Considering a new website? Read this first.

There are many different reasons to consider investing in a new website for your company. The most common drivers include continuous poor performance in meeting KPIs, constant challenges with the user experience, an ongoing lack of lead generation and conversion, as well as internal limitations with content management. But how do you know whether to abandon your current site (redesign or rebuild completely) or try to turn things around with a simpler refresh? To help answer that question, we’ve pulled together a list of key actions meant to navigate your organization’s unique situation.

#1— Identify goals for your site. How could a website help achieve overarching business goals, whether that’s through creating awareness amongst a key audience segment, converting qualified leads, selling products or raising donations to support a cause? Does your existing site currently enable you to meet those bottom line objectives? If so, we may be able to focus on making cosmetic or usability improvements to the existing foundation versus starting over with a new build.

#2—Document functionality requirements. What do you need users to be able to accomplish on the site, and how does the site need to integrate with the rest of your organization’s technology stack? If your current site can’t accommodate functional requirements, such as specific accessibility standards or personalization requirements, it may be time for a new build. Additionally, here are a handful of common functionality considerations we weigh when determining how to proceed on a client’s behalf: 

– What actions do you want users to be able to complete on the site?

– What types of marketing or sales integrations and plugins do you anticipate using?

– How does your current technology stack need to interact with the website?

– Are there any authenticated states that need to exist on the site?

– Does the site require any transaction or e-commerce functionality?

– Does the site need to be presented in multiple languages?

– What are your needs around accessibility for the site?

– How dynamic and personalized does the site experience need to be?

– Are there multiple websites that need to be managed?

– Does the site require robust search capabilities?

– How much content does the site hold, what does that content consist of, and how often does it need to be updated?

#3—Account for the investment. Websites, albeit your most critical and powerful marketing tool, require a significant investment, especially when exploring custom solutions, robust functionality, complex user experiences, and enterprise-level builds. To better gauge what this means for your organization, identify what ROI you need the site to generate in order to support your business goals considering your costs per lead, per conversion, and per new client/donor acquisition. If your organization isn’t ready to commit to a greater upfront investment, consider working with an agency partner who can optimize what you have, allowing you to spread out the investment over time.

#4—Take a look at your internal team. Are they empowered to manage the website effectively? Understanding internal capabilities and considering goals around the internal content management experience will help determine if the site you currently have can grow with you or if you need to think about a new backend.

#5—Lastly, is your organization ready? From managing internal stakeholders across marketing, technology, and operations to working with teams and vendors that speak in actual code, the redesign process can pose challenges. Make sure you have the right team members in place to navigate the process, and answer the necessary questions, with whichever path you pursue.

All in all, the decision to build a new website isn’t one that should be made lightly. There are many factors to consider, some of which we’ve outlined here, but our hope is that we provided some useful information to help guide you through the process. So whether you’re looking to optimize what you already have or you’re ready for a new start, we’re here to help and encourage you to reach out.

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