I have been asking myself this question a lot lately, maybe because I went through a re-brand myself this year, (which I have to say has been the best thing I ever did) or maybe it’s because I have been building websites for some years now, and this year I have revisited and redesigned a few existing clients websites. And possibly, it is because I am now getting approached by well established businesses with existing websites, looking to a spruce and shake it up.
For me, it was a case of I simply hated my existing site. It meant nothing, it didn’t reflect my business, me or my customers. It was something I produced out of necessity and I never really paid any attention to it, so it was a bit of a no brainer. Particularly, when I had a great idea storming around in my brain for the future direction of the business – I just had to do it, there and then.
For my clients and prospective clients, it seems to be more a case of: needing to move forward with how the web looks and feels. If we don’t evolve our websites, they get left behind, look dated and can’t offer maximum functionality to the user. Additionally, I find new clients mentioned areas of the site which may be being a little glitchy and doesn’t really work for them.
SO, the big question is: when and why do you redesign your website?
There are no right or wrong answers, but the points below may help you to decide when you should starting thinking about re designing your website.
1. If your site was designed more than 18 months ago, it may be worth a revisit. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend redesigning your existing website, in all likelihood it probably still looks and feels quite fresh – maybe just look at functionality. What is working for you? What are your clients using? Are there any areas that don’t work or you aren’t managing to use effectively? How can you make it cleaner and simpler for your clients to use and engage with?
By staying on top of your site like this, you will find it not only works better for you and your clients, you don’t really need to have a massive overhaul in the future – you are changing with the times, my friend! kudos.
2. If your site is 2-3 years old, I would ask a web designer (hello!) to take a look at it. Sometimes, particularly if you have been adding pages to the site over the years that it can all get a bit jumbled up and your navigation isn’t clear or concise. Often, both you and your clients can lose the message you are trying to convey. In my experience with a site that is this old, there are definite improvements which can be made, both aesthetically and for functionality.
3. If your website is 3-5 years old, I would say your site would probably need an overhaul. Sites that are older are generally are crammed with stuff – information, colour, scrolling this and flashing that. Yes, of course all these things still have a place on the right website, but not all in one place. Additionally, if nothing has been done on your website for around 5 years, you are most likely missing out on major ways to interact with your audience. Not to mention that your website is probably not responsive or optimised for mobiles, which gives us bad SEO juju.
If your site is older than 5 years and isn’t responsive in design, stop reading this immediately and contact me now, RIGHT NOW, YOU HAVE NO TIME TO LOSE! I jest, but seriously you need to get it sorted sooner rather than later. If you haven’t been affected yet, you will soon find your website slipping down the google rankings, which favours responsive websites.
4. Take a look around. Have all of your competitors had a revamp? We are not a nation who likes change; it usually involves time and money, of which is often in short supply. The motto “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” springs to mind. But once we take time to look at what others are doing around us, if we have kept with our old reliable, our site can look and feel outdated, which rightly or wrongly has a negative impact on the business image. We are no longer cutting edge, we are behind the times… not a great first impression to make.
At this point, I am not saying get a brand spanking new site because Jones Corp has got one. I’m just saying don’t get too comfortable, the net is an ever evolving place and to offer the best service for your clients it needs to be something to be mindful of.
5. Because you hate your website, like I did 🙂 or you are a fully functioning business but do not have a website. Crazy i know, but it happens!
I think that about sums it up, but like everything when and why, it is personal to you. If you don’t like something, why wait to change it? Although, please do not change for changes sake. Look, and get an experienced designer to look (hello, yes me again!) to see how your company can be best represented online. It might need just a little tweak here and there or you may decide to jump ship and start again, ultimately only you know.
I hope this helps you to figure out if it is time to make the change or not. I am always happy to offer a free website review, should you decide now might be that time. You can simply submit your site to me for a free appraisal and follow up chat to discuss it and any changes it might need.