How often should you redesign your website? Poll most experts, and the answer is the same, every two to three years. If the thought of overhauling your website is terrifying, you’re not alone. Since creating a website from scratch can take months and hours of staff time, it’s natural to be hesitant.
However, there are times when a website redesign becomes a necessity. Here are five signs you need to bite the bullet and dive into the website redesign process. Making sure all of these things are in place will mean your next website redesign will be far less painful.
You can’t update your website content
The prevalence of off-the-shelf platforms such as Wordpress.org enables website owners to make simple text changes on their own. However, many website companies see ongoing support as a revenue source. If even the smallest change requires an email to your web designer, this is a deal breaker. During your next redesign process, be sure to have a frank discussion about what you will be able to update. This can influence how the web designer builds your site. Granted, it might mean a slightly simpler-looking site, but the ability to update and keep the site current will prove far more valuable than bells and whistles.
Your website does not have a blog
Your first reaction might be that you don’t need a blog or that the word "blog" is scary. Well, for your sake we’ll call it an “online news section.” Either way, you need a place on your website where you can quickly and easily add updates. It also should have an RSS feed. Not only is this important for search engine optimization (or showing up in Google results), having a regularly updated section on your website will make all of your information appear more accurate and trustworthy. Also, each blog post will have a unique url. Can’t add a fresh page to your website? Create a blog post about the topic and link to it instead.
The only way to update the look of the website is to build a new website
Here is another reason we love off-the-shelf platforms, such as Wordpress.org. Need to refresh the complete look of your website? If you’re using Wordpress.org, we can help you install a new template. We worked with a client with very outdated website. Fortunately for them, the website was built using Wordpress.org. Rather than starting from scratch, we were able to update the template and install additional functionality. The updated site bore no resemblance to its former iteration. Yet from the backend, the website was the same, meaning the client’s internal team did not need to learn a new process for updating the site. A widely used off-the-shelf platform is the best way to make your website future-proof.
You’re paying an arm and a leg for hosting
Unless your site is receiving huge amounts of traffic, hosting should not be a huge cost. Look at what you’re paying for hosting and ask around to see if you’re paying a completive rate.
You aren’t using Google Analytics
From our experience, Google Analytics offers the most accurate metrics. Often when we review the data from other analytics programs, it is usually wildly inflated. Perhaps there are other analytics programs that offer accurate data, but from our experience Google Analytics is truly the gold standard in terms of the amount of data it offers. Also, it’s free.
Of course these are not the only reasons to consider a website redesign. If you’re curious if a website redesign is something you need to consider, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.