Redesign vs. New website

Jul 22, 2011

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A lot of people may ask what the difference is between a new website and a redesigned website. So here is an article that will give you some clarification. If you have an existing website then it is common to want to give it a new look every so often. However there is a big difference between giving it a simple redesign versus a new website.

New websites

New websites are built from the ground up. This starts with a domain and hosting and then moves forward with a concept. Then, the website is mapped out. After the site is mapped, the designing starts. The designing part is not completed and until a unique look is created and agreed upon. Once the basic design is completed it, it is fine-tuned and then goes live.

If you have an existing website and are thinking you would like to start fresh, but keep the domain and have a new look with new pages then that is an option as well. For some pages that may contain similar content then we would simply redirect the old url’s to the new ones on the new website. This would account for not losing all of the authority of the old pages on the old website.

Redesigned websites

Because the internet has been around for a couple of decades now with websites populating it, there are literally millions if not billions of websites out there that are behind the curve. It cannot be told precisely that how many websites one come across that are good intentioned but are built around the kind of basic HTML that was only popular in 1992. In 1992, a person that was 11 years old and nothing that he was wearing in 1992 would he be wearing today. Website owners should feel the same away about their websites. Appearance is everything and every website needs an update to reflect the most recent decade if not the most recent year. A good website design does not get in the way of its purpose. Instead, the design supports the purpose of the website and the information within it.

Website redesigns — whether for your own website or clients — seem like exciting and interesting projects. It’s challenging to create a new design while retaining the site’s existing brand and content. And for most web designers, these types of challenges are motivating. However, website redesigns are tricky to plan and execute. There are several constraints involved in redesigning a website that might not normally exist if you were to start with a blank canvas. One would even argue that a redesign is often more difficult than starting from scratch because of these boundaries.

When the motivation to redesign an existing site is driven merely by aesthetics, it is believed that the incentive of the redesign initiative is insufficient. There are many costs involved in a website redesign, both to its users and to its owner.

For example, creating a new site navigation scheme or the reconfiguration of the web page layout requires existing users to get used to the new web design. It requires a lot of time, planning and decision-making to ensure that the present content integrates well with the new design. It might also require updating existing content to fit the new design.

The outcome of the redesign project should justify these costs.

Here are a few reasons why you would want to redesign a website

  • The website is not user-friendly.
  • The redesign can increase site profits.
  • When objective information, such as those gathered by data analysis, clearly indicates something is wrong with the design.
  • The redesign can improve the site’s speed and performance.
  • The website is built using outdated web design practices that burden the user experience (table-based layouts, animated GIF backgrounds, outmoded interactions that can be improved using Ajax techniques).
  • It lacks features that, when adopted, can profoundly enhance the user experience.
  • It has information architecture flaws (poor findability, navigation, categorization, etc.).
  • It doesn’t fit with the existing company brand.

The idea of redesigning a website is an alluring one. Before we commit ourselves to this endeavor, we must first take care to plan and think about some important considerations. Mainly, we should determine if a redesign is something we really need to do. A website redesign doesn’t just mean changing the site’s appearance, it’s to add missing features, address design flaws, reorganize the information architecture, and remove unnecessary components to de-clutter the user interface and to enhance functionality.

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