Adding a fresh look to website design is important to stay ahead of the competition. Depending on the target audience, product and/or service being offered, change needs to take place. Why? Times change. Industries change. Most important are the technology changes. Stay abreast of the latest changes and utilize current technology trends to surpass competition. A website redesign encompasses applying a new look and feel. However, just as Cameron Moll discusses in his article “Good Designers Redesign, Great Designers Realign” it is important to re-evaluate the navigation and flow of content with the current web site. Constant changes in technology continue to bring new tools that will simplify and organize a message. To put an actual value on how often is difficult because a number of factors are involved such as the industry, the product and/or service offered, and the target audience. Some companies will say every two - three years, while others will push for every year. In reality, the best practice for maintaining a healthy site is to constantly be re-evaluating it.
A couple of questions to ask while reviewing the redesign of your website include:
- Is the web content strong enough?
- Is the navigation clear for prospective and current customers?
- Does my site cater to current trends in the industry?
A clear advantage for constant updates on a website are the search engine ranking benefits. Search engines thrive on finding new content. The goal of most search engine companies is to showcase the most current and most relevant sites available to a search query. Therefore, an article posted online a week ago will show up higher on the search engines than an article posted three years ago on the same topic. Taking a double-edged sword here, the SEO side of a redesign is not a subject to be taken lightly, there are a number of steps to consider when redesigning that allow you to keep current site rankings. The URL is the key to your SEO. If the redesign is drastic, then each unique page address could change. Ensure that you do one of two things: keep the same URL or put the proper redirects in place with the new URL.
Ultimately, the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality does not apply to a website. The Internet is a tool of innovation. Be the leader and embrace that within your industry.