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Redesigning vs Rebuilding a Website

If you have a business in 2019, you likely have a website. Websites are no longer luxuries, instead, you need them just to reach our customers. Even for a non-profit organization, or a government organization, the need to reach the target audience is real, and a website is key.

It‘s no surprise then that as of January 2018, there were 1.8 billion websites in the world. Do people clearly understand that value of a website, however, how many websites realize that value? Less than a million websites, i.e., just 0.1 % dominate the Internet, with 50% of the traffic! Read more about these statistics in “How many websites are there in the world?”.

In fact, as this Alexa report shows, the top 4 websites in the world attract nearly 33% of the traffic. These are Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Baidu. Most websites don‘t attract much traffic after all! You don‘t want to be in this category, do you?

If your website isn‘t attracting traffic, you need a website redesign, or you rebuild your own website. Which one should you do? To answer this, I will explain redesigning vs rebuilding a website here.

Contents

Redesigning vs rebuilding a website?
What is a redesign of a website?
Benefits of redesigning a website
What is involved in rebuilding a website?
When to rebuild a website?
Benefits of rebuilding a website
Tips on redesigning a website
Tips to rebuild a website:

Redesigning vs rebuilding a website?

Your website may not attract traffic due to one or more of the following reasons:

  • If it was attracting traffic earlier but isn’t doing it now, the reason could be recent changes you made.
  • Someone might have dropped the website tracking code, due to a change in a plug-in or other website code changes.
  • The market channels you use could have become less effective.
  • There may be technical issues such as “404 errors”, or delayed webpage load.
  • The information architecture may be outdated.
  • Web server overload often causes crashes and delays, thus turning users away.
  • Meta information, for e.g., keywords may have been removed inadvertently.
  • The geographies you target may now have other contenders for their attention, hence your website is receiving less attention.
  • Hacking of your website may result in the site being blocked or blacklisted by search engines like Google.
  • Google search algorithm changes may have impacted your site. This could mean the content you create may need to be improved significantly. It could also mean that there are unnatural links to your site, therefore, Google is penalizing the site.
  • Domain or ’Domain Name Server’ (DNS) issues may also contribute to lower traffic to your site.

Read more about these reasons in “12 common reasons your website traffic is dropping“. A cursory glance on the above list tells us that redesigning or rebuilding your website can solve quite a few of these issues. That‘s why we are talking about it in the first place.

What is a redesign of a website?

Redesigning a website typically involves modernizing it. It may include changing some design elements. The work may also include improving some aspects of the website, however, the fundamentals of the website remain the same.

When you build a website for the first time, you likely use the technology available at that time. You focus on the needs of your customers, additionally, you incorporate your organizations’ branding guidelines. However, technology changes. The designing techniques also evolve.

Over time, your website may look dated, i.e., it’s not keeping up with modern technologies or designing techniques. You need to change the look and feel of the website so that you can reinvent your outreach to your customers. This is website redesigning.

This could mean updating the graphics, furthermore, you might enhance the layout. You could also rearrange the content. While doing so, you need to stay abreast with the latest ’Search Engine Optimization‘ (SEO) best practices. Remember that the SEO best practices are continuously evolving. Read more about website redesign in “What does website redesign mean?”.

When to redesign a website?

How does an entrepreneur know that it‘s time to redesign the website for his or her business? Usually, there are tell-tale signs. Proactively look out for the following indications, to know if you should redesign your website:

  • While the traffic to the website might still be okay, your conversion rate is reducing.
  • You see reduces sales, and a lower number of leads are coming up.
  • When compared with websites for similar products or services, your website doesn‘t look good enough.
  • Mobile visitors are leaving your website too soon. The website isn‘t ’mobile responsive‘.
  • The website isn‘t communicating your brand value adequately.
  • You are consistently outsmarted by your competitors.
  • Your Google ranking has gone down, and consistently.
  • Adding new content to the website is no longer easy.
  • The website still uses a dated ’Content Management System‘ (CMS), whereas several trendy CMSs have sprung up since then.

Read more about these indications in “Calling It time for a website redesign”.

Alternatively, companies such as DevriX specialize in website development. If you are not sure how your website will benefit from a redesign, and how much it will cost, you can ask an expert.

That said, lets take a look at what the pros of redesigning your website are.

Benefits of redesigning a website

How can you decide when or if you need a simple redesign? For that, you should know its‘ benefits. Read on, to find out the benefits of a website redesign:

Improve effective communication via your website

The appearance of your website is key. Most consumers get influenced by how your website communicates your values. Branding, color, logo, layout etc. play key roles here.

Stay up to date with the latest design trends

Website design evolves, and new trends appear. New ways of communicating via graphics and images emerge regularly. A redesign of your website will allow you to catch up with these. Your customers won’t find our website dated.

Retain visitors with better usability

Over the years, adding content to the website can make it look unwieldy. As I had mentioned earlier, there are far too many websites. Websites lacking in user-friendliness lose visitors. A website redesign exercise enables you to arrange your content better, therefore, it becomes more user-friendly. Read more about it in “6 ways website redesign can help your business”.

Showcase new products/service

Marketing new products and services can be hard with an unwieldy website. Redesigning your website opens opportunities for you to market your new product and service offerings.

A visible upgrade of the technology

Consider WordPress CMS. Top WordPress plugins like WPForms and OptinMonster receive frequent upgrades that enhance their functionalities. If you are using a WordPress website but not such plugins, you could be constraining your functionalities and user engagement. Using latest plugins enable you to visibly upgrade your technology. Even if you aren‘t using WordPress, you get the idea, don‘t you?

Improve your reach

When you redesign, you will likely use new social integration, email marketing, or SEO plugins. These enhance your reach.

What is involved in rebuilding a website?

Now that I have described what is a redesign of a website, let‘s understand what is a rebuild of a website. The differences are crucial since they enable you to choose between redesigning versus rebuilding your business website.

Rebuilding a website doesn‘t confine itself to look and feel. It impacts the underlying technology, additionally, it might include changes to the website functionalities. You might examine all aspects such the web server, CMS, database, and the code.

The rebuilding process requires you to ask fundamental questions, as follows:

  • How to make the website more usable?
  • Are you using the right CMS for your use case?
  • How is the website load time, and how does it compare with the industry standard?

Read more about rebuilding a website in “Rebuilding your website? Start with goals and objectives”.

When to rebuild a website?

Before you had launched your website first, you had a strategy around it. Your website might have worked well against that strategy. However, with technology changing at a break-neck speed, the strategy around a website also changes.

If you sit down now to redraw your website marketing strategy, you will likely include new aspects. For e.g., your initial strategy might not have focused on mobile much. The mobile Internet traffic was less at that time. However, that has changed now, and mobile responsiveness is key. Read “25 creative website marketing strategies and ideas” for more such examples.

When your website can no longer support your website marketing strategy, you need to rebuild it. An example is an old website built largely on HTML code. Such a website can‘t support most features of modern CMSs like WordPress. A simple website redesign will no longer suffice.

Benefits of rebuilding a website

When you rebuild a website, it‘s typically no longer mutually exclusive with redesigning it. Think about it. With an overhauled, modern technology foundation, you can now take advantage of modern design principles. You will most likely undertake some website redesigning activities along with rebuilding.

Due to this, after rebuilding a website, you will likely reap the benefits of redesigning also. Following are just a few examples of benefits, however, this is not an exhaustive list.

Improved ’User Experience‘ (UX):

Take, for example, the use of a video on the landing page to explain your business. Your earlier technology stack might have constrained your choice of how you showed it. With a modern stack now, you can show such a video more elegantly now.

Faster loading of the webpage:

Page speed is an important metrics for Google to rank your website higher. An overhauled technology and infrastructure stack can help you to improve page speed. For e.g., you can enable GZIP compression in your WordPress site. Read more about it in “How to enable GZIP compression in WordPress”.

A responsive website:

If your website didn’t adjust to the different screen sizes of the various devices, it wasn’t responsive. A dated technology stack wouldn’t allow designing responsive websites. A rebuilt website has an overhauled technology stack therefore, you can now make your website responsive.

Tips on redesigning a website

When you decide to redesign your website, you will need to plan for the following key tasks:

Define your objectives:

You need clarity on your goals before setting out to redesign your website. For e.g., your objectives could be to attract more visitors and generate more leads.

Engage a website redesigning partner:

If you already have a skilled team at your disposal, then you can entrust them with the task. Review the HubSpot website design resources, if you need help. If you don‘t have such a team, you will need to engage professional website design agencies.

Choose appropriate tools:

This is crucial for the smooth execution of the project. HubSpot provides a great platform to redesign your website, additionally, you can easily integrate your marketing effort with the website. Read “Redesign your website” for more details.

Check key guidelines and resources:

Redesigning a website can be a complex project depending on your requirements. You and your team need the right resources for this project. I want to introduce you to a few such resources, as follows:

    • HubSpot designer documents: You can useful guides here, for e.g., a CMS discovery kit to help you code on HubSpot. They offer a suite of important CMS developer documentation. Visit the following link to read these documents in detail.
    • HubSpot guide to redesigning a website: HubSpot also offers a comprehensive guide for redesigning a website. You can find it here.

Tips to rebuild a website:

Rebuilding a website can be a far more involved project. It may impact many website components. You may need to overhaul several aspects, for e.g., hosting, CMS, etc. A capable team is important. You also need to manage this complex project from end-to-end. Following are a few key considerations, however, this isn‘t an exhaustive list.

Hosting decision-making:

You may have found that your website isn’t performant enough to merit a high Google ranking. The reasons could be code issues or a sub-optimal web hosting. If hosting is an issue, you need to get a reliable, scalable, and performant hosting service. Before you decide, do your research and find out which web hosting providers are the best on the market right now.

Choose the right CMS platform:

CMS platforms make it easier to quickly launch your website. Popular CMS platforms use modern technology stacks, furthermore, they allow integrating various functions using plugins.

If your website was using an outdated technology stack, then switching to a modern CMS platform can significantly enhance its‘ functionalities. WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix are a few popular CMS platforms.

A skilled team, and the right project management methodology:

You need the right team for a website rebuilding project. Such a team should consist of designers, expert web developers, testers, and a project manager. A website is a ’System of Engagement‘ (SoE), i.e., a tool for you to reach your customers. SoEs undergo frequent changes, therefore, you need to use an iterative development methodology. I recommend the Agile methodology for this. Read our guide “How to build an Agile development team?” for more details.

To conclude, the decision of rebuilding vs redesigning largely depends on where your website stands vis-a-vis your website marketing strategy. Providers like HubSpot and the hosting providers publish their price on their websites.

Quite a few CMSs are free, e.g., WordPress. However, you may require specific plugins, and some of those are paid plugins. Your website redesigning or rebuilding manpower cost depends on the scope of the project and your local labour market.