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Thinking About Redesigning Your Website? Start Here

by Jason Unger, Founder

Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels

Every website has a lifecycle.

When it’s first launched, a new website is usually fast, completely on brand, and follows all of the current best practices. Then – as is inevitable – things change.

Design trends come and go.

Technology gets better.

Your business or organization adapts and grows.

As the first impression your customers often have of your business or mission, your website needs to continue to evolve. It’s like we’ve often said:

Your website is a work of art: never finished, only abandoned.

Most of the changes can happen over time; incremental improvements are often the best way to handle a pivot or a new offer.

But when there’s a major change to your mission, or there are enough significant changes to your goals – it’s time to redesign your website.

How Often Should a Website be Redesigned?

This is a question we’ve heard more than once.

And even though you will find different answers online, we’re not comfortable saying that you have to redesign your site every two to three years.

Frankly, it’s silly to put a timetable on something like this – because it has nothing to do with the calendar.

You should redesign your website when:

  1. Your goals have changed
  2. Your design can’t support modern technology or best practices
  3. Your brand has changed

We’ve seen websites built on good foundations that last for years with only incremental changes over time. And we’ve seen poorly executed websites redesigned after a year or two.

It’s not about how long it’s been since your last redesign – it’s about everything else.

How to Get Started on a Website Redesign

If you’re ready to get started on your website redesign, there’s plenty of work to do before the actual project begins.

Before we begin a website design with a client, we send them a questionnaire to help organize their thoughts and goals.

Questions we ask include:

  • What are your long-term goals and reasons for engaging in a redesign?
  • What is the primary goal of the website? Are there secondary and/or tertiary goals? If so, what are they?
  • What feeling or message do you want the site to convey?
  • Are there websites with designs or functionality you like that you want us to look at? What about them appeals to you?
  • What ISN’T the current website doing successfully?

We’ve found that answering this questionnaire gets everyone on the same page; obviously, we need to understand your goals before starting the redesign. But almost as important is getting everyone on your team to be on the same page.

While we ask questions about your brand or your preferred colors and types of imagery, the questions that are usually even more important center around your why.

Why does your website exist? What purpose does it serve? Why does your organization do what it does? How does your website help your organization meet its goals?

You can’t jump into a website redesign without figuring out where you’re going and why you’re going there. Proper planning prevents poor performance.

If we work together on a website redesign, the questionnaire is almost always the first thing we send you. Even if we don’t end up working with you on your website redesign, we’re always happy to share it with you.

Interested in taking a look at the questionnaire? You can download it below. Reach out if you have any questions.

Download Questionnaire

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About Jason Unger

Jason Unger is the Founder of Digital Ink. He built his first website on Geocities, and hasn't looked back since. Digital Ink tells stories for forward-thinking businesses, mission-driven organizations, and marketing and technology agencies in need of a creative and digital partner.

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