The Website Redesign Conundrum

5/30/2013

- Andrew Wetzler, President

There's a time with any website when it is appropriate to contemplate whether it makes more sense to continue to invest in it or rebuild it. It's similar to a dilemma people face with their vehicles except that instead of "throwing good money after bad" with a car that's on its last legs, the issues with websites are typically less about them breaking down and more about the opportunity cost of not advancing to more up-to-date technologies. That said, certain websites ought to be scrapped because they flat-out don't work for one reason or another.

Depending upon when and how your site was constructed, you may or may not have a site that warrants a continued investment. Five aspects come to mind when evaluating the appropriateness of a redesign:

Does your website reside on a platform that facilitates you making changes to the taxonomy (site architecture), content (text, video, etc.), and easily add / remove pages? 

The day is rapidly approaching when more people will be viewing your site on a mobile device (tablet or phone) than on a desktop or laptop. Are you satisfied with how your site renders on a mobile device? If you haven't already, learn about websites being built today with Responsive Design.

While there is never a clear-cut answer to this question, do you believe that the site is accomplishing its objectives (lead generation, ecommerce, etc.)? Do people who interact with the site express opinions on its effectiveness?

Is the site ranking well in the search engines?  Are the issues preventing better Organic results related to technical or architectural aspects of the site or are they content / linking related which has less to do with architecture or design?

Wanting a new site and creating a new site you are pleased with are two different things. You will get out of a website what you put into it, so if the resources don't exist to strategize, focus and execute (regardless of whether it's being built in or out of house), then maybe it's not the right time to embark on a redesign.

  1. Content Management System (CMS)
  2. Mobile Friendliness
  3. Positive User Experience
  4. SEO Friendliness
  5. Ability to Tackle Redesign

There is rarely a straightforward answer as to whether it's time to redesign your site or try to hang on to (and improve) what you have. These five areas of focus should help you size up the viability of your current website and craft a smart strategy moving forward.

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