It‘s a dilemma every car owner has experienced at some point in their life: do I keep putting time and money into the used car I’ve driven since college, or do I sell it for what it’s worth and invest in a newer car with a sleek design and modern features? Every company faces a similar predicament, but not with machinery or automobiles. Instead, it’s with their website.

First Impressions

The internet and the ways we navigate it have evolved exponentially since the 1990s when the World Wide Web was first created. Websites used to be simple storefronts for companies, but now serve a much larger purpose as they provide most consumers with the “first impression” of a brand and its mission. This heightens the importance of having a navigable website that leaves consumers happy and impressed with what your company stands for. So when modernizing your website to best reflect your brand’s mission and purpose, how do you decide whether it needs a couple updates or a complete overhaul to its design and function?

Rebranding

The first thing to consider when deciding between an update and an overhaul is whether your company has recently undergone a rebrand. Rebrands often involve a number of changes to the visual look of a company, including its color scheme, logo and structure. If your company has recently been revamped, it may be a good opportunity to rebuild your website from the ground up and give it a new layout to match the new look. That being said, rebranding a company can be expensive, so the additional cost of rebuilding a website may be too much for your company to take on at the same time. It comes down to whether your company can afford to make all of the changes at once.

Function

Another important factor to consider is your website’s functionality. As websites become more and more complex with both the content they offer and the ways in which they can be navigated, the number of ways in which your company can present itself online increases as well. Consumers are easily overwhelmed with websites that feature multiple links, web pages and odd navigation bars, so it is of the utmost importance that user experience is prioritized. Put simply, does your current website makes it easy for users to get from point A to point Z? Or — alternatively — do users need background knowledge on your company in order to navigate the website? If a user without any background knowledge on your company isn’t able to navigate your website and discern your mission within a click or two, there is something wrong and you likely need an overhaul. If there are only a couple navigation errors, or simple features you want to restructure, an update to the website should suffice instead.

Mobile Friendly

The last thing one must consider when deciding whether to update or overhaul a website is the site’s adaptability to mobile devices. As the world becomes increasingly mobile-driven, it is an absolute must that your website adapts to mobile screens. According to Quartz, mobile internet has grown 504% as a portion of consumers’ daily media consumption since 2011. Even crazier, it’s predicted by Statista that there will be 4.68 billion mobile device users across the globe by the end of 2019. Website accessibility on mobile devices is extremely important, so an overhaul may be the right choice if your company has yet to adapt to mobile devices. If you already have a mobile version of your website up and functioning, a simple update or two may suffice.

It can be difficult to discern whether your website needs an update or an overhaul, especially when many digital marketing agencies are eager to suggest an overhaul. While relying on the professional advice of digital marketers is important when making a decision, having the basic knowledge described above will allow you to make an educated decision that isn’t solely reliant on another professional. Keep these considerations in mind when next updating your website and you will be equipped with the necessary information to make the right decision for your company!