Are you tired of feeling trapped in the confines of an underperforming website? This can have far-reaching consequences beyond just impacting sales and revenue (the lifeline of your business). Internally, the repercussions can be felt by your teams as time and effort are wasted on dealing with technical issues, outdated functionalities, and inefficient content management systems. Now you’ve got two problems: sales numbers are dwindling and you have a team that’s low in efficiency and morale.
It’s easy to think that there’s no other option than to embark on a ground-up project of rebuilding your website. What if we tell you that many times, all our clients need is to replatform. We can’t say that for sure until you talk to us (informal chats are our thing) but we can explain the difference so you can decipher it for yourself and make an informed decision with confidence.
What’s the difference between replatforming and rebuilding?
Replatforming falls between two other options: rearchitecting (rebuilding the application completely) and rehosting (moving from on-premise to cloud hosting). In simpler terms, replatforming means migrating a legacy platform to a modern cloud platform as part of its transformation journey.
With replatforming, you can enhance performance, integrate new features, address any technical shortcomings, and make impactful stylistic changes to the front-end. It's a strategic move that allows you to evolve your website without starting from scratch. Think of it as an upgrade that breathes new life into your digital presence, unlocking opportunities for growth.
Rebuilding means starting from a clean slate. As a positive, it's an opportunity to redesign your website's layout, reimagine its user experience, and rebuild its functionalities. You have the freedom to customise every aspect to align perfectly with the needs of your target audience and the needs of your marketing team.
On the flip side, depending on the state of your website, it could be a huge undertaking - one that opens Pandora's box! If you're generally satisfied with the navigation, architecture, design, and content of your website but find the content management system (CMS) to be inadequate, we recommend opting for replatforming instead of a complete rebuild.
Evaluating your current website:
Before deciding whether to replatform or rebuild, it's crucial to evaluate your current website thoroughly. Consider the following:
a. Performance and user experience: Assess the speed, responsiveness, and overall user experience of your website. Are there any issues affecting performance or functionality? Do you have an outdated website that doesn’t utilise the advances in technology available today? Perhaps you have a legacy platform and are experiencing its shortcomings? A greater influx of visitors and a demand for higher speeds can illustrate how older architectures struggle to keep up.
b. Scalability and security: Does your current website have the capability to grow and adapt to increasing traffic and evolving business needs? When functionality doesn’t evolve at the same pace with your growth patterns, it’s time to look towards cloud migration strategies. Is security a concern (especially when faced with vendors that stop providing security patches)?
c. Customisation and flexibility for back-end users: Determine if your current website offers the level of customisation and flexibility required to meet your present and future goals. New integrations and partners appear continuously, offering capabilities that could benefit your business. There is a growing emphasis on delivering an omnichannel experience, as customers increasingly seek a seamless approach when making purchases. With an outdated architecture, however, it’s likely your business can’t accommodate these value drivers.
d. Built for automation: Even if your professional team has adapted through the years, there is still opportunity to increase operational efficiency through automation. Can your business afford to disregard it, as cloud adoption increases amongst competitors?
Replatforming: Enhancing the foundation:
Replatforming involves migrating your website to a new platform while retaining its design, content, and functionality. Here are some reasons why replatforming might be the right choice for you:
a. Cost and time efficiency: Replatforming allows you to improve your website's performance and capabilities without completely starting from scratch. It can save time and costs compared to rebuilding. It can allow you to move away from a perpetual licence to a subscription-based model. Having this flexibility means everything is rolled into one cost including upgrades and hosting of the content (for headless platforms).
b. Technical updates: If your current platform is outdated and lacks necessary features or security updates, replatforming can provide a fresh start with a more advanced platform. With more integrations and partnerships available for your business, there’s room to craft a tailored strategy to elevate the user experience and ensure your website is sustainable for the future.
c. Convenience: Replatforming can be performed without starting from zero, and often a large proportion of the existing architecture can be ported over. Teams are burdened less as replatforming doesn’t have to impact operations.
d. E-commerce Integration: If you operate an online store, replatforming can help integrate new e-commerce features and streamline your sales process.
Rebuilding: Starting fresh:
Rebuilding your website involves starting from scratch, redesigning the layout, content, and functionality. Consider the following situations where rebuilding may be the right choice:
a. Meeting users needs and optimising the journey: To better meet users' needs, it is crucial to understand and optimise the customer journey. By thoroughly analysing each stage of the customer journey, from product discovery to post-purchase support, you can identify pain points and opportunities for improvement.
b. Outdated design: If your website's design feels outdated or fails to align with your brand identity, a complete rebuild can give you the opportunity to create a modern and visually appealing website.
c. Fundamental changes: If your business has undergone significant changes, such as rebranding or shifting your core offerings, rebuilding allows you to reflect these changes accurately.
d. Customisation and unique features: If your current platform restricts your ability to customise or implement unique features, rebuilding offers the freedom to create a tailored solution.
Making the decision:
To make the right choice between replatforming and rebuilding, it's essential to consider the following factors:
a. Goals and objectives: Determine your short-term and long-term goals for your website. Consider which option aligns best with your vision and supports your business objectives.
b. Budget and resources: Evaluate your budget and available resources, including time and expertise. Consider the wider implications of replatforming or rebuilding on your business and how it may affect what’s in the pipeline. Replatforming may be more cost-effective, while rebuilding requires more significant investment.
c. Impact on SEO and rankings: Understand the potential impact on your website's search engine rankings and organic traffic. We fiercely protect SEO for our clients to mitigate any negative consequences during the transition.
d. Understanding the risks: Even a thoroughly mapped out project has long term risks. From small changes that have potential to impact operations down the line, all the way to unforeseen compatibility issues, there’s always the wild card factor. Our clients rely on us to spot these beforehand proving why consulting with a digital expert is the best step forward. While we hope they don’t need it, our Quba Care service offers 24/7 post-support. That’s the type of dedication you should look for in a partner.
Replatforming or rebuilding your website is a significant decision that requires careful analysis. Regardless of which one you choose, you will eventually need to pick a content platform that is right for your organisation: composable, hybrid or monolith. We’ve got guidance for that too.
And through it all, remember to prioritise user experience, performance, and aligning your website with your business objectives. With the right approach and the right partner (hint, that’s us), you can take your online presence to new heights.
Want to chat: Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’lll set up an appointment.
If you’re already sold on replatforming but need to convince the board, read our blog on Replatforming: The case for change.
We also offer a platform audit where we can take a look at your website to give you our tailored advice. Email me at email@example.com and we will set up an appointment.
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