While we don’t want to disappoint, there really isn’t a “one size fits all” answer to this question – or at the very least, the answer is more complicated than putting a set time-frame on it. That’s because redesigning a website is based on various factors, only some of which can be quantified while the rest can simply be based on preference. Let us explain…
What is Website Redesign?
Let’s start by agreeing what a website redesign actually is. A website redesign is the process of making significant changes to your website to improve user experience, to get more website traffic or to improve conversion rates. Sounds simple – but within that, there can be different levels of change:
- You could be creating a brand new website
- If you are redesigning an existing site, it can include a new front-end and back-end (content management system)
- You may want to make significant design and user interface/user experience (UI/UIX) changes including site navigation, graphics, content, page layout, calls to action, and even branding
This is one of the reasons it’s difficult to put a concrete timing on how often you should redesign your site. For example, if you went through a major overhaul, you may not feel it’s necessary to do any type of redesign for a few years. On the other hand, you may want to redesign your website step-by-step every year or so.
Why You May Need to Redesign Your Website
The amount of time since you last redesigned your website is likely a reason why you may want to redesign your site, but it shouldn’t be the sole reason. If your website is meeting your objectives, bringing in traffic and converting, it could even be detrimental to redesign it.
That said, an older site doesn’t usually function as well as it could just because of advances in technology, changing design trends and evolving consumer expectations of a website. If you think you need to redesign your site, run through the reasons below and see if any of them sound like your business.
Reasons You May Need to Redesign Your Site Include:
- Your products or services have changed: If you have gone through major change as a business in terms of your offering, this will need to be reflected on your website. Depending on how extensive the changes are, a redesign could be the best way of positioning your new products or services rather than making them fit into an existing site that may not be right for your new needs.
- Your business is re-branding: If your company is re-branding in any way – name change, logo change, color change, etc. you will likely need to redesign your website to align with your new brand.
- You are being outranked by your competitors in search results: If you are seeing your page rankings fall and your competitors start to rank higher than you in search results, it’s important to find the reason why. This could lead to a redesign of your website to improve SEO optimization,
- Your website isn’t generating leads, sales…or traffic: If your website isn’t producing leads you must first understand if you have a traffic problem or a conversion problem. Use Google Analytics to find out what the issue is and why you’re missing out on leads and sales. If your website was not built for inbound marketing in the first place, it may require a redesign to drive leads and revenue.
- It looks outdated: This is probably the primary reason why businesses redesign their websites. The fact is, if you walk into a retail store, business office, or doctor’s office and everything around you looks like it’s from the 90s, you’re going to make some pretty quick assumptions about that company. They are out of date. Old fashioned. Cheap. Behind the times. If your website looks out of date, your customers make negative assumptions about you and it could hurt your business, especially if your competitors have easy-to-use, informative sites.
- It’s not responsive and does not provide the same experience across all devices: If your site doesn’t work well on a mobile or handheld device and users have to pinch, pull and scroll to use the site, it should be a top priority to redesign. Consumers expect to have a seamless online experience, no matter which device they use. It’s likely your business will lose customers if it cannot provide this.
- It is hard to navigate: It’s this simple – if your visitors can’t find what they’re looking for, they will go elsewhere. You need to know how your audience wants to use your site and make sure you provide them with what they want. Staying on top of trends in user behavior and checking what your competitors are doing will enable you to build the best experience for your visitors (and convert them into customers).
- You cannot update the content: If even basic tasks like changing copy or images are difficult, time-consuming or not possible without a developer, it’s time for a website redesign. It’s essential to have a website that is easy to manage, especially in today’s world where useful, relevant content is practically essential and you need to add new content regularly.
- Your site doesn’t work properly: A website redesign isn’t just about the way your site looks, it’s about how it functions. If there are sections of your site that don’t or won’t work (especially in the checkout of an e-commerce site), you may need to consider redeveloping it.
- It’s simply how it’s done in your industry: Certain industries – especially B2C – such as fashion and travel and most luxury industries, tend to have quicker redesign cycles because their customers expect the latest trends. B2B businesses tend to redesign less often, but it really does depend on the industry.
- You are going through an acquisition or merger: This is an obvious and necessary reason for a website redesign – major change should be reflected on your site, or in all likelihood, you will need a brand new site entirely.
When is the Right Time to Redesign Your Website?
As we’ve seen, there are many factors to consider and reasons why you may need to redesign your website. The number of different reasons alone means that there is no “magic number” you should consider when it comes to how often you should redesign your site. Rather, you should base this decision on the needs of your business and those of your customers.
However, if we were pushed for an approximate timeframe we would recommend considering a website redesign every two or three years because industry changes and advancements in design and technology take about that long to cycle through. This time-frame is frequent enough to keep your website fresh, stay on top of modern design trends, and take advantage of opportunities to make improvements to the technology.
Make sure your business stands out – contact us to chat about a website redesign for your brand