First of all, we suggest to our clients during the web site creation process that making routine changes is imperative to keep information fresh and attract return users. If things are designed and tools built into the site initially, then a site's effectiveness should last longer. Reviewing web site statistics quarterly or more is also a good idea to point out obvious changes and ways to make the site better without a complete "re-do".
Now, with that said, design trends, technology, and browsers change. It is important to keep your web site visually up to date. There is not magic number to how often design trends change, but they do. No matter how much you loved your site 5 years ago, it is likely not taking advantage of the newest ways to display information and graphic styles. However, when a web site is properly coded, swapping design elements may not require a major overhaul. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) allow design changes in a systematic way.
On the other hand, design preferences also change over time. The company president may have changed and the new president wants different colors. Goals may also shift and as such, the web site design should be adjusted to meet those needs.
Re-design is a big process, but it is exciting and allows companies to make their online presence better and improve things learned from development of their current site.
For a quick online evaluation, check out "Should Redesign?". Submissions are free and others will vote.
Before jumping into a redesign, TBH Creative suggests the following process:
- Evaluate your current web site. What elements do you like and why? - If nothing, then it is definitely time to change. - If there are things you still like, evaluate if small changes can be made around them.
- Look at other web sites that you find effective. Why do you like these sites? Why are they appealing? Then, think about if your current site offers the same things. Keep a list.
- Look at the work and portfolio samples of companies you are considering hiring to help with the redesign. This is a good idea of what your next site might look like, so be sure you like what their style.