In my previous post (“Why should I redesign my website?”), I wrote about some of the reasons that a new web design is necessary from time to time. But how often should you invest in fresh website designs?
What is the role of your website?
I've read some blogs suggesting that you should update your web design every 2 years. I think that's impractical and beyond the budget of most small businesses. After all, larger businesses for whom the web plays a major role only take on a major redesign every 2 to 3 years.
It really depends upon who your audience are, how you want to be perceived, what role your website plays in marketing, and who you're in competition with.
The role of your website
If your website is a key part of marketing - perhaps you rely upon it heavily for lead generation or sales – then it's wise to invest in keeping it up-to-date and ensuring that customers have the best possible online experience.
If you want to be credibly perceived as modern and innovative, you should demonstrate a familiarity with the latest presentation standards.
If your competition have all invested in shiny new designs and your site is looking dated by comparison - you don't want to be lagging behind.
How to tell if it's time for a fresh web design
As a very basic guide I think you should redesign your site roughly every 3 to 4 years. But that's just a broad guideline – there are some things you can do to get a feel for whether or not it's time to make that investment.
Review your website performance
Compare to the competition
It may have been a while since you took some time to look at what your competitors are up to (often the case if you've been very busy fulfilling the needs of your existing customers). Look up your competitors' websites. Try to be honest – how does your site stand up against them? If you aim to project a modern feel (for example), yet your site is dated by comparison then it's time to think seriously about a redesign!
Get customer and partner feedback
It can be difficult to get an unbiased feel for how your site compares when the business is “your baby”. Why not ask customers for their opinion? If that's not possible then you can ask partners who know your industry for their honest feedback.
If you're still not sure or would like our professional opinion, please don't hesitate to get in touch: Contact us for a free, no-obligation, website review.
I hope you found this post useful, if you have any feedback please do let us know, either via the comments section or our contact form.
A little research ...
To get a baseline figure we took the websites of a few (as it happens, mostly Bristol-based) organisations and with the help of the Internet Archive, checked how often they'd redesigned over recent years.
- The SS Great Britain: Every 2.75 years (4 times over the last 11 years)
- The BBC: Every 3.3 years (and a minor refresh every 2.5)
- Colston Hall: Every 3.3 years (3 times in last 10 years)
- Aardman: Every 3.4 years a major redesign (5 times since 1999)
- The Bristol LIDO: Every 2.6 years (3 times since 2008)
- Bristol University: Every 2 years (5 times since 2006)