Blog: Website Design

7 Great Reasons NOT to Redesign Your Website

Posted by in Website Design on Friday, April 25, 2014

Website Design

To get the best results, your website redesign should be about functionality, usability, and improving the experience of your visitors. This in turn leads to better overall visitor satisfaction and increased conversions and sales.

While a much-needed redesign can breathe new life into your website, getting a website redesign for the wrong reasons can actually hurt your company.

So if you're thinking of redesigning your website, take a step back and look at these 7 reasons to "just say no" before moving ahead with the project:

You Haven't Set Goals for Your Redesign Project

Without a clear idea of what you hope to accomplish with your website redesign, you run the risk of creating a site that does not perform as well as it should. Before you start looking for a web design company, come up with clear goals for the project. Some questions you might want to answer:

  1. What do I want visitors to do while they are on my website?
  2. How do I make it easier for visitors to accomplish what they want to do on my website?
  3. Are there any current issues with design and functionality that are hurting conversions?
  4. What will be the "measure of success" with this project – i.e. what will I measure to decide if a website redesign is a good investment?

"It's Time for a New Look"

Change for the sake of change seldom provides positive results. Let me give you an example:

Imagine you are a local landscaper and you have a website that lists the services you provide, along with some images of the work you've done in the past as well as a way to contact you. It's a fairly simple, straightforward site, and it looks nothing like the website for a larger landscaping company.

Now imagine that you decide to change up the look of the site – you have a designer add a lot of stock photography, change the layout, and make the site look more like a larger company. What would you expect the result to be?

If you said that sales dropped off because people assumed you were a large company they've never heard of before, you'd be right. Any redesign that doesn't keep the target audience in mind is almost certain to hurt sales.

In this instance, the target market is smaller landscape projects and yard maintenance, but the redesign was geared towards high end architectural landscape. While the site looked "professional" it attracted the wrong client and repelled the right one.

In fact, this particular landscaper got a much larger boost in sales when he returned to the original site design and made a few simple changes that made the site easier to navigate for visitors.

Your Current Website Does Not Have Adequate Analytics

There is no way to emphasize this enough:

"Without data, you cannot objectively decide if a website redesign is necessary."

If you do not currently have analytics on your website, install it now. Start tracking the conversions that matter most to your site – sales, leads, contact form submissions, etc. – and any steps that lead up to those conversions.

Learn what works on your site, and what doesn't. Once you have that information, you'll be better informed about what needs to change on your website and why.

As an added bonus, you'll also be able to tell if the redesign improved your website's performance. If not, you can revert to the old design or make changes to the new design until it's up to par.

"Our Top Competitor Redesigned Their Website"

Your competition redesigned their site for their own internal reasons (which may or may not be good ones). Regardless, the changes your competition makes should not be the only driving force behind your own redesign. 

If your website already performs well, then you should look to the data to assess what areas on your site can be improved and whether a redesign is even necessary.

If your site isn't performing well, then plan a redesign based on the changes you need to make in order to improve – not the changes your competitors made.

"We Need to Improve SEO"

Appearing at the top of the page in search engine results is the Holy Grail for many companies, but make no mistake –

Changing the look of your website will not necessarily impact where your site shows up in the search engines.

SEO encompasses multiple factors, and while website speed and functionality are a part of it, they aren't the only things that search engines look at when they rank your website.

There are multiple adjustments you can make to your site to improve user experience and make it more search engine friendly without changing the look at all.

So unless your site is built entirely on Flash or some other unique circumstance that would require a major change, SEO shouldn't be the only reason you redesign your website.

"We Want the Latest Technology"

While having the newest technology available on your website can be exciting, any major change is best made when you have a plan for how it will improve conversions or improve the user experience.

A prime example:

Wistia, an online video hosting company for businesses, recently released a new feature that allows for videos to be embedded and played inside an email. When they announced this new feature, they made a point of admitting that they wouldn't be using it in their own email campaigns.

The reason?

Getting people to visit their website (and view additional videos after the first one) is more valuable to Wistia and their customers than being able to use the latest technology available.

So before you decide on a full-scale redesign for your website based on incorporating new technology, have a clear understanding of how that technology will help your website grow and succeed.

Your Current Website Is Meeting/Exceeding KPIs

If your current website is performing well, there is absolutely zero reason for a full website redesign. Instead, consider A/B testing or multivariate testing to increase conversions on your site.

While you may still make changes to the design during the tests, the more limited scope will ensure that you don't disrupt a profitable site with large changes that may well cause a drop in performance.

What's Your Reason?

What are some of the questions you ask yourself when you're deciding on whether or not to redesign your website? Let us know and we'll help you decide if a full redesign is really the way to go.

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