As of 2023, the recommendation is to redesign your website every 2 – 3 years.
Whoa! That is pretty darn frequent!
At Ruby Slipper, we strive for our websites to last at least 7 years.
At the 7-year point, countless technological advancements and industry changes have occurred — it’s time for a complete overhaul. Not to mention, it’s always good to revisit your strategic plan, your goals, and your audiences.
Believe it or not, visitors make trust judgments about your organization within 15 seconds of visiting your website. If you have an old and outdated website, some people will question which other things your organization might be pushing to the back burner.
Here are a few ideas to think about…
Tip 1: Keep your content fresh
In order to increase the longevity of your site, websites need tending.
People know when they are visiting a stale website. It has that feeling of an abandoned house in a lonely field. Cobwebs, broken glass, weeds growing between the floorboards.
But, if you keep the windows dusted, the glass clean, sweep the floor, and daisies on the kitchen table… Boy, does that make a difference!
So for your website, make sure you’re adding fresh announcements on the home page, writing new blog articles, highlighting new initiatives and people, and uploading new photos. All of this will breathe life into a webpage.
And remember — update your copyright every year (usually in the footer). An outdated year is a telltale sign that a website is being neglected.
Tip 2: Research changes in tech and design
Do you remember when the web was born?
Web pages literally mimicked text-heavy brochures, and were loaded with TONS of itty bitty text. Paragraph after paragraph for as long as the mouse could scroll. Plus, screens were one size fits all.
Now devices are as small as your hand or big as a movie screen. And a single site needs to work beautifully on all those screen sizes. This is called responsive design.
Now, people expect information delivered in tiny, bite-sized pieces. Goodbye, overwhelm!
Now, messages should be conveyed with a combo of text, graphics, photos, and videos. Hello, strategic design!
Now, it’s essential to meet accessibility requirements. Enter web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG).
Now, the tech on your site needs to work with the tech on your server. For example, a WordPress theme or plugin needs to work with the latest version of PHP on your server.
Now, Google requires sites to be secure — you can tell a secure website by the “S” in the URL — https://
Now, websites need to load quickly. Optimized images and design elements are key. No one has the time to wait for a long-loading page.
These are just a few of the advancements that have happened in just the past 10 years. Do some research about modern web design, or ask your web designer to talk about emerging trends.
Tip 3: Take steps to plan for the redesign
There are a handful of things to consider when gearing up for a new site.
Research different web designers and interview them — what is their process for ushering organizations through a website build? Take a look at reviews, do people like working with them? We recommend that you reach out to at least three different designers so you can find the best fit for your organization.
Budget for the website redesign — allocate funds and identify people within your organization who will be a part of this crucial marketing effort. Successful website creations include input from both the web design firm and the client.
Choose your web designer wisely. You will be in a partnership with them for the duration of your website. Most web designers do everything they can to make a site that their clients can maintain, but there will be technical areas that will need the web designer to fulfill. Ask how the web designers handle updates and maintenance after the site launches.
Make a list of all the things that bother you about your current site, as well as a list of the things that work well.
Did you redesign your brand? Does your brand need a refresh as well?
Have your goals changed?
Ask your design firm if they have a “Discovery” process. At Ruby Slipper, every project begins with a strategic deep dive. There is no “one-size-fits-all” website — nor is it possible to understand intricate tech components without a thorough investigation. Be prepared to invest time and thought into this stage. Your organization will be well-served by making sure you know how to address your target audience, how to meet your goals, and how technology can help with any heavy lifting.
Here’s a handy checklist – if you answer yes to multiple items, it’s time!
Does your site look outdated?
Does your branding need updating to accurately reflect your organization and appeal to your target audience?
Are you embarrassed by your site? Do you make apologies for it?
Does your site have issues with functioning properly?
Does your competitor have a better site?
Have your organization’s goals changed?
Is your website slow?
Does your site have security and technical issues?
Is your site difficult to manage?
Does your website rank low for search terms (on Google, for example)?
Is your site non-responsive (uses same layout on mobile, tablet, desktop)?
Does your website have outdated content? Too much content? Is it poorly organized?
Thanks so much for reading! We know there is a lot to consider, and hope this has been a helpful guide to determine when it’s time to redesign your site. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!