To rebuild your website or not? That is the inevitable question. The answer lies in a website audit.
Every website naturally has an expiry date and will need to be redesigned. But often improving your digital properties are more cost-effective than a full redesign.
Knowing your website’s “best before” date depends mainly on two ingredients: the state of its technology and your strategic roadmap. Many organizations don’t have a complete understanding of either.
The impetus for a website redesign is often a new project or a new marketing manager taking over — not based on strategic requirements or shifting technologies. Meanwhile, without a detailed and thorough audit, how can you know what you’re working with?
Armed with detailed and comprehensive audit data, you can maximize your digital budget. Through it, you can know whether a costly website replatforming is needed, a simple reskin to mirror new branding, and everything in between.
A lifecycle approach to redesign
The key to making the most out of your digital budget is looking at your website from a lifecycle perspective. Consider the previous cost of your website and how long you expected it to last. Perhaps it was $200,000 and you expected it to last for three years.
Look at that against when the next major milestone in business or the digital ecosystem will take place. Will you be entering a new area of business in two years? Are you planning to expand your digital strategy to integrate new tools? Is the platform that your website is built on reaching its end of life?
Based on the state of your website, an audit can tell you if it makes more sense to extend your website’s life for another two years through cost-effective improvements, or if it's necessary to upgrade today. If you don't audit your digital properties, you have no way to know if it's possible or not.
A comprehensive audit cuts costs
A deep, comprehensive audit, like the ones we perform, can also help you discover where current technologies are creating higher operational costs, and where improvements can drive operational efficiencies.
While a comprehensive audit can cost between $10,000 and $15,000, the insights it arms you and your agency with can save perhaps $100,000 by staving off an unnecessary replatforming.
Time and again this level of depth helps us maximize client’s digital budgets—even when they need a full redesign. For example, when one of our clients had a redesign planned, knowing their plan to do a major CRM upgrade led us to time efforts so the CRM platform only needed to be integrated once.
What an audit should incorporate
A detailed audit should incorporate issues like portability, security, sustainability and documentation, but also architecture, best practices and performance. It should look at challenges the website is facing now and in the past.
Our audits go beyond even this standard, involving both technical and functional specialists to understand your KPIs, goals, strategy and aspirations, so we can help build a foundation that meets future needs.
There are a multitude of elements that must be looked at: perhaps the website isn’t getting the desired traffic; maybe it needs to be integrated with other business tools; perhaps it’s constantly crashing. We make sure to audit these different aspects of how the website lives inside the digital ecosystem.
Not all audits are equal
Website audits are commonplace. Most website agencies perform them when taking over regular maintenance to have a peek under the hood.
But to make a truly informed decision around whether it’s time for a redesign demands more than the run-of-the-mill audits performed by most agencies. You need a deep dive that looks at architecture, best practices and technical aspects, but also performance and challenges you face, lined up with strategic initiatives you have planned.
We conduct interviews with all your stakeholders to fully understand your pain points and goals, and how your digital properties impact them, performing both technical and functional audits. We not only conduct the standard checkup to determine issues, but provide opportunity analysis, so you can prioritize areas that need to be addressed to make your vision a reality.
We can take our unique approach to website audits because we have a multi-faceted bench of talent—from design to development, and from strategy to execution—who can look long term and provide you with the big picture.
Let us help
Get in touch with one of our experts to find out how we can help you achieve your digital goals while maximizing your budget over a horizon of several years.