How long should a website last you?

Any new website launch is exciting for the company, relief for the marketing director and anticipation from the business owners but how long should a website redevelopment last you? The million dollar question that everyone wants to know. There isn’t a really correct answer but certainly if you’re redesigning a year or two later, then something went very wrong with the first design. Did you collaborate effectively on the design and copywriting? Was the usability considered? Did you focus too much on the here and now perhaps? Did you try to become website designers as no one knows your business like yourself, right?

Wrong. Any good website should be built with the future in mind. Technology is constantly changing as is SEO, Analytics and PPC and you need to be constantly changing to stay ahead of the game. Obviously everyone knows that some things are unavoidable such as plug in updates, but as a business, your goals and business objectives should be reviewed with your marketing strategy clearly communicated to ensure your marketing agency is delivering a digital experience with relevant goal and mission designs and functionality at all times.

Before you plunge into a redesign, what should you be looking for with a new agency? The main factor should not be cost, timescales and platform, but communication. Any spec stipulations for a new website needs to be communicated at an early stage so that it is built, not only with current needs in mind, but future goals can be met without the dreaded ‘Back to the whiteboard’ sessions and the aesthetics and functionality seeming so 2016. So before you plunge for a new agency, ask yourself:

  • Has your product or service changed?
  • Are your competitors out ranking you and taking valuable market share?
  • Is the content old and irrelevant?
  • How does your site respond on modern devices?
  • Is your website load time hampered?

With a good partnership with your agency and shared understanding of your customers needs and business goals, incremental adjustments should be made throughout the lifecycle of the project to ensure it’s not an alien, unfamiliar site that pops up every 2 years.

Instead look to adjust as you go and maintain consistency. Look to A/B test and check analytics to adjust your site to meet today's market, remove old fashioned drop shadows, swap stock images for personal photography and adjust the copy to take inspiration from brands that have a common goal.

With small incremental changes, a successful website launch should adapt throughout time but if you find the issues are deeper than aesthetics with abandonment rate high and conversion rates low, perhaps an overhaul should be considered?. The saying if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it, should be ignored in this instance, just because something works, if your customers are not getting the most out of your experience and making snap judgements, find the courage to rub it out and start again.