You may have compelling reasons for needing a new website, but just as many reasons against undertaking a new website project. In this case, a website re-skin may be a worthwhile compromise.
You might have been excited about your website when it was launched, but 4 years later, the site feels old and it doesn’t excite you much anymore. As a website gets older, problems start to present themselves:
- Outdated look – New website styles and designs become prevalent, while older sites start to show their age. A site that looked great a few years ago might now look old and tired. Or maybe it’s the fatigue you experience from looking at your own site every day and it being the same. Either way, it’s common for business owners to feel like their website becomes outdated over time.
- Old software versions – New software versions add new features and fix the problems and bugs of the past. For example, there have been 26 new releases of WordPress in the past year. It’s not always viable (or even advisable) to upgrade the software continuously, but often new versions are created to handle security problems or vulnerabilities that are newly discovered. So having a 3-year-old version of software can expose you to risks.
- Current content is not served well by the design – Your site might have looked great with only a few pages and articles when it was launched. But you’ve been doing the right thing and constantly adding information to your site for your customers to see. Suddenly, you realize the site was never designed to efficiently present the amount of information you have stuffed into it. Time to re-organize!
- Your perspective on your USP evolves – Your business is not the same as it was 3 years ago, so why should your site be? The customer proposition of your business has changed as you’ve talked to hundreds of customers and potential customers over the past couple years. Of course it should change, and your website needs to reflect it.
However, there are plenty of reasons to not want to go through a new website build – it’s not an easy process for a lot of people, and you probably have plenty of other reasons for not wanting to do it, but here’s why you should anyway.
- Good rankings on Google – You have published lots of articles and information pages over the years. Those pages are getting good ranking position on Google and directing people to your site. This is not something you want to risk or throw out.
- So much time already invested – You’ve spend so much effort getting information up on your website over the years. Imagine throwing all that out the window and trying to repeat all that effort.
- Customers have bookmarked your important pages – People save links to specific pages on your site. This might be for their own record, so they can return later (bookmarks) or as published endorsements as they link to your site from their own (backlinks). You don’t want a situation where all this goodwill is lost because none of your old pages are there.
- It can be painful – Creating a website can be a tough process. Even if you’re not doing the actual web design and content writing yourself, it’s an involved process to review material and get other stakeholders involved in the decision process.
So how do you handle this dilemma?
We find many WordJack clients who are in this position a few years after building their original site. An option we sometimes recommend in this case is a website re-skin. This is a process that takes a copy of the existing site and all its content. Then we apply a new look to the site, keeping all the page addresses, images, text, and meta properties the same. The process allows the business to explore a new look for the site without having to throw away all the value in the old website. Your Google rankings won’t change, bookmarks and links to your site will still work, and the process is a lot faster and less painful than starting from scratch. The result can be a modern look, a fully upgraded version of software, all existing information is retained, and the site is better designed to handle all the existing content.
Best yet, if you decide to re-skin your website, your WordJack Marketing Manager can co-ordinate the process to make it as easy as possible for you! Check out an old vs new comparison for a recent website re-skin project we completed for our client, In & Out Moving & Delivery: