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Why Iteration is a Smarter Use of Resources than a Relaunch

Improving your website through short, iterative sprints can increase your return on investment and drive value, not only for you, but for your website users as well.

website iteration

It is very likely that you don’t have to relaunch your website. What you probably need is more iteration, reporting, and support. Relaunching a website can not only be cost-prohibitive but in many cases, unnecessary. 

In most cases, relaunching your website only makes sense when you move your site from one content management system (CMS) to another. You may require a migration  for many different reasons, but you should always consider the “why” before you commit to a time-consuming and costly relaunch project. This is where you should seriously consider iteration—making smaller, continuous improvements to your website, and testing their results—instead of an entire overhaul. 

Escape the Cycle of Relaunching with Incremental Improvements

It is almost impossible to imagine a business that does not have a website as an extension of itself. For most companies, having a website involves brand awareness, which has become key to the online and social media success of their business. Reaching users outside of a face-to-face interaction has never been more integral for cyber prosperity. 

The days of simply “getting a site up” and forgetting about it are long gone. As we—alongside technology—advance, we have to accept that those advances come with upkeep. This may leave you saying,” but I spent all this money on having a website built already!” While this is true, building a website has always been just the beginning of your online journey.

Without the proper care and attention, your website might experience drastic downtimes, slow page loads, or worse, a decline in conversions. This is all avoidable, and it doesn’t mean you need to rebuild your entire online presence. While you instinctively want the best digital experience for you and your business, that doesn’t always have to translate into the most expensive options.

Iteration Is More Cost-Effective

An iterative approach to design and development could actually put some money back into your marketing budget. Weekly, monthly, or custom timeframes for employing a team to improve your website can increase your return on investment (ROI) and provide value not only to you but for your website’s users as well. Whether your site is built on Drupal or WordPress, regularly updating your website is critical for keeping it running smoothly and ensuring you’re maximizing all paths to conversion.

Iteration Means Keeping Pace With Trends 

Regular website iteration will also help you stay on-trend, allowing your site to scale with your business, and most importantly, keep it maximized for conversion! With some pre-planning, you can help your website iterate quickly and stay ahead of the curve, attract new customers, and keep the users you already have coming back.

New and emerging trends include:

It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture by focusing solely on the relaunch event. Be mindful of how you manage your budget, so that it isn’t all spent upfront. Unforeseen issues will arise post-launch that you never considered in the initial scope of work. Make sure you have the budget and resources to continue iterating on your new experience so that it solves both short-term and long-term goals for your business. 

Relaunch or migration projects are typically very time-consuming. It is not outside the realm of possibility that your project could take up to a year to complete. 

Technology moves at a rapid-fire pace. By embracing regular iteration, you can reap the benefits of all that wonderful innovation right away! When you know the goals of not only your website but your business, you can work with an agency to incorporate new features and functionality without relaunching.

Issues with Relaunching

We can all get caught up in the ‘new shiny thing’ sometimes, but often it could be better to refurbish what you have. If you do have to go down the relaunch road, where perhaps you are not properly prepared for that journey, there are a few things to remember when making that decision.

  1. Not every website needs to be redesigned. Growing tired of the look and feel of your website is not a solid reason to relaunch. You can make significant, incremental UX and visual design changes by introducing new fonts, colors, and/or components (like updating the primary navigation system) without relaunching your site. The purpose of a redesign/relaunch is to improve usability, update the brand, and/or ensure the website is up-to-date.

  2. Redesigns/relaunching takes time. If not planned correctly, you could impair your usability and negatively impact valuable components of your website, especially if they are already working as intended.

  3. Be realistic about your budget. Relaunching your website is no small task, as most projects can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $20,000 and can rise as complexity and size increase. Depending on the size of your website, whether it's a migration, redesign, or both, relaunching can come with a hefty price tag.

  4. Ensure a relaunch is something you need and plan from start to finish. If you don’t have the budget to get everything right, you may want to consider making incremental improvements to your website. Regular iteration can provide you with ongoing support, feature implementations, and functionality without a relaunch.

Prioritize Through Iteration, Instead of Relaunching

Making regular site improvements provides an excellent opportunity to grow and evolve your online business without losing your marbles and most of your money! Re-using what you already have can be a smart way to grow your investment.

While website iteration is clearly not free, it is a great way to stretch your budget over time, while tackling tasks through a well-thought-out plan. This way, you can prioritize your features and functionalities “on the fly,” as business priorities and preferences often change.

As Cameron Moll wrote in Good Designers Redesign, Great Designers Realign

…the differences between Redesigners and Realigners might be summarized as follows: The desire to redesign is aesthetic-driven, while the desire to realign is purpose-driven. One approach seeks merely to refresh, the other aims to fully reposition and may or may not include a full refresh.

We agree that Moll has said it best—you do not necessarily need a full refresh if you can rejuvenate! Shifting your thinking to learning all you can about your website, as in what is working and what is not, will help you establish and stay on track for your website’s goals and needs. 

This is where a digital agency can be invaluable. They can start working with you to help with questions, give recommendations, and guide you through the steps and processes you need, to keep your website and its users safe and secure. All while introducing new functionality and updates, eliminating the need for a full relaunch.

As a digital agency, Cheeky Monkey Media knows the importance of working with each client also comes with customizing the right solution. Doing a relaunch for a client may not be the right fit. We know big, shiny, and new websites are great but don’t fear going a different way. Collaborating and recommending the best solution to your client is what it is all about.

The bottom line is, we cannot stress how essential website iteration is. Even if you do decide that a relaunch is the best thing for you and your business, tackling the ins and outs of your website does not have to be stressful, time-consuming, or incredibly expensive. 

Still not sure? We would suggest that you begin with a full website audit. Help your site be all it can be. Learn alongside it, then reap the benefits of proactive and productive website improvements! 

Hero image by Halacious on Unsplash.

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