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Best Practices for Website Redesign

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When was the last time your business or nonprofit updated its website? If it was more than three years ago, it may be time for a redesign. 

What? But we just spent all that time and money on a new website!

We get it. If you partnered with a web agency, you likely invested $30,000 - $50,000 in your website. If your website is large and complex, your price tag may have been even higher – $75,000 to $100,000.

The good news is that investing in a solid website from the start means a redesign shouldn’t require quite as much time and expense. (Ahem, that’s why it’s important to pick your web agency carefully to ensure they’re a good fit!)

A quick Google search will yield multiple answers to the question: How often should a business redesign its website? One-and-a-half years. Two to three years. At least once every three years. No less than every five years.

So, what’s the magic number?

Unfortunately, there’s no right answer here. But in our experience, it’s best practice to redesign a website every 2-3 years.

That being said, your business or nonprofit can decide when’s the right time by reviewing your website and determining what changes, if any, need to be made.

Is It Time to Redesign?

A website redesign can be time-consuming and costly, depending on the scope, so it probably doesn’t make sense to schedule a redesign every three years like clockwork just because you’ve hit that three-year mark. If not much has changed about your organization or industry, and your content remains current and relevant, you might only need some small updates.

(You should definitely still review your site, though, to make sure it’s updated and functioning at its best. Read more about why you should review your website.) 

Ask yourself the following questions to determine whether or not it’s time for a website redesign:

  1. Has our mission or message evolved? 
  2. Has our industry evolved? 
  3. Is our Google ranking and organic search traffic down?
  4. Are our page conversions down? 

If you answered yes to some or all of these questions, it’s time for a refresh.

Best Practices for Website Redesign

So, you’ve determined it’s time for a redesign, now what? There are a few best practices to keep in mind when you begin the redesign process.

Audit and Analyze First

You don’t have to start from scratch. Take inventory of what’s on your current site, including the names and URLs of each page. Then, review the analytics for each page. Content with high pageviews and significant time on page might be worth keeping or repurposing, whereas content with low pageviews and high bounce rates might be worth rewriting or ditching altogether.

Plan with Your Audience in Mind

Once you’ve decided what to keep and what to toss from your current website, begin thinking about how you want to organize your new website. Consider your audience’s needs – why are they coming to your website in the first place? There may be more than one answer to that question, and that’s OK! Use that information to set clear goals for your website redesign. 

Questions to guide your planning process:

  • What’s the most important information for a visitor to have? 
  • How can we make that information easy to access?
  • Which content makes sense to group together?

Refine Your Messaging

It’s important to be clear about who you are and what you offer, no matter which page a visitor lands on. Refresh your content so that it’s authentic, current, and relevant. 

Here are a few questions to guide your revision:

  • Does your content accurately reflect your mission? 
  • Does the language match your organization’s voice and personality?
  • Does it answer the question(s) your audience is asking? 
  • Do featured products and services match your current offerings?

Design for Inclusion

Your website should be accessible to anyone who wants or needs to use it, regardless of ability or identity. Thoughtful, inclusive design ensures your website adheres to the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines.

For more information on digital accessibility best practices, check out our Ultimate Guide to Web Accessibility.

Choosing the Right Design Partner

Chances are you don’t have a web developer on staff. That’s why companies like Unity Web Agency exist. We build accessible, inclusive, and sustainable websites for nonprofits and impact-driven businesses like yours.

But we know we’re not the right fit for every organization out there. (No agency is!) Because a website redesign is a big deal, you’ll want to partner with an experienced, reputable agency that understands and respects your vision, offers expert advice, and generally gels with your team’s personalities. 

This is so important that we wrote an entire blog post about it: What to Ask Your Website Agency Before Hiring Them.

Keep these questions in your back pocket:

  • What does your agency value?
  • Who have you served in our industry?
  • What does a successful project process look like? 
  • Why should we go with you?

Are You Ready for a Redesign?

We’d love to chat! Click the button below to schedule a quick consultation with our team.