Redesign or rebuild, what should I choose?
Are you thinking about redesigning your website? Or are you thinking that maybe you should have your website completely rebuilt? Then this article is for you. It will help you think about what it will take to make your website fully future-proof again.
Are you still meeting your goals?
You have all kinds of goals for your organization, and if your website is helping you meet those goals, at some point you will probably wonder if your website needs a refresh. And with that comes the question; "Should I have my website redesigned or completely rebuilt?
So how do you decide which is the best choice for your organizations? Before making a decision, ask yourself five questions.
But before we get into these questions, let's look at the difference between a website redesign and a rebuild.
What is a website redesign?
In a nutshell, a website redesign involves making it more modern through a refresh. But it usually involves more than just refreshing the look. It often also means improving certain design elements, adjusting the navigation or updating the entire look-and-feel of the website. What's important with a redesign, is that the fundamentals of the website remain the same.
When you launched your company's Web site years ago, it probably worked great for your strategy at the time.Since your customers' expectations, as well as technology, are constantly changing, so must your Web site.So if you want your business to grow, your Web presence must also adapt and continue to change.Sometimes a small refresh is all it takes.But in other situations, that refresh is not enough.
What is a website rebuild?
When a simple refresh and redesign isn't enough, it's time to think about completely rebuilding your website.Rebuilding a website is basically starting from scratch, with a clean slate.You then update the underlying technology, which often includes changes to functionality, web server, CMS, code, structure, database and more.
If your current website can no longer meet the needs of your organization, you need to rebuild it.
4 questions to ask before choosing to redesign or rebuild
There are many factors involved in designing and building a Web site, and whether you're redesigning or rebuilding, you obviously want to get it right the first time.
1. Do you have a CMS?
Surprisingly, many Web sites still operate without a content management system (CMS) or run on an outdated version that outgrew their organization years ago. When considering a Web site redesign or rebuild, this is an important starting question to answer.
Consider how the site should be updated, who will handle the updates and how often the site should be updated. Upgrading your website (rebuilding) on a CMS platform or as a custom website on a framework, can be a worthwhile choice that can give you some hefty benefits in the long run.
2. How does your site look on different screens?
The "user experience," or the experience a user has on your website can actually make or break any website.These days, users expect your website to look and work the same whether it's viewed on a desktop, smartphone or tablet.And it's not just the user experience you need to pay attention to.Google is especially focused on mobile-friendly, scalable and accessible website designs.
Not sure if your current site is mobile-friendly? Then try Google's mobile-friendliness tool, which assesses your website's performance and identifies any accessibility issues.We use it ourselves regularly for our clients and use it to detect pain points in any mobile display.
If your website does not have a repsonsive (scalable) design, the CSS/HTML code must be rebuilt to account for desired accessibility at different screen resolutions.
3. What do you want users to do on your Web site?
Every organization needs a presence on the Internet; there's no doubt about that. But what users do on the Web site, i.e., what specific purpose your Web site serves, is something you can talk about at length.
Whether that is to inform, engage or entice potential customers to make a purchase; what users should do when they land on your site should be abundantly clear.
If you don't guide visitors to the right steps, they're bound to leave, which not only affects your reputation and costs you sales, but also determines how your Web site ranks in search engines.
Research shows that most visitors leave a website after a few seconds when they are on your site, meaning you have a very small window of time to "catch" someone before they click through to the competition.
If you pay attention to that, what is the one thing you want them to do or know during those first few seconds on your site? Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter? Do you want them to make a purchase or subscribe to a service? Or maybe they need to request a quote?The possibilities for your Web site's goals are, in fact, endless, but it's important that you think about this and make a choice.
However, the answer to this question will determine whether a redesign or rebuild is necessary.For example, if you only need to change content to have a clearer call-to-action and adjust navigation to improve the user experience, a redesign will normally suffice.
If you sell products online and want people to proceed to purchase, you'll need to rebuild your site on a platform suitable for e-commerce. And if you need an extranet, which is a totally different type of website a rebuild will also be necessary. Also, for links to other software such as API links, a rebuild is more obvious than a redesign.
4. So how do I proceed?
The best advice is; think about it, get started and get specific about all the details. The most important thing to think about is what you want users to do on your website. Ultimately, delivering the right information in the right way will make for a great user experience, fewer dropouts, more visitors and, of course, more sales.
Your website may be reaching its limits in terms of underlying technology and you may not be able to implement everything you want to change on your current website. The choice will soon have to be toward rebuilding. In other cases, a refresh of the design will suffice.
Would you like help with your process, website and choosing between rebuilding or not? Schedule a meeting or call Martijn at 06-48084058 or email us and together we'll see what can work for your situation.