Why the Redesign is Inevitable
Photo via Unsplash
If there is one unavoidable truth in web design it’s this: One day you’ll need to redesign your website.
Maybe not now. Probably not today. But someday, eventually – regardless of whether you’ve launched a new website five years ago, two years ago, or six months ago.
Don’t be upset or ashamed. Understand that redesigns are inevitable because websites are ephemeral.
Like everything else, businesses change and ultimately, so do their websites. They have to – either to stay relevant or competitive in their industry.
Web technology also changes. Browsers improve, new devices come on the market, and web development standards evolve. Search Engine Optimization is in a constant state of flux.
That’s just the circle of life online. Expedited Darwinism.
The good news is that if your website is generally new (i.e. built within the last couple of years) you can probably work with your web development vendor to make slight adjustments that will make a world of difference.
What about older sites, though? Here are three motives to consider when you’re thinking of redesigning your website sooner rather than later.
1. Your website is not mobile friendly
If you haven’t heard yet, Google updated its mobile search algorithm on April 21 so that mobile-friendly websites rank higher than those that are not.
This only impacts searches conducted on smartphones and other smaller mobile devices – not tablets and certainly not desktop computers.
What does mobile friendly mean? Basically, your site either needs a dedicated mobile version or it needs to be responsive. We’ve written about responsive design before, but essentially your website is built so that it looks great on screens large and small using the same content and the same design.
No more pinching and zooming!
But nearly a month after what many dubbed ‘Mobilegeddon’ the impact doesn’t appear to be that significant. That’s for a variety of reasons, one being that a website’s ranking may not have suffered much if its competitors are also not mobile friendly.
Gradually that will change, and it’s smart to assume that Google’s tweak is a sign of a much broader initiative, so better to plan ahead in this situation.
2. Your website just doesn’t do what you need it to
As mentioned above, businesses change. That simple, five-page informational site you’ve had for a while might not be cutting it anymore.
But a redesign is not about splashing on a new coat of paint. A redesign also doesn’t mean you need to ditch your old design and content and start from ground zero.
Maybe you just need a better way to manage your products or inventory on the backend. Maybe you want a better way to reach current and future customers, perhaps through a dedicated blog section on your site (as opposed to a blog hosted elsewhere on a separate platform, such as Blogger or Wordpress.com).
Or maybe your current and future customers are demanding better tools to help them find what they’re after.
The need for new functionality is generally a signal that there is a much larger underlying problem. Your site may not need a massive overhaul, but it could be worthwhile to restructure your site so that it meets your needs and those of your users. This includes reorganizing the menuing system establishing better site hierarchy.
3. Your audience has changed
Apple started with computers. Google started with a search engine. Amazon started with books.
Everyone starts somewhere. The people who were buying your products and services five years ago might not be the same today. Or you might be working to appeal to a completely different customer base.
There is a saying that goes the type of work you show is the type of work you get and that holds when it comes to your website.
It’s the ultimate marketing tool, and it should speak to the types of people you want to attract. Don’t know who your ultimate customer is? Start by creating a buyer persona today.