While the idea of a brand-new, beautiful and functional website is appealing, a redesign project is a large undertaking for any company, institution or organization. It requires significant planning, resources and budget to prepare for and execute, and can be both exciting and overwhelming. So how do you know exactly when the right time is to plan a redesign? Well, if you’re thinking about it, you might already know the answer, but here are some questions to ask yourself so you can be sure of your decision.
Is your design dated?
Design styles change and most sites tend to outgrow their designs every few years. Perhaps you’ve inherited a website design you weren’t responsible for or have plans to enhance or expand the site in way that your current design just can’t accommodate. A fresh new website design might be just the thing you need to achieve your goals and create a better user experience.
Are you planning on rebranding or significantly changing your brand?
If you are making small changes to your brand – perhaps tweaking your colors, fonts or textures – an existing site may be able to accommodate. However more significant branding changes often necessitate an overhaul of the site design. A digital agency will be able to consult with you on what your individual situation is to know what constitutes a more minor change (e.g. updating a font in your CSS) and what the tipping point is for pursuing a redesign.
Does your site meet ADA conformance guidelines?
Most website owners are striving to make their site conformant to WCAG 2.1 guidelines so that those with disabilities have an optimal user experience, and also to steer away predatory litigation. A website ADA audit may reveal that smaller design and coding changes will be all you need to achieve conformance, but other times an audit will expose that the site will need to be redesigned and rebuilt. If ADA conformance is the initial reason to redesign a site, it’s important to use the opportunity to address any other business goals you may have as well.
Is your website technology inadequate or outdated?
Are you ramping up your marketing efforts?
More than likely, your website is the destination for most of your marketing efforts, including both digital and traditional tactics. If you plan to start driving more traffic to your website, you will want to ensure that it provides visitors with a positive experience and contains the right content, features and functionality to guide them along the consumer journey through conversion. From introducing product selectors and personalization, to creating custom forms, it might make sense to invest in a website redesign prior to initiating or strengthening these plans, as it could ultimately save re-work in the long run. Also, your current website might not even support your marketing objectives. For example, if you wanted to improve your search engine optimization efforts, but your website isn’t coded according to best practices and your page or navigation structure doesn’t allow for the introduction of additional pages, you might not be able to achieve your goals.
Is your site on a proprietary content management system?
Some sites are on content management systems that are proprietary to a specific agency or company, and you might have found yourself wanting to get out of the relationship for a multitude of reasons. You unfortunately can’t just take your site with you; instead you have to invest in a new site on a different content management system (CMS) that is either licensed (e.g., Kentico, Sitefinity) or open source (e.g., Umbraco or WordPress). Along with this, you will likely need to find a new site host, too. Investing in a proprietary CMS can be a risky business decision so if you are looking for more vendor flexibility, redesigning your site may be a smart move.
If a redesign is in your plan…
A site redesign often takes many months of planning and a great place to begin with is by preparing a website redesign RFP. That will help you internally plan so that a digital agency can then properly scope the effort for you. Once you have selected the digital agency that is right for you, you will want to make sure that you internally assemble the right team to reflect all business needs, make efficient decisions throughout the project to keep it moving and see each stage of the website redesign process through. Redesigning a website can be a large initiative, especially in a large business or organization, but the rewards of having a website that meets all of your needs cannot ever be underestimated. To discuss your next website redesign with a digital expert at ZAG Interactive, contact us.