Website Redesign: Should You or Shouldn’t You?

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Think you know when a website redesign is necessary?

There are many web design professionals out there arguing whether or not a website redesign is necessary, and the odd thing is, each side of the argument has extremely valid points.

I see no clear and obvious winner of this debate, and have come to the conclusion that the question can only be answered on a per-project, per-company or per-campaign kind of level. Here are my thoughts:

Per Project

Your business has a brand new feature/service & you feel that a redesign is necessary to incorporate it into the already available features/services.

Argument Against: It is not difficult to add new sections into websites, especially if you are using a CMS, such as WordPress. Holding onto the same look and feel will keep the customers who are already comfortable on your site satisfied. So, hire a skilled web designer who can keep the new additions coming in smoothly, with no interference on its current aesthetic appeal.

Argument For: Perhaps your previous web designer chose not to use a CMS, and it IS in fact difficult to make additions to your website. If this new feature is difficult to put in place, than you should redesign using a CMS. Doing it now, will ensure that all future new additions can be incorporated seamlessly.

Per Company

Your company is revising its brand & the owner or board believes that a brand new website is both expected and required.

Argument Against: Do the individuals have any background in marketing and/or web design? Probably not. So it’s your job to convince the higher-ups that the only thing that is required to accompany the revision of your brand is the appeal of the audience it serves. Similar to our “per project” argument, it should be quite simple to plug in the new logo and update the color HEX’s.

Argument For: On some level, it is understandable why a website redesign should accompany an updated brand/identity. Perhaps you’ve changed the color-schemes to appeal to a different target audience. Maybe the revamped image is meant to be more modern than its predecessor. In these cases, an updated web presence may very well be necessary. Web design trends are changing all the time, so just be sure to do the research and choose a strategy that is both aesthetically modern and will be able to hold stable through the next wave or two of trends.

Per Campaign

Your organization has just identified a new target audience. The marketing team is preparing new mailers, new social media graphics, new blog topics, and someone on the team suggests a redesign of the website so it too will appeal to the new target.

Argument Against: This one is easy; all you need to do is create a new landing page for the new campaign. This way you can add SEO where it matters and not interfere with the look and feel that your current audience is used to.

Argument For: If you actually want this new campaign to be the main punch, than that means you will indeed need to redesign your site. You may be able to get away with keeping the framework, simply changing up the call-to-actions and putting relevant and targeted new content in your sidebars and footers.

And there you have it.

If you’re a web designer, wondering whether or not to go through with a client’s redesign request, I suggest you weigh the pros and cons, then lay everything out for them in detail. Web design clients don’t know what’s best, that’s why they’ve come to. It’s your job to do the research and find the answer. Here are some resources that I have personally found handy:

If you’re a business owner and you’re considering a website redesign, please send me a message and I will be glad to go over the pros and cons with you. It’s important to have a strategy in place before any decisions are made, and I can help you plan for a redesign that contains as little hassle as possible.