Knowing when you are ready to completely rebuild an enterprise website can be challenging. A full website rebuild requires significant time, investment and resources. But it also presents opportunities to completely rethink things, consider new platforms, throw out technical debt and position your business for long-term success.
We’ve outlined the questions you need answers to before taking the plunge.
Does your website do what your business needs it to?
It may have ticked all your boxes when it was originally built, but things change and over time your business’ objectives will shift. Has your site been able to keep up? If the answer is ‘no’, a website rebuild may be the right choice. Re-evaluating the goals of your site and how well these align with your business goals is something you should do regularly.
Focusing on your core requirements is both the best way to evaluate whether your current system is suitable, and is the best way to approach any new project.
Does your site do things your business doesn’t need?
As business needs change, you may find that you’re left with a lot of complex functionality that is simply no longer required. This may even make it harder to do the things you do need. It can be tempting to hang on to things, particularly if you’ve spent a lot of time and money on a feature, but when it is no longer required it may be best to let go.
From a maintenance perspective alone, why spend money keeping a feature around if you don’t get any benefit from it? Again, focus only on the things you actually need for your business. It may become apparent how large and complicated your site has become, and when you take this away, a rebuild or switch to a new platform may seem more achievable.
How easy is your site to use?
One important characteristic of enterprise web projects is that administrative and editorial teams need to use the site as part of their job. Even if the site technically does what you need, it may be difficult and time consuming to do so.
Onboarding new users can be frustrating and you may be reliant on key individuals. Consider how much time it takes to do regular tasks. Think about how many people use the site as part of their day to day work. Once you consider the time it takes paid staff to actually use an old and clunky system, a rebuild or move to a new site may not seem so expensive after all.
Can you keep up with the competition?
The web is a fast-moving space, and with it, user expectations of features and functionality can change rapidly. Is your competition doing things on their site that attract people to their business over yours? Are your third-party integrations actually integrating the services your users want and need today? Or is your site simply looking tired and old and not reflecting your business in the way you want it to?
When re-evaluating whether your site does what your business needs it to, take a step back to look at the wider industry and consider where you need to be. A lot can be done to refresh or extend an existing site, but also a rebuild or move to a new platform may enable you to do things that are simply not possible on your current site.
Can you easily update to newer, supported, secure software versions?
Using secure and maintained software is important to keep your business safe, and may even be a regulatory requirement depending on your industry.
Consider the costs of non-compliance if your company data is compromised due to use of outdated and insecure software. Don’t ignore upgrade notices, and look at whether you can update as part of ongoing maintenance. If you cannot update to a secure version, or doing so is too expensive and time consuming, then you may want to consider rebuilding or moving to a new platform.
Still unsure whether you need a refresh or a rebuild? It can help to talk to a trusted partner about the issues your business is currently facing.
Luckily, our Human Made experts love to chat! Let’s grab a coffee and talk WordPress.