Almost all websites on the internet undergo at least a minor change at some point. If you own a site, ultimately, you will want to redesign it either for some purpose or the other. Fundamentally, redesigning involves a significant undertaking that has its pros and cons. And since it's a monumental process, there are factors you need to consider before you decide to get into it.
Some of the benefits of redesigning your site include:
Redesigning will also boost the site's load time, which is a critical aspect of all sites today. In addition to that, it will also be an opportunity to increase the general aesthetic of your site.
One of the primary disadvantages of the process is that your users will see a significantly different looking site and may take time to get used to it. Redesigning is also a complicated process, so you might not be able to give your site a new look while maintaining the old one. In addition to this, redesigning might also have an impact on your SEO power.
First and foremost, you must identify the dynamics that propel the need for a redesign. Hence, you need to understand what you are seeking to accomplish. After that, you will be in an excellent position to generate a detailed list of your goals that will guide you through the process.
Without a clear understanding of your inspiration, you might still end up with a site that does not meet your needs. To establish your motivation, initially establish if you are content with how the site currently works; secondly, if you need to improve the search engine rankings. Else, if you simply want a better-looking site.
After you have decided on why exactly you want to redesign the site, it's now time to determine how far you need to go. Sometimes a small change in content and visuals is all that's required. Otherwise, you may want to redo your underlying code base comprehensively.
Obviously, you will want to maintain as many current site strengths as possible while also improving on the weaknesses. Thus, take into account the cost, time, and effort that you will need to invest in the process before you make that decision.
Take a look at how visitors are currently interacting with your website. This will help you map out problem areas. Study your site analytics and traffic statistics for information like sales and conversations, entry and exit pages, and search engine keywords.
Additionally, is the site designed for employees or for end-users? If you’re looking to revamp a website that is used only by employees, you may want to focus on the pure function of the site and put elaborate designs on the backburner. If this is a user-facing website, however, a balance should be struck between making the site user-friendly and easy to navigate while still being sleek and showing the brand in the best light. A good web development team will be able to strike a balance between the two and
Some people are intimidated by change. If your site gets a lot of repeat traffic, a sudden change in function or form can put off some users. You also don't want the changes you make to adversely shift your search engine ranking, or radically dismantle backlinks you may have acquired over the years.
Conversely, try to keep the critical elements of the site like the header and navigation bar similar to the pre-existing counterparts. Likewise, your redesign should essentially be an evolution of the current site and not a drastic replacement. In case you're considering making a sweeping change, make sure it is clear and that you inform your users via a blog post or an announcement. In either case, you will want to heavily rely on your SEO team and web development team to ensure all your backend elements from the old site align with the new one.
A site redesign might be precisely what your site needs—whereas in other cases—it's not. Either way, you need to weigh the advantages and drawbacks before you make a decision. Look at what you need to accomplish vis-à-vis your options. Then, go with what will benefit your site and users the most. No matter what you decide, you should know a site redesign is no easy task and should be handled with the utmost care. Having a trusted, well-reviewed web developer helping you out makes the entire process much easier, and there's no better way to find a trusted developer than through WhatBench.