If you want your website to remain relevant and useful, you should be redesigning it every two or three years. Primary reason to redesign your website is that technology is constantly evolving. As such, your website should also be evolving.
More often than not, modern technology will decide when it’s time for an upgrade; whether it’s your phone, computer, software programs, or website. This is especially true with WordPress websites.
WordPress itself goes through numerous core file upgrades throughout the year, and along with these upgrades, themes and plugins also upgraded. If you’re not keeping up with these changes, at some point in time, your website will no longer function the way it did when it was first launched.
In addition, not keeping your site up-to-date could end up making you look like your out of touch with your target market, or you just don’t care about your website — or your website visitors. Imagine what would happen if someone recommends your services and before contacting you, they do what everyone does; visits your website before calling you. If your website doesn’t function properly, is not mobile responsive, or looks outdated, you most likely just sent them over to one of your competitors.
It’s been researched and proven that a bad website can hurt your business. Like it or not, your business is being judged based on your website.
Is Your WordPress Website Using the New Block Editor?
When WordPress 5.0 was released in December 2018, it came with a new WordPress block editor; Gutenberg. To help millions of WordPress users make the transition from the “Classic” editor to the new Block editor, they had the option of installing the Classic Editor plugin.
WordPress support for the Classic Editor was originally slated to end on December 31, 2021, but was extended until “2024 — or as long as is necessary.” For optimal performance, along with security issues, it’s best practice to always use the latest versions of all plugins, themes, and WordPress core files.
If your website was built before 2018 and using the Classic Editor, instead of Block Editor (Gutenberg), for the sake of keeping your website functioning at its best. If you do decided to redesign your website, select a theme that uses the Block Editor.
If you’ve been using the Classic editor for years, Gutenberg will be a learning curve. Be that as it may, Gutenberg is not going anywhere. Like all new technology, whatever you “used to do” to create pages and posts on your website is no longer what you “will be doing.”
One of the advantages of using the block editor is that it’s now a lot easier to add tables, columns, and other design features to the page. You “used to” either need HTML code, or a plugin to create features. Now you can easily add responsive column blocks and put whatever content you want inside those columns. There are also pre-designed block patterns you can insert into your posts/pages, which means you can use fewer plugins.
Block themes are relatively new, but even so, there are plenty of options to choose from. Most new themes will most likely be built with block templates, and the new full-site editing will become the norm. Redesign your website with the full-site editing features will help future-proof your website.
Old-looking Websites That are Not “Vintage”
Your website can simply look antiquated. Outdated, poorly maintained websites can make a business look less credible. The vast majority of consumers will judge a business’ credibility based on their website. An outdated website looks like you don’t care about your website or your business.
As a general guideline, if your website looks and functions the same as it did 2 (or more) years ago, then it’s time to redesign your website! Aside from having a more modern looking website, a redesign helps to keep your website up-to-date with both technology and search engine algorithms.
Another Clue it’s Time to Redesign Your Website
Another situation where you may need a new website is when the theme you’re using hasn’t been updated by the developer in years and is no longer compatible with the latest version of WordPress. You could continue using the outdated theme, but ultimately there will be a security, or functionality issues.
Your site could also be using plugins for various design elements and no longer works, either because it hasn’t been upgraded by the developer to be compatible with the latest version of WordPress, or the developer has abandoned it.
There’s also the possibility that your web hosing provider does a routine PHP update and your old site is not compatible with the more secure version of PHP. For security purposes, it’s not a good idea to keep running on an outdated version of PHP and MySql just to keep running your outdated website.
How to Redesign Your Website the Easiest Way Possible
The easiest and fastest way to redesign your WordPress website is to build it on a staging site.
A staging is a clone of your live website and is a safe way to make changes to your site, or make plugin updates/additions, before your site goes live. It also allows you to test out plugins before you install them on your website. By using a staging site, you can create your new site while your current site stays online.
Some web host providers have a 1-click solution for creating a staging site. If not, there are WordPress plugins (such as WP Stagecoach, WP Time Capsule, WP Staging, or Blog Vault) available that will create a staging site. Using a quality plugin, from a trusted source, is the easiest way to create your staging site. One of the easiest ways for attackers to compromise your website is to get you to load the malware yourself via a plugin.
You can also manually create a staging site. This method is for advanced users and definitely not as easy as using a plugin. You will need to create a subdomain (i.e. staging.yourdomainname.com), duplicate your current website, create a new WordPress site on your subdomain, and upload your duplicated site to your newly created subdomain. Manually creating a staging site can be a frustrating and time-consuming project
Using your host-based staging environment is a better way for you to redesign your website. You will also have access to their tech support, if needed.
Hiring a professional is the best way to redesign your website, or create a whole new website from the ground up.
When You’re Not Ready to Completely Redesign Your Website
Even if your website was built less than two years ago, you should still be updating it with new content and images. Always strive to keep your website looking fresh and well maintained!
If for no other reason, update your website for security purposes. WordPress is constantly releasing updates to the core files, themes, and plugins. WordPress updates can be as minor as bug fixes, or as major as security patches. One of the reasons WordPress sites get hacked is because the required upgrades were not being done.
What happens if you don’t keep up with the required updates? You run the risk of having an insecure site and/or features that no longer function properly.
If your site is in need of a revamp, now would be the time to redesign your website!