ordered to fit your new needs.