This Old Website: Revisit or Redesign?

Posted by Tim Lancaster | Web Design 101

Once upon a time McDonald’s homepage looked like this. Chevrolet called this their homepage. Compare that look to both companies’ current sites! (McDonald’s, Chevrolet) It can be hard to say whether sexy Flash interfaces, video intros, and animated navigation improve a visitor’s experience or simply waste time and bandwidth … but it’s clear that the web design has never stopped evolving, and design Obviously if your site is still using old-school HTML structures, tiled background .GIFs, and hit counters you’re probably OK with a retro style, but if you operate a commercial website that was designed a few years ago you might be wondering at what point “old and trusted” becomes “old and busted” — and how much a new look is going to cost.

Changing a few button images, modernizing your input fields, and revamping the navigation can make a surprising visual difference with relatively little effort. Even the most successful websites benefit from the occasional tasteful update! A more extensive redesign lets you overhaul your site’s appearance and interface, of course, but it’s also a valuable opportunity to go “under the hood” to add new functionality and optimize your search visibility. Likewise, if you’re looking at adding core functionality to your site, it’s worth seeing how much more it would cost to update the look and feel as well.

Dynamic content management, Flash elements, and organic marketing have all come a long way in the last two to three years. These are powerful tools that many operators have adopted to manage, expand, improve, and publicize their websites, and often adding new abilities can suggest changes to a site’s overall layout or architecture. If you’re concerned that your website is looking a little dated, or if you’d like to take advantage of server technologies that weren’t available a few years ago, talk with your webmaster or designer. Only you can decide whether it’s time for your site to get a makeover, but knowledge about what upgrades are available and the cost of different changes will help you make an informed decision.

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