Home – New Forums Marketing mastery How long before you replaced your website?

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  • #991255
    SteveOz
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    How long were you in business before your original website needed a complete redesign?

    Two years? One year? Six months?

    I’m researching the website design industry and particularly interested because of the number of sites I see bearing little resemblance to the business they purport to represent. Often, it’s not because the site is poor, it’s just that the business has changed direction, or target market, making the website redundant.

    What changed about your business to make a redesign necessary? Was your original website a basic design that quickly became outdated, or did you start out with a design that could be updated as required?

    If you changed your website within two years of business launch, what internal or external factors influenced your decision? And what did the whole exercise cost?

    #1180659
    Dave Gillen – Former FS Concierge
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    Thanks for joining us Steve, and good luck with the research!

    Don’t forget to head over to the “Introduce Yourself” section to say hi too – it tends to help get the collaborative juices flowing. :)

    Dave

    #1180660
    Greg_M
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    I think how often a website is replaced/upgraded is (or should be) in direct proportion to how committed the owner is in integrating an online presence into their business model.

    Most sites I’ve done for micro businesses just sit there and rot i.e. as long as they don’t go down, they’re never touched, have traffic analysed, or used as part of any broader strategy.

    I have had one stand out exception to that – the site was rebuilt 4 times in about 3 years before the business was sold at a profit … not sure what the new owners did.

    The client was a typical micro business, wanted a website but had been scared off by high quotes and was nervous about ROI.

    We started with a free template, a 3 page static site on el cheapo hosting, virtually no copy and a couple of crap images, from memory about $200 (and that’s all it was worth). But it did work, the site got traffic he got solid leads, something his expensive online Yellow Pages never did, plus it beat same in organic search for what he wanted.

    With some proof of ROI, Yellow Pages was dumped and a larger static site with better copy and bespoke images was built (better quality paid theme template). The instruction was, “keep it under a grand”, from memory it went a little over without complaint.

    Traffic and referrals/leads increased and the client was convinced it was a critical part of his business and started paying more attention to Google analytics …

    There was also a subtle change in how the client wanted to integrate the site into the business … he sold swimming pools, and lost a lot of time dealing with, and visiting prospects, sorting out selections and what would fit etc. He wanted to drive any enquiry to the site (direct referrals, other marketing) so they had a better idea about what they wanted (and fitted site and budget) BEFORE he visited them, it was also to thin out the tyre kickers.

    This build was a CMS (WordPress on a VPS) lots of content and images, can’t recall the total cost, but probably under 2K … used a paid template (no bespoke design) and we had a lot of the copy and images existing. This site (being on a CMS it was easy) had several further iterations as marketing ideas and equipment suppliers changed. Business volume improved again.

    Analytics started to show a big jump in mobile and tablet traffic, and as the client was/is a mobile junkie he took no convincing he needed a responsive site (the current one was awful on a small screen).

    I no longer wanted the VPS and the WP maintenance was driving me nuts. So for the last iteration it was moved to Squarespace (again in a template , but a responsive one) where it stayed and continued to perform till he sold out.

    I did not notice any kind of organic search ranking deterioration in any of the shifts, only improvement, but some of that may be down to a committed client that understood his market and targeted them in other ways as well.

    My main observation from this was that this guy is typical in some ways. He’s a clever business man, but a digital idiot (I can say that cause I tell him to his face), if his options had been several K to get started he wouldn’t have. By starting small and smart and watching what was happening he’s now educated to the benefits and still has websites for other businesses (integral) and no longer quibbles over money to get what he wants.

    Long post, you can tell I’m having a quiet PM, hope it offers some insights to the research.

    Cheers

    #1180661
    Nick Dorogavtsev
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    Reasons when I would completely redesign my website:
    – Current CMS functionality does not stuffy our needs;
    – Changing company logo (changing colours);
    – Company changing its direction of business (rare but still happens);
    – Company incorporating new key services and current design cannot bring the message across;
    – New strategy with calls to actions when they need to be organically integrated into the design (shopping carts, effective contact forms).

    #1180662
    jobette
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    Some reason why you redesign your website

    1. High bounce rate and low conversion. If the website do not bring the desired conversion rate then redesign it right away.

    2. Design trends – Most website change the structure because they want to become mobile friendly.

    3. In our web dev company. Most client wanted to have redesign after 2 years. They just wanted a new look.

    #1180663
    SteveOz
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    jobette, post: 212090 wrote:
    Some reason why you redesign your website

    1. High bounce rate and low conversion…2. Design trends…3. They just wanted a new look.

    Thanks for this succinct and meaningful summary. It reflects our own findings to a large extent. Tell me, do your clients change their content or just focus on design?

    #1180664
    robertvoy
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    Generally, it’s best to keep improving and optimising your website, tweak it if you like.

    A common workflow by successful marketers is to launch a website or just a landing page with some sort of analytics, like google analytics. You then gather data over some time and see if your website is achieving what it’s set out to.

    If your not getting the kind of results you would like, you then create another version of the site with design decisions based on the data gathered. For example if your home page isn’t getting many conversions through to the services page, you might look at a different way to prompt visitors in that direction.

    This is a really great way to end up with a very successful website. It takes time though, but the thing is that you are not guessing, but you are making decisions based on data.

    #1180665
    arrowwise
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    From a general observation, before the WordPress days, complete site overhauls seemed to happen every 3-4 years. In this current web era, I wonder if this patten will continue.

    The answer in part stems from how much you rely or want to rely on your website to directly build your business. If you do, the tweaks both technically, and cosmetically is an ongoing process, and often an uphill battle to keep up with everything.

    I still know some traditional businesses that do very well without or with minimal web presence. They probably could do better with it, however the attitude is I have more work than I can handle without a website, why would I want one? Surprising yes, but is goes on a lot.

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