Creating Vs. Redesigning A Website
November 1, 2013
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One of the challenges of working in the web design profession is the variety of work that can come across your desk. In some cases, you will be designing new web sites, completely from scratch. In other cases, you will be doing a redesign on an existing website. Each has its own challenges while sharing similarities with the other.
The Challenges of a Website Redesign
Some would say that redesigning a website is easier than coming up with a completely new design. However, designers must work within some firm constraints when doing a redesign that do not exist with a brand-new website. Here are three examples:
- Keeping existing users happy. A redesign must not be so radically different as to make existing visitors unhappy and less likely to come back.
- Preserve existing search engine rankings. The existing design's value is its ranking on search engines. Careful website redirects along with planning is critical.
- Preserving existing content while adding the opportunity for new. Current content should be reviewed for value and continuity to the new website design.
Doing a website redesign had a level of challenge that many designers thrive on. Being able to deliver a different look to a website, a new navigation map, and adding new features without losing users, previous content, and search engine rankings requires detailed planning, testing, and execution.
The Challenges of a Brand New Website Design
With the challenges of a website redesign, you might think that creating a design from scratch would be easier. However, this also has its challenges.
- Meeting customer design expectations and needs. Customers don't always know what they want. The designer must figure that out while incorporating the latest design and technical innovations.
- Balancing the needs of users and search engines. Users want quality content, nice graphics, and an easy-to-use design. Search engines love keywords, meta tags, and other technical bits. Achieving this balance is critical.
- Finding inspiration for a unique design. Some brands offer natural inspiration for web designs, while others do not.
One of the biggest rewards in doing a brand new design is the fact it is often for a new company just getting started. You are helping a new enterprise get its presence known.
The Same But Different
As you can see, the challenges to redesigning a website versus creating one from scratch are a bit different. Web design is a great field for anyone who wants a challenging, creative, rewarding path.