When to Redesign Your Website

Knowing when to undertake a website redesign can be tricky.

There’s no shortage of articles on knowing when to redesign your website. Yet, despite the sheer volume of responses on that subject, it remains one of the top questions we field from potential clients. Here are a few of the areas we cover with clients on that subject.

Two Camps: the Redesign vs. the Realign

Out With the Old: Design It and Don’t Touch It

It used to be that we would welcome the idea of the complete website redesign. It was a chance to start over from scratch—an opportunity to explore visual possibilities without restrictions. We would design from the ground up, hand the final site over to the client and let that site, and its content, largely sit static until it was time to redesign once again from the ground up a few years later.

In With the New: Create It, Refine It, and Grow It

In time we began to understand that we could do things a bit differently. The idea of developing an evolving content strategy, in which site content (pages and words) could grow and change over time, became increasingly popular. The additional ability to visually realign a site through a series of incremental changes meant that a client could greatly add to the value of their brand by shifting the visual message to meet the demands of his changing products and services. It all added up to less cost, less time, and more versatility. Yet, there are still times when a complete redesign becomes a preferable solution. But when?

Recognizing the Need for a Redesign

There are a few areas that we discuss with potential clients when deciding on whether a redesign is a necessity or whether we can make shifts through a process of realignment. Here are a few considerations:

Your Site’s Not Mobile Friendly

As you are well aware we live in a digitally diverse space these days. Mobile internet use has far exceeded standard pc usage over the last few years, making it essential to be able to share a website on a variety of mobile devices. That has put the onus on businesses to face a redesign in order to keep their site viewable and usable to their customers and clients. Modern design principles allow us to create a site using responsive technologies that re-conform a website for presentation on all major digital devices.

When to redesign your website remains one of the top questions we field from potential clients. Here are a few of the areas we cover on that subject.

You Can’t Remember the Last Time You Updated

Chances are that if you can’t remember the last time you redesigned the company site it’s probably long overdue. Technologies change, and they change fast. If you are sitting on a site that has not had any major updates in the last decade then it’s really time to consider a revamp. Chances are that a fresh new site will greatly increase the usability and user experience you are providing your customers and clients.

You Went the DIY Way

Many of the business owners we talk to decided to go their own way and build a website on their own. The desire, which is understandable, is to save some money by doing the heavy lifting. Design is an investment, and a website can represent a significant monetary investment. What most people find, however, is that there is a reason why businesses engage a design professional—design is hard. Getting the various facets—visual and useable just right takes some training and the DIY method leaves you with something that can be visually disappointing and a hinderance to your brand.

Your Brand, Services, or Product Have Grown, but Your Website Has Not

A brand is an evolving thing. Your company is not static. It moves, expands, contracts, and changes direction. Your web presence should follow suit. It is one of your most important brand assets. As such it deserves just as much attention as you would give to your business cards, letterhead or that dated print brochure.

Your Traffic is Dwindling

One of the by-products of having not updated a website in awhile is that traffic numbers can begin to stagnate. There are several reasons why something like this could happen, but chances are the reasons won’t be apparent without a little help. Over the past few years much has changed in how Google and the other search engines interpret sites that are not built using modern techniques. One of the big ones is having a site that’s not mobile friendly. As we continue our migration to mobile devices, search engines will give less authority to sites that are not viewable on mobile devices—viewing them as increasingly irrelevant.

What is Your Gut Feeling?

This one fits soundly into the “fuzzy” or “gray” category. You might have just reached a point where you feel it is time to mix things up. This is a strong indication that it’s time to talk to a design firm.

Time to Talk Turkey?

So, there you have it. A few (of the many) reasons you might consider it time to redesign your company’s website. Whatever your decision is it’s worth taking the time to engage a design firm to talk about options. Most will be wiling to discuss the options with you during a short meeting.

The thing to remember is that your website is (or should be) one of the most valuable members of your company. It’s out there 24 hours a day performing a thankless job none of us would really want to take on. As a member of your team have you given it the tools it really needs to do its job?

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by Erin Lynch // Clients, Web Design

About shop

We are Shop, a web design and graphic design studio based in Vancouver, WA. We’re a small group of designers, developers, writers, and makers who have banded together with the goal of creating beautiful design.