How often should I redesign my website? It’s a question I’ve seen before, and I’ve read articles about it too (for example, this one from Spinweb in 2014).
As a web designer, I’ll know when I want to redesign my website. But that’s really non-specific and doesn’t help answer the question of how often you should get a website redesign.
I’ve written this short post to cover some topics you might not have thought about before.
A few of my thoughts on why you might think you want a website redesign are:
You’ve seen some sleek looking websites out there and you realise yours isn’t the sleek looker it once was. That’s ok. Design trends move on, and technology moves on too so you naturally want to take advantage of that and get a website redesign.
I wrote a little about that on my blog post about how to make your website more appealing to local customers. You should definitely make sure your website matches your bricks and mortar business. Regardless, your website should reflect who you are, your values and your mission. You should target your website at your customers. You should also consider whether your customers have changed too.
I’m sure a lot of businesses know that they’re recommended to have a blog on their website. It can help engage with their customers and help establish them as an influencer in their chosen industry. It can also help with your Search Engine Optimisation and ranking.
A while? How long is that? I’d say you want to be assessing the effectiveness of your website at 2 years. Just put it in your diary. 2 years down the line, if you haven’t already, have a think about whether your website is serving your needs. Or more importantly, is it serving your customers? Can they easily get the information they want and need?
For a lot of businesses, I’d recommend seeing if you can get some feedback on your website at this stage direct from your customers. I’m sure a few of them would be happy to let you know what they think. That’d give you a little food for thought, and doesn’t cost anything (plus, it gets you engaged more with your customers and that’s never a bad thing).
I’m not saying you MUST redesign your website every 2 years (that might be weird from someone who runs a business building websites… I’m in the business of helping you, not helping you to spend more money for the sake of it). Just think about its effectiveness.
There might be a few ways you get customers through your door. These days, a web presence is generally one of the best.
If you see a drop in customers or at least a drop in customers via your website, you should look at why that’s happening. There could be a number of reasons; one of them could be that your website is just not converting visitors into customers as well as it used to.
Do some investigation, you can’t afford not to. You could get some of that feedback I mentioned from some customers and see what they say about the whole experience.
Appearing lower in search rankings doesn’t necessarily mean you need a complete website redesign. It might just mean you need to re-think your SEO strategy (or speak to someone about how you go about doing that). You probably would have seen a drop in customers coming to you via your website though, so this point is closely tied with the one above.
There’s a chance your website isn’t making the most of the on-page SEO optimisations. When I start designing a website I think about how that site is going to reach its target audience and how I can help the business better serve their customers. SEO is kept in mind at every stage.
To create a really powerful strategy, you MIGHT need to consider a website redesign to really get the benefit.
This should be a big one when you’re considering “How often should I redesign my website?”. Does your website look good on a mobile as well as a desktop? Is your website easy to read and use on both?
If your website isn’t mobile responsive, it should be. Even in 2016, mobile devices counted for 60% of searches. That’s only going to increase, and you need to make sure you’re serving your customers in the best way possible. Having a responsive website is also a major factor for search engine rankings.
If you find yourself in any of the situations above when you’re thinking “How often should I redesign my website?”, you might not necessarily have to get a full website redesign. Some tweaking and refreshing to certain parts of a website, or perhaps hiring a copywriter to re-write the content might help. Perhaps even just some conversion optimisation would be useful.
The main takeaway is, those are the points at which you should probably consider a website redesign. If you want a date to put in your diary, I’d say you should evaluate your website’s effectiveness no more than 2 years on.