Is it time for a new website?
I have been thinking a lot about redesign versus redevelopment recently. For a long while, if a client had budget constraints and an existing WordPress website, we would offer the solution of redesigning some of the templates to update the look and feel of the site rather than offering them a complete rebuild.
The problem with this is that you are simply reworking something that is already probably out of date. Open source software like WordPress (and technology generally) is changing so quickly that even we – as developers – get whip lash occasionally.
I read a web developers blog recently that likened it to investing in a new car. If you have an old car
and you decide to do it up it may look great but it still won’t have have the features of a new model. It also won’t have the warranty and servicing standards you get with a new car.
I agree with this. It often takes longer and can be far more work maintaining an older WordPress site. This is particularly true if you have inherited the site and the previous developer has hardcoded parts of the core thereby destroying any chance of updating to newer versions of WordPress (Happens more than you think!). Offering clients this solution does no one any favours. They still have an old site and now you are responsible for it.
Our responsibility to our clients should be to provide ongoing perspective to digital challenges and craft long-term strategies that solve their business marketing issues. This means that eventually we may have to have a conversation with them about rebuilding as opposed to tweaks and bandaid solutions.
The simple truth is that the most strategic way forward sometimes may not look like the cheapest at that moment – but ultimately it will indeed be the most cost effective and provide the best return on investment if executed correctly.