It goes without saying that almost every business now has their own website. Having your own real estate on the Internet is one thing, but keeping your website’s information relevant and up-to-date as well as redesigning it to keep it current is a whole different kettle of fish.

Aesthetics are important, and the design aspects need to be updated to keep things looking fresh and timely without tinkering too much with the basic functions. But while it is more cost effective, a redesign isn’t always enough. Rebuilding your website, while tedious, is sometimes necessary. A rebuild addresses strategy, the CMS (content management system) and the technology behind it all. 

Different situations require different solutions. Here are some tips on determining whether what you need is redesigning or rebuilding for your business website. 

It looks like you just need a simple redesign...

1. If all you’re looking to do is update images, banners and a few simple functions

Unhappy about the way your website looks but it’s working perfectly fine? Then the good news is you probably just need a simple redesign. There is no reason to change your CMS if the site is working in a way that is quick, effective and user friendly. It is also important to consider if your website has mobile compatibility. Sometimes if it doesn’t, this can be changed quite simply without having to restructure the functionality of the website. 

2. Recently rebuilt your website and just want to spotlight changes in your business?

Don’t sweat it. You don’t need to rebrand again, so put that money back in your pocket. If you’re just looking to highlight seasonal changes, new products and highlight variations, a simple redesign can do that without all the time and costs associated with a rebuild. 

3. Low on budget but looking for a change

There is no way around the fact that rebuilding a website can put a dent in your hip pocket. If you need to highlight changes in your business but can work with the current functionality of the site, a good redesign with basic changes can be enough for the meantime. 

Rebuilding is usually the answer when the problem in your website isn’t limited to how it looks and feels.

1. While a redesign seems a lot simpler, the truth is, it isn’t always as easy as a “light reskin” and can cost you more than rebuilding 

The biggest misconception about website redesigns is that they usually only require a visual update. Redesigning can in fact become such a lengthy and intricate process that the recoding itself can run up costs. After some time, this can end up more expensive than a rebuild, which is effectively a lot more beneficial for the site. 

2. Website management and your current CMS isn’t working to your advantage

Adding CMS to your website or simply switching to a different CMS can absolutely change how your website functions. This ranges from changing the options you have for your page layouts and improving the server on which your website runs to improving the way your content is published. Ultimately this will improve the performance of your website as well as how it functions, and only a rebuild can make this happen. 

3. If your website is out-dated, has become stagnant or running slow, rebuild now

Make sure your server platform is not only modern, but most importantly – safe and secure. Using scripting language that is supported by many developers ensures that your website is safe for customers but also trusted by them too. If these are issues that exist on your website, a rebuild would not go astray. Usability and relevance are huge factors in websites and if it doesn’t work, people are not coming back. If you’ve had complaints from customers, that is a clear sign that issues exist that a simple redesign cannot solve. 

4. If your website can’t be accessed on a smartphone, it’s not working for you at all

A readily accessible website is a valuable asset to any business, and with most people tapping into their phones for information on the go, it would be a bad move to have a website that isn’t mobile compatible. Even if your website functions perfectly on a laptop, it’s performance is only as strong as it’s mobile site. As mentioned earlier, a redesign can sometimes make a website accessible on a smartphone, but often a rebuild is required. It’s an investment you will see results from. 

Whatever approach you decide is best for you, it is important to consider the needs of the site’s users, functionality and the technology that drives it. Having a website is an invaluable tool for your business and while it is easy to put one together and put it on the backburner, just like any asset working towards increasing growth and profitability, it requires maintenance. Technology is changing faster than we can predict, so diligence with upgrading, redesigning and rebuilding is essential. Your business in turn will reap the benefits.

Digital Bridge is a Melbourne-based web development agency that’s big on ideas and low on jargon. We specialise in designing, developing and managing websites for people like you and businesses like yours.