How to Know When to Redesign Your Website
Q: How often should I have my website redesigned?
We recommend small and medium businesses have their websites redesigned every 2-3 years. This allows you to stay on the cutting edge of website technology and ensure your website is an authentic reflection of your brand as your business evolves over time. First impressions are 94% design-related.
Q: Can I make design changes to my site slowly over time?
Yes, however, this could be more expensive in the long-term. Design changes typically yield better results when they’re implemented all at once, or in larger chunks as part of a seamless strategy. If you space those changes out, they generally cost more over time and take longer for your business to see results.
Q: Does website design have a shelf life or expiration date?
Like all trends, the design goes through cycles of popularity. A particular style or approach becomes popular, turns into a best practice, becomes overused, and ultimately looks outdated. When your website approaches the overused and outdated phases, it’s past its shelf life.
Since 75% of consumers admit to making judgments on a company’s credibility based on the company’s website design, letting your website lapse may damage your business’s reputation.
“Your website is a living thing. What works and what doesn’t work for your website is changing all the time, so it’s important to always be thinking about current best practices and what/how you can improve.”
— Curtis Rummel, Co-Founder, and Lead Client Strategist, Marketplace Strategy
Q: Should I redesign my website or get fresh content first?
This is a bit of a chicken and the egg question, but we recommend doing them together. 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive. This is why great websites are often built using content-first design. When you work on design and content together, the result is a fresh website that your customers enjoy spending time on.
Q: Do websites based on a WordPress theme need to be redesigned?
Yes. While commercial WordPress themes are often supported through periodic updates and small design changes, they don’t last forever. Sometimes this might mean switching to a different theme, but often, if your business has grown, the best solution is to migrate to a custom design developed for the WordPress platform.
Q: What’s the difference between a full website redesign and a refresh?
Think of it as a house.
In a refresh, you can paint the walls, upgrade a window, fix a leak or two, but the house’s foundation and layout remain the same. The digital equivalent would be leaving the website’s core functionality and code intact but giving the website a new, fresh look.
In a redesign, it’s more like a demo of the house to completely start over and rebuild a brand new property. The land, address, and utilities stay the same, (as does your domain name and host) but it’s a completely new website inside and out.
Q: Does a redesign give my website better SEO?
Yes. A website redesign or rebuild can improve your website’s speed, mobile-friendliness, and navigation (just to name a few), which all work to improve technical SEO. It’s important to note that initially, you may see a temporary dip in traffic due to redirects, missing pages, or domain issues that your website team will help you recover.
Q: Does a redesign include adding a mobile-version?
Yes, it can — and we believe it should. 57% of internet users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile, and 83% say that a seamless experience across all devices is very important. At Smack Happy, every website we create uses adaptive design, so it can be easily and beautifully viewed on any device or browser.
Q: What’s the longest I can go without redesigning my website?
We recommend small and medium businesses have their websites redesigned every 2-3 years, and pair that with an ongoing website maintenance strategy. If you’ve had additional design and functionality work completed in between updates, you can probably go as long as 3-4 years between full redesigns.
When your website stops running smoothly, no longer rivals your competition, or doesn’t support your business growth, it’s time to update your website.
Q: When should I NOT do a full website redesign?
The only time we recommend against a full website redesign is when you’re constantly updating the design and functionality of your website. This is often called growth-driven design and is ideal for businesses that need to make monthly website changes to achieve their marketing goals. This approach should be part of a larger strategy broken down into milestones.
“If you want significantly different results, you have to do significantly different things. Launching a site redesign or a major change to your website every few years can be the perfect way to escape flat line growth within your digital business.”
– David Vogelpohl, VP of Web Strategy at WP Engine