How many years should you wait before redesigning your website? I get asked this question a lot.
Truthfully, there’s no specific time period or magical formula that determine whether it’s a good time to freshen up your web presence, redesign from scratch or simply leave it as is. Certain factors play a big role in making that decision though, such as budget, time, and resources available.
While it’s not an exact science, you can consider a few questions to help determine what might be the logical next step for your site.
1) Do you have a lot of new content that’s being thrown into a “more resources” bucket?
If the answer is yes, it may be time to rethink the core structure of the site and consider exploring a revised information architecture (site map structure) to accommodate your latest, updated information. Note that whatever you design, it should be built to be expanded upon, so it doesn’t leave you with that all too familiar “catch all” section.
2) Have you rebranded yourself lately? New logo? New mission?
This would be a good time to modify the site to relay your new brand. A new palette and style could add a few more years to your site’s life. If you have all new content as well, see item 1.
3) Is your site full of stock imagery?
If you’ve read my prior posts, you know how I feel about this. Lose the stock. Can’t afford custom images or graphics? Find newer stock and use less of it. At the very least, change your main “hero” images often. Your users are likely to get tired of looking at the same picture over and over again, and this small change can make a big difference.
4) How does your content read?
Is the tone of your copy up to date? It may be time to rewrite copy and update your messaging if you’re still referring to the World Wide Web or mentioning people or services that are no longer part of your organization.
5) Is your most recent news item from over a month ago?
If you have news or a “what’s new” section on your site and it’s over 2-3 weeks old – you need to make a change. This timely content lets users know you’re constantly online and up to speed on everything. Letting your site appear dated via old content tells your audience “we aren’t paying attention.”
6) How old is your site?
Although I mentioned there was no specific expiration date to a website, chances are if it was built over 5 years ago, the technology and design are really outdated (and it shows). This reflects on your overall brand. Design styles and various functions have changed and you may want to take advantage of some of the newer looks and possible site features.
7) Your site was built in 1999
Full redesign. STAT.