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Re-skinning your website need not be painful!

Posted by Malcolm Iliff, on 14th April 2020

What’s re-skinning all about?

Lizards shed their skin regularly to allow for proper growth. It’s called ecdysis. As your business constantly evolves and grows, the likelihood is that your website needs re-skinning too.

Re-skinning is simply about changing the way your website is presented. It’s a bit like having a makeover! What lies beneath can remain the same, but the presentation layer is simply updated to keep your website looking attractive, and current.

So what do we take into consideration with a re-skin? Well, usually it means updating the visual appearance of the site with new graphics and styling in order to give it a new look and feel. We make it more aesthetically pleasing. For example, we review fonts, colours, the header and footer, menus, graphics and background photography. We don’t re-design the whole site or change its core functionality and architecture. Instead, we retain the existing layout of your website.

What are the indications that you’re ready for a re-skin?

The frequency with which Lizards shed their skin depends on age. That’s not necessarily true of websites!

There are 4 questions you can ask yourself to determine whether you’re ready for a re-skin:

  • Have you recently changed your brand identity?

If your company has recently changed its brand identity, it’s important to reflect this quickly across all your marketing channels. Your online image needs to be consistent if you’re to be taken seriously. If you have a professional looking website, users are likely to respond positively to your online presence and connect with your brand too.

  • Have you introduced new services or updated your offering?

When you change the products and services you offer, this usually results in significant changes to your website’s content and functionality.

If you’re launching your website with new functionality, it often makes sense to launch with a slightly new look too. This simply highlights the changes and reflects your progress and expansion. An exciting new look is likely to trigger a positive reaction from your customers, who are likely to feel subconsciously that the website is easier to use.

  • Is the effectiveness of your site dwindling?

When a lizard is ready to shed his skin, he may exhibit a change in appetite or even refuse food completely! So if you’re finding that the number of your website visitors staying on and actually making use of your site is dwindling, it may also be time for your website to change.

Websites that simply look easier to use e.g. with more obvious buttons or lots of white space, have a higher probability of being used. First impressions certainly count. Websites need to look good, as well as function well.

  • Does your website look a little tired or unprofessional?

We all experience a little wear and tear over the years. Sometimes your website just needs to look a little fresher and up-to-date, and reflect your professional standards! As a minimum, we recommend reviewing the design of your website at least every 2 years.

Won’t it hurt?

The biggest concern of most businesses is that they’ll lose all their previous hard work if they undergo a re-skin. But no, the beauty of quality web design is that with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), the presentation of web pages is treated separately from its content

The long and short of it is that CSS files allow you to quickly update the presentation layer without making fundamental changes to the architecture of your site. You can have different templates for your homepage, landing page, content pages and product detail pages, - and by simply adjusting the CSS files, you can very quickly give your customers a new look and feel to your site.

When is a re-skin not a re-skin?

Re-skins are not a cheap alternative for good design. The assumption is that your website is already running smoothly and functions correctly. If your website isn’t very easy to use, is poorly structured and clunky, no amount of re-skinning will help with that. “You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.”

However, a re-skin is often a quicker, cost-effective and more efficient option than rebuilding a site from scratch. And like all makeovers, you’re bound to feel a spring in your step with your new look!

Like to know more?

If you’d like to know more about how CBJ Digital Ltd can help you with re-skinning (or even rebuilding) your website, please contact us.

We’re here to help!

p.s. By the way, if you do have a pet lizard, and you’d like to know more about how they shed their skin, you might like to visit:

http://animalquestions.org/reptiles/lizards/do-lizards-shed-their-skin

This blog is a modified and updated version of a CBJ Digital blog first published in 2014

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