Many companies come to us thinking that they need a new website. But the truth is they often don’t.
We love creating and improving websites for companies, and we’ve written a white paper about planning a new site, “Creating the Perfect Plan For Redesigning Your Website,” to provide you with a great starting point—download it here.
But the one thing we insist on is that there has to be a good reason to redesign your site.
Here are five reasons why you should NOT be thinking about launching a new website.
1. It’s Time for a Change
When we ask new clients why they want a new site, their most common response is that they have had it for a long time.
But just because your website has been around for a while, this is not reason on its own to change it.
Sure, you may be bored of the sight of it—but first-time visitors won’t be.
It’s fine to freshen up your site if you think it is dated. But the key thing we are looking for is why you feel it is dated.
How is its appearance having an effect on your business?
There is no amount of time after which you should get a new website. You could keep it the same for many years without any problems at all.
Visitors are not going to suddenly love your new website so much that they spend more money on it.
So never assume that because you’ve had your site for a long time that it’s due a new look.
2. You Want It to Look Nice
Looking nice is no bad thing (and all of our websites look spectacular!). But it should not be the only reason you get a redesign.
Some designers may try to encourage you to get a refresh and sell you with vague promises about how it will increase your conversions.
But not us.
It all comes down to knowing your data. Is this redesign going to reduce your bounce rates? Increase your conversions? Get more engagement?
How do you know the advantages of redesigning your site if you have no idea what your current website is doing?
Looking smarter, cooler, and sleeker, will not necessarily improve your metrics.
This often happens when you come across a website and think: “Wow!” Perhaps it’s some funky slider, or a new effect you haven’t seen before.
While it does not necessarily hurt to have such features, you still need a reason for them.
Are they going to increase engagement? Conversions? Sales? Or might they have the opposite effect?
Just because something looks cool, it doesn’t mean it will make a positive difference to your business, so be careful about following trends for the sake of it.
If you want a redesign to see if you can improve your metrics, that’s something else. There is nothing wrong with saying: “Our bounce rate is high and we think the web design is the problem.”
That gives us something to go with.
We can then look into it and work out whether the web design is the problem, or something else entirely.
You could find that you redesign the website and see a drop in traffic or increase in bounce rates, but you won’t know unless you already know your data, so it’s critical to have a clear picture of the current website performance to benchmark.
If you don’t have that, then in six months you’ll need another site. You’ll be bored of the appearance of the new one, and you’ll want to refresh it again.
Don’t throw good money away when there is no need to. Change is great, and it can be refreshing. But make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.
3. Your Competitor Has a New Site
This is another bad reason to get a new website.
Sure, it can be frustrating when your competitor gets a brand spanking new website with all the bells and whistles. But you don’t know whether it’s going to help their business.
Why not wait a while and see. Does your traffic and sales go down? Are visitors spending less time on your site? If so, perhaps your competitor’s site is having an effect.
But a new website design on its own will not suddenly make you more competitive. If there is a specific reason, however, that’s different.
For example, you may not currently have a responsive web design. If so, that’s something you’ll want to sort out because it could make you uncompetitive and hurt your SEO.
But just because your competitor has some fancy new sliders, this doesn’t mean anything on its own.
4. You’re Not Getting Enough Traffic
It sucks when you are not getting enough traffic to your website. You get desperate and you want to do something—anything—to sort it out.
But a website redesign is not always the solution.
Sure, web design has a lot to do with good SEO. But if you considered SEO when you got your original design created, there’s a good chance your traffic problem has nothing to do with your design.
Making your site look more attractive is not going to suddenly start generating more traffic. If your site is slow, this could affect your search rankings, and therefore traffic.
But there could be many other reasons why your traffic is low. It could be down to lack of quality content or because you don’t have a link-building strategy in place.
You need to work out the reason or reasons behind your lack of traffic before you set about working on a grand redesign.
5. You’re Not Getting Leads
Again, leads are not always influenced by your web design. Sure, there are a lot of design elements that go into better conversion rate optimization, like setting up an effective landing page with a simple and convincing call to action.
But don’t assume your lack of leads is down to the design.
People tend to get a bit desperate when they are not getting enough leads, and they assume it must be down to the website.
And sometimes it is down to the design.
But again, it could be countless other factors, and often a combination of factors, which you will want to work out first.
Work Out the Real Reasons Behind Your Website’s Issues
Whether you’re bored of your website, your boss is suggesting a redesign on a whim, or your competitor has just launched a new site, don’t rush into the decision to get a redesign.
We’d love to design you a new site if you need one, but make sure it is for the right reasons.
The key question to ask is: How is this redesign going to improve your business?
Once you can answer that question, and you know that redesigning your site is the right decision, we’d love to hear from you.