Knowing when it’s time for a new website isn’t always clear. It’s a significant investment in time, resources, and money, and can cause analysis paralysis pretty quickly.
Putting together a website redesign strategy can be difficult for an organization that isn’t sure if the investment is worth the time or effort. And quantifying this decision can be even more difficult as the return on investment from a website redesign isn’t always clear.
While there are a number of valid reasons to redesign your website, it’s important to remember that the decision should ultimately be based on the user experience and your business goals.
Before we jump in, let’s discuss a few frequently asked website redesign questions.
How Long Does a Website Redesign Take?
A website redesign typically takes between 2 and 6 months to complete. That being said, it is completely dependent on the size and scope of the project. A 50 pages website focused on generating leads through a simple contact form will take much less time than a 10,000 page ecommerce website tied to multiple databases and systems.
The time it takes will also depend on the size of the development team, your team’s ability to turn around feedback/approvals, and roadblocks or efficiencies encountered along the way.
At the end of the day, it’s important to give your site the time it needs to be successful. If you are going to spend the time, budget, and effort on building a new website, ensure you and your team set appropriate expectations for the organization to avoid rushing launch and experiencing disappointment in the final product.
How Much Does It Cost To Redesign A Website?
The cost of a website redesign varies on the size and complexity of the project. It will also depend on how you want the site built and the content management system. Platforms like SquareSpace and Wix allow mom and pop shops to affordably redesign a website utilizing a plug and play website builder. However, these options are cheap because they are very rigid and limiting, and are therefore not great options for most organizations and businesses.
For an organization looking for a more customized site tailored to specific business needs, a more robust website will be necessary. A typical, custom lead generation website for a small to medium-sized organization might be anywhere between $10,000 - $40,000, but can reach as high as $100,000 - $200,000 when you add in integrations, interactive features, and custom designs. Custom ecommerce websites are generally much higher due to increased complexity with payment processing and shipping, and can therefore range anywhere from $150,000 to $500,000+.
All of this to say that your project is and should be custom to your organization. There is no one size fits all approach to website redesign. Price out the site with a few different potential partners, but always remember: you get what you pay for. The cheapest option is not always the best option in the long run. Saving a little money now could have a big impact on your budget in the future when you’re forced to redevelop a site that isn’t working for your organization and your customers.
How Often Should Websites Be Redesigned?
Websites should be redesigned when they no longer appropriately meet the needs of your organization or your customers. This typically happens organically over the course of 3-5 years.
Some organizations may need to redesign their website more often as technology improves. For example, a company that offers technology to their customers may need to redesign their website more often to better showcase improvements in their product.
Alternatively, a traditional manufacturing company may not need to redesign their site as often since company and branding information are less likely to regularly change.
Websites should be dynamic and fluid, changing often with your organization to better meet the needs of your customers and your editors. While a redesign may not always be in the cards, you can utilize tools like Google Analytics, Hotjar, and Google Optimize to inform adjustments to your current website.
How to Approach a Website Redesign
You should always approach a website redesign intentionally and with data. Let your users inform the layout and design of your new website. Utilize all of the data at your disposal to determine the best way to engage your users, to increase conversions, and to better showcase your brand.
Employ tools like Google Analytics, Hotjar, and Google Search Console to provide you with real user data to inform layouts and designs.
8 Signs It’s Time for a Website Redesign
Now that we’ve gotten the basics out of the way, let’s talk about eight of the most common signs it’s time for a website redesign.
1. Your Website Is Old
While this isn’t the only reason you should consider redesigning your site, it can certainly be a primary indicator. Older sites typically operate on older technologies.
There is a good chance you aren’t reading this article on a giant, boxy monitor or saving it to a floppy disk. Sure, older computers can still access the Internet and send emails, but we choose to use faster computers because they are more efficient, we can get more done, and they are more enjoyable to use.
The same is true for your website. Utilizing older technology can create terrible experiences for your users and for your editors. It can cause potential customers to get frustrated and marketing teams to waste time trying to make simple updates.
Updating your technology can not only improve the user experience for users of your site with faster page load speeds and more interactive content, it can also give your marketing team the tools they need to create incredible experiences.
2. Your Website Is Not Showing In Search Results
What’s the point of having a website if no one can find it? If your existing website isn’t showing up in search results, it may be due to outdated technology or poor user experiences. Some older content management systems create inefficient URL structures and page layouts. This can be an issue for search engines looking to efficiently index and visit your site. If they can’t easily access and crawl your site, they can’t easily show you in the results for relevant searches.
Google regularly updates its algorithms to improve search results and performance. Oftentimes, this results in needed adjustments to page structure, URL structure, page load speed, and other ranking factors. If your website does not have appropriate technology and tools to accommodate, you may be chasing search engine rankings that you’ll never be able to achieve and a drop in your online presence.
3. You Are Spending Too Much On Ongoing Updates
Websites should always be updated and improved. Even new websites should be looked at closely on an ongoing basis to ensure current and potential customers’ needs are met and conversions are optimized.
That being said, if you are spending a lot of time, resources, and budget on regular website updates, over time, it may be worth considering a website redesign. At some point, a Frankenstein-ed website can cause more problems than solutions, slowing down the site and making website updates arduous or impossible.
Look at the issues you are facing, do the math on what it might take to fix everything piece by piece, and determine if you should stay the course or if you would be better off biting the bullet and pushing forward with a redesign.
4. You Are Spending a Significant Amount of Time Making Updates
Oftentimes, the website technology you are used to isn’t always the most efficient website technology for your team and workflows. If you are spending a significant amount of time trying to make simple updates to your site, it might be worth rethinking the technology entirely. It may be that you are using a CMS that doesn’t work great for your needs. It may be that there is a newer version of the CMS that has more features and functionality that better suits your needs.
Simple updates might include adjustments to:
- Landing Pages
- Blog Content
- Resource Content
- Header/Footer Content
At the end of the day, if it takes you a long time to make regular updates to the site, it’s probably worth thinking about redesigning.
5. You Are On a Content Management System That Doesn’t Work For Your Organization
There are many different content management systems on the market today that can help you manage your website. While your organization may be used to a particular CMS, it is worth researching other content management systems to see if there are other technologies that may better suit your needs.
Take a step back and think about what updates you regularly make and how much time you spend making them. Ask questions of other team members to see what they like and don’t like about your current CMS. Compare that to the list of features of other CMSs to see if there are other technologies that may work better for your team and the organization.
A CMS has the ability to completely change the way website editors work. Doing the research, seeing demos, asking questions, and comparing management systems is the only way to find out which one will work best for you.
6. Your Site Doesn’t Work For Mobile Devices
According to a study by Statista in 2021, 63% of all organic search traffic comes from mobile devices. Google has also gone on record to say they are looking at mobile-first experiences when ranking websites moving forward. Therefore, optimized mobile layouts, experiences, and load speeds are essential to the success of your digital presence and even the future of your search rankings.
If your site doesn’t work for mobile devices and it would be a heavy lift to get it there, you may want to consider shifting to a site and a technology that is responsive for all devices. Many of the latest versions of content management systems, such as the Umbraco CMS, provide out-of-the-box tools to optimize your site and layouts for devices of all types and sizes.
7. Your Current Experience Is Not What Potential Customers Expect
The best way to find out if your customers are finding what they are looking for is by utilizing data. Analyze information from Google Analytics, Hotjar, and Google Optimize to see if expectations are matching reality.
Ask yourself questions like:
- Are there certain areas of your site that are confusing to users?
- Is the bounce rate high on priority pages?
- Are there high value pieces of content that users can’t find?
- Are you getting a lot of requests from clients for certain pieces of information that are not easily accessible?
- Are customers expecting a demo or one-sheeter on your product or service?
Answering these questions, among others, will help you to determine if your current website is capable of meeting the needs of your customers.
8. You are Missing Opportunities to Showcase Your Organization
Sometimes, older websites just aren’t capable of showcasing your brand and product/service the way it should be showcased.
For example, an organization with a technology product that relies on demos, screenshots, and interactive features to sell the product may not be able to appropriately showcase the product with an older content management system. The customer may also question your ability to meet expectations if your site is outdated, slow, and clunky.
As a digital marketing agency, we wouldn’t want to send people to an outdated website. It gives users the wrong impression about our ability to provide the services they expect.
If your current site is getting in the way of your ability to showcase your product or service, it may be time for a new website.
There is never a right or a wrong time to redesign your website as it completely depends on your specific situation. However, there are key indicators that can help you determine whether you should start having conversations around a new website.
Ultimately, putting in the work to examine your website’s technology, survey your customers, weigh the pros/cons, and estimate the cost of a new website will help your team to make an informed decision about whether to continue improving your current website or to implement a new website redesign.
If you are having difficulty analyzing your website, please reach out to our website development team for assistance. Our team helps organizations of all sizes evaluate their websites and technologies and provide recommendations on how to improve moving forward.