Todays post is all about the worries, concerns and issues related to website redesign or redesigning an existing (potentially successful) website and how at AME WebTech we can help you to retain all the good points of your current website whilst still maintaining current levels of traffic.
Before we kick off lets quickly go through the top reasons why people want to redesign their website.
- Your current website looks tired, outdated or off trend.
- Your current website doesn’t work well on mobile devices (isn’t responsive)
- Not getting the same level of traffic or getting fewer customers from your website then what you used to get.
- Customers have complained that things are not easy to use or don’t work.
- It isn’t getting listed in Google, Bing or Yahoo
- You have changed your brand, maybe a new colour has been introduced in to your logo
- Company name has changed
These are the top 7 reasons but there are a lot more, simply put your website when it was first designed was built with the current technology and market of the time in mind, as time has moved on so has your market and the technology has probably changed significantly.
Technology changes can include new devices such as smart phones or tablets being used to view your website, the way search engines crawl and index your website has changes significantly over the past 5 years and your current website may not be optimised to take advantage of the changes or even worse be penalised by not being optimised for the latest SEO best practices.
Search engine ranking impact from a website redesign
The main risk I come across fairly often when scoping out for a project to replace an old website is the potential loss to your websites current rank with in google. Normally the people who I have worked with expressing this have a website that ranks pretty well in google but feel their website is no longer user friendly, is not responsive or is looking a bit dated.
Now we all know a website with no visitors is worthless so loosing your rank with the biggest search engine can have a massive hit on your business, so why should a re-design effect your SEO or Google rank?????
If your current website is correctly set up Google will be frequently crawling it; this means that google is looking at the URLs on your website, assessing their content and giving them a rank based on hundreds of factors. If all the URLs on your website suddenly change all your google rankings for your old site will be lost… This however is 100% avoidable.
When redesigning your website we work toward retaining ALL your current URLs especially those that rank highly in google, in cases where this is not possible we create mechanisms to allow google to know that one pages url has changed so next time it comes to crawl your site checking the old URLs it can instantly see the new URL.
Simply overwriting an old website with a new redesigned website
I have come across this numerous times in my career, someone has overridden an old website with a new one… but wait a minute wasn’t that the goal to get a new re-designed website?????
OK on your current website you may have LOADS of content, hundreds of images, dozens of blog posts, news articles and a section about every one who works with you… All of this content has some value even if NO ONE has ever visited those pages…
Now the “Overwriting method” comes in many forms; lets take a couple of examples.
WordPress websites I have seen people simply put a new theme on to their website to change its whole appearance. This is one of the advantages of WordPress however the pages all need to be checked to ensure they are still formatted correctly, make sure no one has hard coded font styles, sizes or colours with in the content that don’t suite the new design or worse don’t appear at all. The new theme may use a different editor i.e. WP Bakery or Squirrel editor as opposed to a simple text editor or Gutenberg that now comes bundled with WordPress.
Another overwrite method is to export the content from your current website and import it to another platform for example going from your old website that was written in WordPress and import it directly in to an Umbraco website. Whilst all websites use HTML to display their content different CMSs use different elements of HTML to display their content, simply importing the content may work for many pages but where more complex element have been used the new website may simply not be suitable for displaying them or worse start breaking pages on your new website.
At AME WebTech we have moved websites between so many different platforms, the methods we use are tailored to the systems we are working with in this case your current website and our redesigned website which are both on different platforms. We do not look for the quickest solution to do a job we look for the most suitable solution.
Content gets rushed for a website redesign
OK this is one for the content writers at your end, when a website is developed at some point all the content is going to need to be added; simply put you need to supply ALL the content for your brand new exciting, modern, snazzy redesigned website.
What can happen is the content is simply not ready as it is taking so much more time to write and find images then you first imagined, ultimately come the go-live date your website redesign is all ready to launch barring your content so the big moment when your new website is ready to go live gets pushed back or your new website is launched with incomplete or not all its content.
At AME WebTech we know content can be hard to get right, we can help by telling you what each page needs or even get you in touch with one of our partner copywriters.
We can also provide schedules for when we need different bits of content giving you smaller deadlines to provide less content as opposed to providing 100 pages of content by 1 week before your new website redesign is due to go live… its just good project management on our part.
Website redesign is something we do every day, we have tools, programs, knowledge and experience not just in redesigning a great new website for your business but also ensuring it retains as much SEO “juice” as possible whilst offering advantages that your older site probably didn’t have to help your website get more popular over time.
Remember your reasons for wanting a new website, they are just as valid as your concerns, most concerns I have come across have already been written in to a scoping document meaning that the work to over come an issue has already been planned in.
Being consultative and listening to the concerns of our customers is the most important thing we do, we hope that we can address any concerns relating to risks of a website redesign.