All websites will eventually require to revamp after servicing for years. It's good while it lasted, now, to up the game.
In this post, we'll look at multiple angles of a website revamp that works for your business, and avoids failure, reduce risks of being cheated.
Disclaimer: I am a full-stack Marketing-Designer-Coder at Laman7, we focus on revamping websites and don't take any new websites.
Why Do Website Revamp?
There could be many reasons you need to do revamp.
- Automating business process - When your people are too busy doing emails or answer questions that's already on the website.
- It's Old - Technology progress, codes that works in the past not longer fit the future. Like switching from Windows XP to Windows 10.
- It doesn't represent you - Yeah, sometimes, the design is outdated.
- Your message don't come out right - When you look at your competitors, you think you could do better than them.
- Going through Transformation - Every business transforms, diversify in business and offering or going niche or international.
- Diversify Target Market - Expand into new market, people don't know who you are.
- Diversity Products - Expand your product range.
Need professional advice? Get a website design audit.
Website Revamp vs Redesign
Honestly, there is no difference between website revamp and redesign. It's all in the terminology. It's like saying IR4.0, Decentralise Banking, Disrupt Economy. All these are jargon, designed to make us look smarter.
However, there is a difference between Revamp (or Redesign) and Update.
Website Revamp suggests that you want to overhaul and change everything about the website. Which will cost you a lot more than a website update because it takes months to do it. More on pricing and process later in the post.
Website Update suggests that you need to update certain parts of the website. Change text, image, add form etc. These could be done in days or hours, depending on which intern gets the job.
What is Website Revamping?
Let's go to the meaning, "website" and "revamp".
Website - Well, it's codes that display the content of your website.
Revamp - According to Oxford it's "To renovate, revise, improve or renew";
When combined, it means, taking what's already there and improving to fit your market.
Website Revamping is taking existing website and improve to fit your market.Edwin Masripan.
How do I revamp an existing website?
Alright, I won't go into exact details so I don't bore your with trivial details. You can learn more about website process in one of my posts, 5D Website Design Process.
In short to, revamp website you could do the followings,
- Audit Website - See what's working, what's not.
- Plan Content - Take good content, make it better.
- Design Preference - Understand your design taste and style.
- Design Mockup - You see how your website is going to look like.
- Code - Recode as exact as possible to the mockup
- Launch - Tell everyone about the new website.
- Maintain the website - An important step that not many wants to do.
That's short enough.
Why website revamp is needed?
In the past, there aren't too many websites and competitors. As human becomes mature and good people start their own companies, new business emerge. Along with it, they build websites.
These websites are different from how conventionally a Corporate website was built. It's designed to turn visitors into buyers as opposed to having an online brochure.
So if your website is still a brochure type of website, it's time for you to do something about it before newcomers steal all your good clients.
Website Revamp Checklist
This checklist can help you take off easily.
- Data - Google Analytics and Google Search Console
- High Quality Images - Products, Assets, Vessels, Plants, People etc.
- USP - Unique selling proposition, different than other products.
- Positioning Strategy - What do you want to known as?
- Copywriting - Simple content that doesn't confuse visitors
- Faster Server - So your website loads faster.
- CMS - To easily manage your website.
- Feature Lists - Cool thing about the website.
- Goals - Ultimately, what does the website do?
- User Flow - Design entry and exit points.
- Brand Guidelines - Colors, fonts,
- Information Architecture - Content structure of the website.
- Keyword Wishlist - For SEO
- Hacker Test - Ensure that it's not easily hackable.
Who Do You Need for Website Revamp?
You can do it in house, but their skill set is way different than someone who does this for a living. The list below is not exhaustive.
- Copywriter - To write simple and persuasive content.
- Web Designers - Not graphic designers, but real Web designers.
- Web Developers - Writes the codes
- Most Senior Sales - They have in depth knowledge about customers.
- IT - Mostly to transition and help with Servers and DNS
- Marketer - To plan the flow of the website (optional)
- UX Designer - To plan the information architecture and flow (optional)
Website Revamp Strategy
While there is no straight and exact way to revamp a website, here's a few standard procedures that we follow to reduce risk and problems.
Don't Edit on Live Site
While it's tempting to revamp directly on the website, it'll cause more harm than good. The best is always to copy the website to another environment and start editing from there.
Don't Reinvent the Wheel
Do ask for features that don't exist. If you have never seen anyone implemented that, either you are a genius or it's against the conventional logic. 99% of the time is the latter. Use a proven CMS, don't build one from scratch. It's going to save you a lot of money.
Get to the Point
While it's easy to explain to people about your business, people are not interested in you. They are interested in solving their problems (Scientific Advertising). Get to the point quickly. Why should the visitors consider you? What do you bring to the table?
Keep your copywriting simple and dead-on.
Invest in Good Images
Stock images are cheap, but it has been reused so many times. Cheap photos make the whole website looks cheap. Spend money to hire quality photographers for your website. Then start an image bank so you can reuse your photos on other materials.
While iPhones photos are ok, they could never match a dedicated SLR.
Be Open to Feedbacks from Customers
During the design stage, you'll have the opportunity to share the upcoming design and mockups. The feedback shouldn't come from the top management but from your loyal customers. Because the ones that ultimately pay for your website is not the company, instead the revenue generated from your business.
Accepting feedback does not mean accepting every single word the customer says.
Mindful of High Ranking Page (SEO)
Some pages on the website have high traffic from Google, therefore these pages must be dealt with carefully. The permalink, the speed, the content must be preserved. This can be done using SEO audit tools like Screaming Frog. Then export to excel so you don't lose sight.
Website Revamp Price
When your start a website (for the first time), the reason is different.
- To lock domain name
- To book the 'space'
- To show existing customes you exists.
As time progresses, your business grew. People and interactions have gotten complex.
Website revamp prices vary from one vendor to another depending on the scope and value. The bigger the scope, the more time is required. In terms of value, how much impact will the website bring to the company? x2 Growth? It depends on your strategy.
In general, don't settle for less than 15k.
Detailed understanding about website pricing in this post.
Website Revamp Benefit
Website revamp would give you an instant result of how your new audience perceives you. The goal is not to impress your audience, but to guide you into purchasing from you.
- Improves SEO and Site Performance - Rank higher on Google
- Refreshed Content Strategy - Deeper understanding of the business
- Optimize Website Experience - Designed entry and exit points
- Responsive on all screen - Mobile, tablet etc.
- Cohesive brand identity - So visitors remembers you.
- Improves Security - So its unhackable (easily)
- Inclusive Experience - So visitors don't feel left out.
Who to Hire for Website Revamp?
This is an easy one, hire Laman7! We're an award-winning web design agency in Malaysia.
Ok, maybe we're not on top of the list, you need to do some due diligence. Here are some checklists.
- Pricing. Are they within your budget? In most cases, money isn't the issue. If the new website can bring in 1 Million, 100k sounds like a very good deal.
- Communication. Do they try to understand you? Are you comfortable speaking to them? The best designers do not obey, they challenge your thinking with logic and reasoning.
- Experience. How long have they been in business? Anything longer than 10 years suggests that they are not doing it for the money. Look at their portfolios and see whether they are a match.
- Social Proof. What do existing customers say about them? You can ask for Reference (like in Resume) and check out online reviews.
- Awards. Have they won any awards, TV appearance? They must have been doing it right.
The last thing you want is to hire a digital agency that has no authority in web design. Sure, anyone can design a website. Coding, Copywriting is different principles altogether and a website is a mixture of all three principles.
Anyone can design a website, but what you want is people who can also code and write the website.Edwin Masripan
Should I do RFP for Website Revamp?
No, and here's why.
- Great designers don't have time for RFP. It's true, they would rather spend more time making and perfecting existing projects than spend time doing write ups.
- RFP gets you good price, not value. In most RFP, you'll get what you pay for. In most procurement department the goal has always been to drive cost as low as possible. Unfortunately, looking great is not a pricing issue. People buy Ferrari not for it's speed, but for it's prestige.
- RFP attracts profit driven agency. The jobs will be templated to reduce cost. Interns do most of the work.
So, what's the option? If your plan is to reduce cost, then RFP is the best way to do it. And if your goal is to transform and grow your business, then RFP is not the best option.
Take some time to get to know the web agency better. How they design, what's the process, the results they've delivered. Design solves a unique problem, it's only meant to look good.
How Often to Revamp Website?
There are no exact numbers of when to do a website revamp. There are some cues that you should be aware of.
- Everytime you go through tranformation
- When you diversify your products and target market
- When competition gets tougher
- When tech has become obsolete
- When you have high bounce rate (people leave quickly)
In our experience, companies do it every 4-5 years.