This is a question we’re often asked by clients and prospective clients – and to be frank there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer because so much depends on what you do and how people use your website.
To be clear, we’re not referring to information updates here – obviously many interactive sites are updated continually with new information and other content. What we’re discussing here is re-design rather than mere updating – and since that’s a pretty major project, financial constraints may well dictate when and how frequently it is affordable or indeed desirable. On the other hand, it’s just as important to factor in what your metrics are telling you: if your website’s performance in terms of traffic or conversion, for instance, is under par, an investment in redesign is certainly justified because it’s an investment is stimulating renewed interest, new customers and new income.
Of course, that doesn’t answer the question of how often… Well, our view in general is that around four years is a reasonable period – and after a straw poll among colleagues and some online research it appears that most agree. That said, if your site isn’t a responsive one you should be thinking in terms of months rather than years.
Keep up to date.
Beyond that broad consensus, though, the old phrase ‘content is king’ is still relevant. If you’re constantly updating and changing the information on your site, there’s less danger of it getting stale. But the pace of change in the digital world is rapid, so if your content’s fairly ‘samey’ from one month or year to the next, your site can start looking outdated surprisingly quickly. So whether it’s one year or several since your website last got a design overhaul, it’s always worth canvassing opinion across a broad range of people to see what impression it’s making.
a site that gives the faintest impression of stagnation can not only be off-putting – it can actually be damaging.
It may seem superficial, this talk of things getting ‘stale’ – but actually it isn’t. More than ever before, these days your website is a window on your company and how it’s doing. Regardless of the business you’re in, it’s important to be seen to be growing, dynamic and embracing new technology: and a site that gives the faintest impression of stagnation can not only be off-putting – it can actually be damaging.
Let’s not forget the tech.
Aside from the frontend signs of an ageing site, lies the unseen issues behind the scenes! Technology moves fast and the infrastructure of servers (and the platforms that modern database driven websites are built upon) are constantly being updated. This means your site needs to stay up to date to avoid issues that can mean frameworks or plugins failing causing parts (or even worse) all of your site from functioning correctly. Furthermore this can also affect site security and SEO if not properly monitored and addressed.
Get the facts with a proper audit.
With that in mind, even if you don’t leap into action to redesign your site every third year, in our view it’s worth considering an audit to test its performance against a range of criteria, including SEO, lead-generation performance, content quality and its alignment to your current policy and strategies. That’s something any professional web design company can offer – and the resulting report should enlighten you as to whether or not you need to undertake a redesign and, if you do, help you prioritise your budget and target it for maximum improvement. Our range of digital marketing services can help you keep in the know about how well your website is performing against your competitors.