You’ve resolved your website needs help, but you’re not sure how much help. Do you need to scrap the whole thing and start over with a website rebuild, or does it just need a “renovation?” Like so many things in life, the short answer is, “it depends…”.
Just like when you evaluate a house, you need to figure out if your website has good “bones” or not. One of the primary things to consider is how easy it is for you to update your content. Do you have a solid content management system in place, or do you have to jump through hoops even to fix a tiny typo? If your site doesn’t use a content management system, or if it uses a bad one, that’s likely a good enough reason to rebuild it from the ground up. Using a solid content management system like WordPress can save you tons of time, money, and headaches in the longterm, so the payoff may very well justify the effort of laying a new “foundation.”
Another indication that you might need a new site is if it doesn’t seem to fit the needs of your business anymore. Every business and organization wants to grow, and if yours has, it’s possible you’ve outgrown your current website, which is a great thing! Maybe your current site limits the functionality you can add to it, or maybe it needs to be completely reorganized to fit the new structure of your organization. Whatever it is, if it feels like your website isn’t aligned with your business, it might be time to stop fitting a square peg into a round hole.
One more thing that could point to the need for a “new build” is if it’s been several years since any significant work has been done on your website. Letting a site sit stagnant for too long can create a big list of necessary upgrades. Depending on how many and what type of improvements are needed, it may end up being quicker and cheaper to start over rather than doing patchwork on the existing site.
Maybe things aren’t quite that bad and you’re happy with the administration and structure of your website. If the biggest struggles on your site sound like the ones below it may just need a renovation and not demolition.
One of the biggest reasons your site might need a renovation if it’s not mobile-responsive. In laymen’s terms, if your site doesn’t look good on all screen sizes, it’s time to seriously consider improvements. It’s not exactly breaking news, but the number of website visits made on mobile devices continues to make up larger and larger portions of all visits. We’re not just talking social media and recreational browsing here either, real business is being conducted from cell phones, and you shouldn’t miss out just because your website is difficult to use on smaller screens.
Sites with confusing menus are also great candidates for a remodel. If your site has what your visitors are looking for but your navigation doesn’t make it easy for them to find it, it’s worth your while to address it. Imagine a house where you walk in the front door only to find three more doors right in front of you. Then when you choose one of those doors at random there are two more doors to choose from with no indication as to what’s behind them. Any good interior designer would knock down some walls to improve the sight-lines and flow of the house so it’s more pleasant to live in. Sure it’s an odd illustration, but if your website’s navigation doesn’t make sense to your visitors this may be exactly how it makes them feel. Rethinking how your pages relate to each other and how they’re accessed by your visitors certainly doesn’t require a complete site rebuild but it’s important to do if what you have now isn’t effective.
About the author:
Jonathan is a Web Developer at Torx. A perfect mix of art and logic, website development is endlessly interesting to him. When he's not busy coding beautiful sites for Torx's clients, he spends his time chasing his son around and watching or reading about sports.