There is no thumb rule pertaining to how often you should redesign your website. Everything depends on the website design you have and the changing needs in the near and distant future. There are some websites that have to be redesigned routinely. There are others that don’t have to be redesigned unless a substantial upgrade is necessary. You would need to speak with your website designer, allow the professional to review your present website and the prevailing trends to determine if a redesign is at all necessary.
One of the imperative scenarios when you must redesign your website is if it looks outdated or if its functions are now archaic. Websites that were designed three to four years ago may look a bit distressed today. This is not because of any shortcoming of such designs but owing to the changing sensibilities of the internet users. There are companies that are still using designs conceptualized and developed ten years back. However, it is unlikely such designs are responsive and hence they may not be appropriate for mobile browsing. Such websites need to be redesigned to be responsive. No company can afford to lose the mobile audience.
A website needs to be redesigned if there is a rebranding exercise. Just as a company would issue new business cards for its executives, change the décor of their offices, and roll out new logos, captions and other merchandise, it is necessary to change the website design as well. Some rebranding exercises demand a change of color and some may call for a change of theme while others may need a complete overhaul of the design. Here again, there is no standard practice. What works for others may not work for you. Of course the new design will have to be state of the art, incorporating all the features and functionalities that are expected of a contemporary website.
From the perspective of search engine optimization and content management, a website may not need a redesign regularly. The same design can have the scope to accommodate endless content and you can attempt to change optimization requirements. However, if the original or the present website design does not facilitate ongoing uploads of new content and does not have room for changes to optimization, then the design must be reviewed and ideally redone. Professional website designers know the limitations of conventional themes and this is primarily why most companies opt for a custom design. Standard themes or templates will have several shortcomings and are rarely as flexible as personalized website designs. You should have a design in the first place that is expansive. There should be no problem in scaling up or down, to add new features or to initiate a substantial overhaul.
The general scenarios applicable to business websites are different from the challenges faced by ecommerce websites. Any online store, ecommerce site or a virtual marketplace will need regular redesigns. Every time a new product is launched, a new brand is introduced or more products and services are rolled out, the website will have to be redesigned. The entire website does not have to undergo a redesign. It is the new pages or the existing pages that would now be used for the new products or brands that must be redone. An existing webpage may not be and in most cases is not ideal for a new product or brand. This is not as much about redesigning the existing website as it is about creating new pages or designing a new mini website within the larger website. Large ecommerce sites are effectively miniature sites within the parent website.
One of the tricks of the trade available today is the ability to save every version of every design that your website has had in recent past, perhaps all the way back to its first design. It is not difficult to switch or toggle from one design to another. You can discuss your needs with your website designer, archive all designs and even set up features in your control panel that will allow you to conveniently change preselected or already developed designs as and when you deem fit. This not only simplifies the whole process of redesigning a website, it also allows businesses to have much more control in real time.
Are you unsure if your website needs a redesign? UNIFY marketing & technology solutions can help you determine if it’s time to move forward with a complete overhaul, or if only tweaks need to be made. Contact us at 419.740.1010 or [email protected] to get started!