Often clients asking for a redesign of its website, when perhaps they need a “facelift”, a mere visual update or, in the extreme case, a complete rebuild from scratch.
How to determine the most suitable option?
This question is not easy to answer and will depend on each case. In a previous article, whose reading I recommend as a compliment, we reviewed the 11 reasons why you should redesign the website of your business and we address the problem. But let’s go by parts and first define the concepts in order to better understand their differences and implications:
• Update: involves the least amount of changes of the three options. It generally involves a series of minor changes, such as colors, fonts, highlighting new content, adding a call to action on a page, etc. The idea is to maintain the foundation of the website while preserving the code and functionality.
• Redesign: it will change the appearance and structure of the site, but it will not involve changes in the content manager (CMS) or, at most, minor changes. The objective is to present a more modern and renewed appearance. Changes to the code that may occur will be focused on the public part and not on the ‘backend’.
• Rebuild: involves adding new features and removing those that are not necessary. They go beyond redesign, since it ranges from the complete review of the content and reorganization of the site to make it more usable to much more technical aspects since it involves changing functionalities and code. It is recommended when the code base and/or the content manager are outdated, have errors, and it is difficult to work and update the content.
Therefore, in general lines:
You should consider an update if…
• You have made a change to the logo or the graphic line of the brand and you need a series of adjustments to adapt the web to these new standards to maintain coherence.
• You already did a website redesign a couple of years ago and now you just want to improve the look a bit.
• … You want to improve the conversion rate, give more strength to certain elements and reduce the bounce rate.
• Your site is not adapted to different devices (it is not ‘responsive’) or it has some lack of compatibility with certain browsers. At this point, it must be taken into account that, depending on how the site is designed and coded, this change could require a complete redesign instead of an update.
You should consider a redesign if…
• The design of the web is outdated.
• The content is out of date.
• Does not look good in all browsers.
• Does not suit all devices.
• The conversion rate is very low.
• Not very useful for site visitors.
• The business grows, but the web does not.
• The purpose or purpose of the website has changed.
• Your site is not well positioned in search engines. Keep in mind that depending on how the site is coded, the optimization effort may be high and you will have to decide to rebuild it completely.
You should consider rebuilding if…
• You feel limited and frustrated by the editing limitations of your content manager and need to add new features.
• The content manager has become obsolete or you want to change it.
• The programming language is outdated or the language needs to be changed by the chosen CMS.
• Your site has poor performance, basic errors, poorly optimized code.
Some considerations to keep in mind
• Budget: An update is always less costly in financial terms than a redesign or a complete rebuild of the website. According to Create Whiteboard Animation, if you opt for this option to extend the life of your website when the best would have been a redesign or reconstruction, it will be more expensive in the long run.
• Time: a redesign and, above all, a reconstruction, requires more time and dedicated effort, both by those responsible for the development and on your part. If you are not going to have a lot of time, it may be a good option to update and, later, when you have the necessary time, tackle the redesign. Depending on the circumstances, it is also very interesting to phase the redesign process into phases, rather than making all the changes at once. But this should always respond to a thoughtful strategy and not to pure chance.
As you can see, choosing one option or another is not easy and the decision must be made as a result of a detailed analysis, both of the characteristics that surround your website and the objectives you intend to achieve. For this reason, we recommend that you consult with professionals who can make a correct diagnosis and offer you the solution best suited to your situation and needs.