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How often should I get my business website redesigned?

13 October, 2016
9 min
Redesigning your business website

If you’ve been involved in any business website design before, you’ll know how much time and effort goes into it. Obviously having your website redesigned brings with it cost and a sense of stress, so knowing when to do it is just as important as knowing how.

Why do I need to get my website design updated?

There are endless reasons to get a website updated, but when it comes to a business site we can boil them all down to one thing: money.

Is your website not responsively designed? This needs to be fixed to increase sales from mobile customers.

Is your website design incredibly dated? This can really put people off, as people’s first impressions of a company are often their website.  You website also needs to reflect your current brand and services.

Is you website hard to navigate? This needs to be changed so you can effectively direct users through your sales funnel.

So while the reasons are far ranging, the end goal is the same. And it has to be, considering the money you’ll be putting into a redesign.

What are the benefits?

Now we’ve got the macro benefit out of the way, it’s worth getting into some micro benefits.

Design benefits

One of the big ones is that a redesign gives you the opportunity to entirely rebrand. If it’s been a long time since you’ve significantly changed your site, the chances are it isn’t looking its best.

Website design trends change often and you can get left behind quickly. While it’s important to not get sucked into fads, a modern-looking website sends a good impression to customers – this is especially important if your site is the first thing they see from you.

Usability benefits

On the other hand, you may have conducted some testing and found your site isn’t well-optimised, especially on mobile device. This could be a simple as buttons being too small, or that your whole site isn’t laid out in a logical way.

Getting this right can produce huge improvements very quickly. Conversion rates soon improve and suddenly your website’s traffic becomes much more valuable.

Security benefits

New flaws and weaknesses are discovered all the time. Your content management system might be permeable or you may be lacking the necessary update – either way, if your website is unsafe, so is your business.

Ultimately, the biggest benefits will be found in fixing your current weaknesses. Seek them out and you’ll be heading in the right direction.

Mistakes to watch out for

The problem with a redesign is that you could make things worse. Rushing into a big change is the worst thing you can do.

Like with the fads previously mentioned, it can be easy to throw a lot of effort into a redesign, without really thinking things through. Not only do you need to ask yourself if what you’re changing will benefit you and your specific business, but also how you plan it.

One very useful option is to seek opinions from your users and potential customers. They can give you insight you might otherwise miss and, in the end, it’s them who will be using your site and handing over their cash.

It’s important to include a lot of testing with any redesign as well. As you’ll have realised, this all sounds pretty expensive. This has to play a big role in how often you change your site. So make sure you budget properly straight from the start. This isn’t something you can afford to do on a whim.

You also have to give a big consideration to SEO. It’s all too common for a business to overhaul their site and see their Google rankings crash. If you don’t have the expertise, find someone who does. This is utterly essential if organic search brings in a lot of revenue.

How often then?

As with most things in business, there’s no set answer, other than ‘it depends on you’. Generally, we’d advise conducting a redesign every three years. There’s a number of reasons for that.

First, it’s a somewhat affordable timeline, while regular changes can confuse customers and harm your ability to build a strong and effective brand.

This period also gives you a good amount of time to research and assess the latest website development trends and technology. There has been plenty of sites that have jumped on to bandwagons too soon, only to see them decline in popularity. Your site won’t be one of them.

You’ll also be able to properly assess your own site in this time, finding out what works and what doesn’t, while also hearing the views of your users. Coupling this with a strong plan and time frame, you can ensure success.

In the end, you need to give yourself some breathing space, without leaving things too long. Jump in and you can make a mess, but wait too long and you could get left behind. What you need to do is to be constantly looking at your current site and how it functions. This way, when you’re ready to turn things on their head, you’ll know exactly how to do it.

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Phil de Gruchy

Phil is the owner of Blue Llama, a digital agency in Jersey, Channel Islands. He has worked in digital for most of his career and has a wide knowledge of UX, web and app design and digital marketing.