Stop Rebuilding Your Website
A big part of Smooth Fusion’s mission is to make the process of building and maintaining websites and software painless. And while we constantly work to improve the way we rebuild websites to make the process easier on our customers, we know that website rebuilds are kind of like building a house—the finished product is way more exciting than the process to get there.
The typical cycle that companies follow is to redesign and rebuild their website every three to five years. This approach creates several issues, including:
- In the years leading up to the rebuild, the effectiveness of the aging website diminishes as it no longer serves customers and as a result, the business overall is impacted negatively.
- A rebuild can take so much time that between design and launch the company’s needs might have already changed.
- As the website ages, team members become increasingly dissatisfied with the company’s website, and often time is wasted with workarounds used to compensate for the website’s shortcomings.
- The rebuild is expensive and dominates your budget during rebuild years.
- Knowing what a big task the redesign and rebuild will be making many companies put it off even longer, which exacerbates the other issues listed above.
What if you never had to start over from scratch with your website again? What if your website was maintained in such a way that it was consistently up-to-date, fresh, functional, and a vital element of your business’s success?
The Alternative to the Typical Website Rebuild Cycle
Today there is software available to marketers that makes it possible to build a custom digital experience platform (DXP) that meets the unique needs of your company. The same interoperability that allows you to integrate multiple tools and systems to create your company’s digital experience platform also empowers you to take a different approach to your website. Rather than rebuild every few years, you can take an iterative approach of ongoing maintenance and continuous improvement.
Using modern content platforms like Progress Sitefinity means that you never have to migrate content again. The software is continually improved and upgraded, and you can even redesign the front end of your site without starting over from scratch. This continual improvement keeps your integrations with other tools and systems in place and protects the investments you have made across your DXP.
We recommend that you sustain short cycles of ongoing maintenance, which could include anything from refreshing design, to updating branding, to integrating new tools, to adding new functionality.
There are lots of advantages to adopting a maintenance schedule of continuous improvement.
Avoiding the Ups and Downs
Among the most important reasons to adopt an iterative approach is that you avoid the cycle of your website becoming ineffective in the years leading up to the next rebuild. There are hidden costs of an ineffective site. For example, you may be paying employees to handle calls about questions that could be answered by the website. When you finally undertake a complete rebuild, it is a major disruption that has an impact on the consistency of your marketing efforts.
A maintenance schedule of continuous improvement also allows for a more consistent and predictable budget. Marketers often need a significantly increased budget during the years a site is rebuilt. Or in some cases, the website rebuild just gets the lion’s share of the budget available, requiring other activities to be set aside while the site is being rebuilt.
Not Re-inventing the Wheel
When a company rebuilds from scratch, much of the required effort and cost is spent on activities that don’t contribute anything new. For example,
- rebuilding backend and frontend components
- integrations with existing systems may have to be rebuilt
- existing pages must be rebuilt and content must be migrated
- testing must be performed again on the entire site
When rebuilding a website from scratch, it is common for content migration to carry nearly as much cost as the design and site implementation. We would rather you spend time and budget on something that improves your site, rather than on just reloading content you already had.
Reaping What you Sow
When you continually improve your site rather than start over, your marketing efforts will reap the benefits of consistency.
You have worked to improve your site’s SEO. A website rebuild can cause you to lose some of the SEO work you had previously done. While there are ways to protect much of your investment in SEO when you rebuild, your SEO may take a hit. With incremental improvements, it is less likely you would need to take a step backward on the effort you have put into SEO.
Platforms like Progress Sitefinity give you the ability to invest in valuable features such as personalization, using tools like Sitefinity Insight. Website personalization can be tweaked and improved all the time while using tools like Sitefinity Insight to measure and improve the effectiveness of that personalization. The same is true of A/B testing. Giving consistent effort to A/B testing and continually improving your site allows you to reap the benefits of your work to make your messaging drive business for your company.
Other drawbacks of starting from scratch every few years include:
Important improvements for your site often get “saved up” for the new build when those improvements could be producing a return.
Complete rebuilds can lead to customer confusion and increased call center activity.
Content editors and site administrators may experience an expensive learning curve with the launch of a new site.
By adopting a process of continual improvement, you have the opportunity to maintain a close relationship with your web development partner, which allows you to regularly incorporate best practices.
Let Smooth Fusion Help
Your Sitefinity Experts™ at Smooth Fusion specialize in iterative ongoing maintenance. We can’t promise that you won’t ever need or want to start from scratch. But what if you could break the cycle of rebuilding every few years?
If your site is already on Sitefinity, we may be able to help you achieve your goals without starting over. And if your site is not yet on Sitefinity, we can help you design and implement a site that will deliver results for your company for many years to come.