Should I pay for a new website or just make changes to my current website?

featured-medlend-timberwood-v4This is a question that I hear on the phone all the time. It goes like this, “Bay Area Web Solutions”, caller responds, “Hello, I am looking for changes to my website… well actually I am not sure if I should pay for a new website or just make changes to my current web site?.” Generally, if you have to ask, the answer is yes. If you are questioning which you should do, you don’t value your current design highly enough to keep it around. Yet it is the next question that sways clients back to making updates: “How much is a new site compared to 5 hours of changes?”

Cost is not the only issue to avoid a redesign. If you like your site, only need a minor changes and will be satisfied with evolutionary changes, not revolutionary changes; a redesign is not for you.

Here are few questions to ask yourself when thinking through the process of a new website vs. making changes to your current website:

If you answer yes to these questions, you need a new website:

      1. Is your website completely ugly and difficult to look at?

 

      2. Is the site impossible to use and difficult to update due to poor code?

 

      3. Are you embarrassed to have your name on it, always saying things like “here is our website address, but do judge us by it, we need to get it updated.”?

 

      4. Are you looking to make structural changes, like moving navigation?

 

      5. Is your budget over $1500

 

    6. Do you want to take advantage of new technologies, such as modern Content Management Systems?

If you answer yes to these questions, you need only to make updates:

      1. Does your current site meet your Internet goals?

 

      2. Do you get positive comments about the site?

 

      3. Are you proud to show off the current site?

 

      4. Are you looking for simple content changes?

 

      5. Looking to swap out a few images?

 

      6. Wanting to change the color palette?

 

      7. Do you have a budget under $1500?

 

      8. Do you find it easy to make changes to the site?

 

    9. Do you rank well for you top key terms and find that you are getting a satisfactory amount of traffic and business from the website?

Cost is not the only issue to avoid a redesign. If you like your site, only need a minor changes and will be satisfied with evolutionary changes, not revolutionary changes; a redesign is not for you.

Cost considerations

Remember, website updates have a huge work creep aspect to them. Your list of 12 changes will quickly become 20 and the hourly rate that you are paying may creep up on the amount you would have paid for redesign. For example:

Consider what you will be getting with the new website:

1. Modern design to start with, instead of making an older site look modern
2. Better code. Technology changes and so does how websites are built. Starting from scratch will allow for better underlying code.
3. SEO. Clean semantic code is good, going through and updating your content is better, but sitting down and listing off keywords and a holistic search engine marketing approach is best. You can do some of this through updating your current site, but it is best to do it with a new site.
4. Easier to make changes in the future
Putting a dress on a pig is not going to help, but throwing away an asset is also a big mistake. Of course I would rather work on a website redesign vs. making changes to the current site, all web designers would, but you need to make this choice on your own, I hope this post will help you make the right decision.

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