web design

4 Website Redesign Facts You Must Know

smart-website-redesign
Written by Paul Steinbrueck

Welcome to February! Can you believe we’re already a full month into the new year?

We’ve got a special free offer for you this month. Make sure you read all the way to the bottom to learn more about it.

This month our theme is Website Redesign Month. Our goal this month is to tell you everything you need to know about redesigning a website so you know if your website needs a redesign and if so how to best go about it.

Let’s get right to it with…

Website Resign Fact #1: There are two main reasons to redesign a website.

1) The organization has changed or wants to change. It’s rebranding, offering new services, or wants to bring new content online.

2) Technology and the way people use it has changed. Some recent technology changes that are causing organizations to redesign their websites include the growth of smart phones and tablet use, the increase in video use, growth in ecommerce and online giving, and changes to the way Google ranks websites.

Website Redesign Fact #2: Every website eventually needs to be redesigned.

Because technology and the way people use it is constantly changing, every website will eventually need to be redesigned. Most websites designed a few years ago were not mobile-friendly, so today they are hard for people to use on their phones and getting penalized by Google. If you redesign your website this year, it’s likely within a few years people will be using technology differently and you’ll want a new website to accommodate them.

Website Redesign Fact #3: The typical lifespan of a website design is 2-3 years.

Website Redesign Fact #4: Redesigning a website does not necessarily mean building a completely new website.

Websites built using a content management system (CMS), separate the design from the content. Design elements such as the layout, menu, colors and styling are determined by the theme or template. Therefore, if your website is built using a CMS, your website can be redesigned by changing to a new theme. This can save a tremendous amount of time and effort. It also eliminates other common redesign problems such as missing pages and changing URLs.

Now that you know the facts, here’s what smart organizations do:

1) Prepare for perpetual redesigns. How long do you expect your church, school, ministry or business to exist? 10 years? 30 years? Longer? Even if you only look 10 years into the future, your website is probably going to go through 3-4 redesigns during this period. Short-sighted organizations think, “We need a new website.” Smart organizations think, “We need a new website that can be redesigned regularly, quickly and inexpensively as technology and our organization changes.”

quote-ourchurch-smart-org-prepare-for-perpetual

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2) Build your website in a CMS. As I wrote earlier, when you’re website is built in a content management system, it can be redesigned much more quickly and easily by simply switching to a new theme. We build all our custom designed websites for clients in WordPress, the most popular CMS in the world. Our WP-EZ Website Builder is based on WordPress and includes more 200 different themes, which can be swapped in and out at no extra cost with just a few clicks.

3) Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Here’s a sad scenario we’ve seen several times… We work with a church to build them a new custom site. It looks great, it’s really helping the church live out its mission. A few years later, somebody we’ve never heard of from the church calls us. They say, “The person who you worked with to build the site left the church. The site was looking a bit dated, so we had this other company build us a new website.” We reply, “You know, instead of building a brand new site, we could design a new theme for you and save you 6 months of work and thousands of dollars.” Long pause… then they reply, “Um, well, the new website is already done, so we just need you to cancel the site and transfer the domain name.”

Ugh, what a waste!

Always call your current website provider before you decide to jump ship.

4) Build a good, long-term relationship with website design company. There’s nothing worse than starting over every 2-3 years with a new website company and a new platform. OurChurch.Com has been helping Christian organizations live out their mission online for 20 years. So, whether you opt for a custom Christian/church website design or you build a church website with our WP-EZ Website Builder, you can be sure we’ll be here the next time your website needs a makeover. If you choose another company, just make sure it’s one with a good track record of working with organizations like yours.

Special Free Offer!

Does your website need a redesign?  Sometimes its difficult to know, so this month, we’re offering a free website review.  Complete this form to nominate your website for the Best Christian/Church Websites Award.  We’ll review your site.  If it passes the 10 point checklist, you’ll receive an award.  If not, we’ll give you feedback as to where it needs improvement.

Discuss

  • When was the last time your website was redesigned?
  • Are you considering redesigning your website now?  Why or why not?
  • We’d also love to get your feedback in this month’s survey. Thanks!

About the author

Paul Steinbrueck

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

4 Comments

  • This is essential reading for anyone who owns or is responsible for managing a blog. I recommend you take the advice on board and redesign / update your website.
    I recently redesigned my gamerpunk.net website. It took me a few days during which I installed a new wordpress theme and customised it. I designed a new banner image using Gimp and then created a whole host of new pages and menus.

  • Hi Paul,
    Very timely post, indeed.
    I spent the whole of December redesigning my website to make it brighter, clear and straight to the point. I also got rid of over 12 plugins that I found out were seriously slowing down the website.
    Another way to ‘redesign’ your website is to ‘spruce’ up old posts, by giving them a new headline, additional facts and info. That way, you prop up your top performing keywords, giving you an extra boost in the SERP’s.
    Coming back to my website, I realized that the former website took a little too long to get to the point – for the ‘about’ and blog pages. I wanted to communicate clearly what my call and desire for ministry was. I tweaked those pages, run three mobile-friendly tests and brought it to favorable levels. When I relaunched it in January, my subscriber base shot up 25%!
    So I think I’m on the right track.

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