Older websites face two problems: outdated appearance and outdated infrastructure. If your website looks old, chances are that your infrastructure is outdated as well.
The technology for building and maintaining websites is constantly evolving. As improvements are made, and innovations are introduced, the tools get easier to use. If it's been a few years since you upgraded your website, it's probably time to invest in a better website. Even if your foundation recently had the website totally redesigned, it's still worth taking a look at what your web designer may have missed; a fresh design won't fix a rusted undercarriage. Web designers don't do the same work as web developers.
It's important to distinguish between upgrading your website and redesigning your website. A website upgrade should provide enhanced functionality, improvements to your site-building tools, stronger security, faster response time, and other handy tools. When it's done well a website upgrade makes the back-end of your website much easier to use, helps visitors find information quickly, introduces powerful new features, and can also fix longstanding annoyances you've experienced with your website. The result of an upgrade should be a website that requires less work for you to maintain and may even reduce workload in other areas of your philanthropic work.
A site redesign will focus on bringing a fresh appearance to your website. A good design will help make a good impression, but only if your website already works properly. It's quite possible that your organization just finished a “total website redesign” but that it has been many years since the architecture of your website was upgraded or improved.
It helps to take a critical look at the challenges your organization faces. Do you need a fresh appearance ,or better tools, or both? If the problem with your website is that it is entirely too yellow and the some of the text is difficult to read, then a redesign will help; call a web designer. On the other hand, if the problem with your website is that it's hard to use, insecure, and doesn't connect with other technologies you use, then a website upgrade should be your next move; this is a job for a web developer. When you face website that needs attention in both areas, call the web developers first. You probably wouldn't apply fresh paint to a wall which you're about to knock down and rebuild.
A website redesign is a bit like having an interior decorator come in and do an office make-over. It's still the same office, and you're still the same person, only now the wallpaper looks snappy and you have a matching chenille rug. If you discover that the door to your office doesn't lock properly, the motion-activated lights are always turning off during meetings, and there is a one-foot-wide hole in the floor, over near the water cooler, then an interior decorator wouldn't be able to help you. You shouldn't try to cover the hole with the chenille rug. Have the hole fixed.
OpenSourcery specializes in fixing holes, building powerful tools, and making websites that people love to use. If it's been a few years since your organization has upgraded it's website, then it's probably time to invest in a better website. Drop us a line , we're here to help.