New design technologies are being adapted every few months, they carry improvements in the overall experience of a website visitor (potential customer for most businesses). Why, you ask? New features and visual prowess are rolled out with every major update of both back-end and front-end development languages. Over and above these timely updates, there’s Google’s search engine algorithm, pressuring websites to revamp content and SEO techniques every few months.
So, no matter if you run from it or even dread it, if you don’t revamp your website, you will be left behind in the race to provide the visitors with a good experience. Depending on your niche and your business, things will vary widely from the website visitor’s perspective. All websites are the same in Google’s algorithm’s eyes, and they are keen to push down old websites, which sport irrelevant content, and/or are unappealing.
We know well you already have an idea about the problems above, and that’s why you are here. The cost will vary for how big the scale of your website is, and if you are looking for a complete redesign or just a minor revamp. We will discuss it all thoroughly below, and we will make sure no point is missed. But before we move ahead on the cost, we need to discuss in detail why you would need to revamp your website.
Note: If you already know what pieces a website is broken into, and why specifically you need to revamp them, we suggest you move to part two.
We will discuss the main components of a website in here, even though we will talk in general, it is to be specifically noted that all these points need not be revamped in conjunction, or even in a specific order. It is up to you about what you want to revamp on your website, and you are going to need different developers/executives for different components.
If you are making an impulsive decision about revamping your website, we suggest you don’t. Especially in the case of websites, people believe change is always good, however, it can wreak havoc for some business types. It is up to your image in your users’ eyes, people might actually not like the change, it is all about how well you know what your customers want.
Let’s begin with the main components of a website, and why you may need to revamp them.
1. Front end (visual revamp)
There could be so many reasons for it to come down to this. Technology and the world are advancing at a really rapid rate, to keep up one would need to revamp their website designs too. Elements are being revolutionized daily, nobody even gave a thought in the last decade, about using the internet on mobiles, but look where we are now.
Just from the above example, Google’s algorithm updates are hitting hard on websites with no proper mobile support. Google tends to maintain a proper standard and advance things in due time, by simple methods or even by force, if necessary. Sometimes, even if you don’t want to, you will have to revamp your front end to stay ahead in the race to top position in Google’s SERPs.
Another reason could be a planned rebranding or simply feedback from customers about adding or subtracting something. To add or subtract functions, you will need both a visual and a back end revamp, which would also be the case whenever you need to change wireframe or change functions.
2. Back end (functional revamp)
The foremost reason is scalability issues, which would literally force you to revamp, or rather rebuild, the complete back end. Back end is the heart of your website, without it, the website wouldn’t even be live. In case you used pre-built CMS on your website, there would be new features added with every update, you might need to revamp the back end to use them.
WordPress is one of the top contenders of CMSs and has a lot of plugins, for almost everything you would need to manage your CMS. It is a completely different revamp when we consider WordPress, and changing the back end, doesn’t always require knowledge of code. You can essentially change everything in the back end of a pre-made CMS based website by deploying or changing plugins, for the fact, they are actually used to make managing the back end easier.
In case of a completely custom back end, changing or rather revamping things will take a lot more effort. The reason for this is, in almost all cases, one would need expertise in back end web development languages. Maybe you have the proficiency of code, but comprehending even a medium-sized project all by yourself is a feat of its own, let alone modifying it all by yourself.
3. SEO (headings, meta, and tags change)
Much more than how much Google puts in things like mobile compatibility in its search algorithms, they put other things like tags, meta, proper headings, formatting, along with many more things. The umbrella term for getting things right and complying with Google’s algorithm is called SEO. It is done to improve search engine rankings.
A website is the perfect marketing and informational asset for your business, to maintain it to perform on top of its game, you need SEO. If you make changes in the HTML or add or subtract pages on your website, you will have to revamp your SEO as per the new website. SEO is the most revamp hungry part of your website, to accomplish it you will have to change or revamp either of the three points mentioned here.
You will have to do it according to Google, if you have it right when you built the website, you have to do it on every major algorithm update. Note that if you are aiming to make your website rank on top of SERP, you will need to update and revamp SEO and content every few months.
4. Content (website content changes)
The pages of your website rank for the keywords you are targeting, and content play a major part in it. Most SEO techniques are implemented in the lines between content, and to make the most of it the quality, as well as keyword placement, should be at par. What people won’t tell you is, you also need to keep revamping the content, for better SEO results.
The content, apart from an SEO perspective, is supposed to be kept up to date with ongoing trends. The changes in content need to be done with every update of the technology you use, or you are focused on. For other niches, content needs to be revamped at every major change in the market, or on the launch of new products or services.
Depending on your niche, retaining previous writers will cost you less, and in a few cases more, in the long term. Complying with the SEO strategy is a necessity in times like these, in our uber-competitive internet world, so you need a team of SEOs and writers at all times. To be at the top of the SERPs, you will need great quality natural content, which will be updated regularly.
Wrap up of part one
All these points together make your website worth everyone’s while. In fact, all of them will be the ones to help you reach the top of search pages, making organic marketing a piece of cake. Changing one of them tends to have a ripple effect on the other two, but mostly with a minimum effort, you will be right on track.
That is only the case when the changes are small, and if you are only exclusively working on content or SEO, probably very less effect will show on the other two. Proceed with caution if you plan to make major changes or changes in multiple components, it can backfire too, and you certainly don’t want that.
Now you know you need at least 2 (best, but rather expensive case) professionals to revamp your complete website and tie these pieces together. This case is only and only when you are able to find a good full-stack developer and a great writer who knows SEO. Generally, you will need at least a minimum of 4 or more professionals to revamp all components of your website.
The basic idea
Now that we are up to speed on the basic components of a website, we can tentatively discuss how much it would cost to revamp each component based on how you choose to get the job done. The basic idea is to keep in mind the figures you invested while getting your website developed.
We will be talking in percentages, correlating to the original development cost. This measure is taken since this blog is highly generalized, and this is the only way for you to have at least a clear idea, about how much it would cost to revamp your website. We will try to break the project into components, breaking the project into parts would make it much easier to evaluate the total cost.
Each part that needs revamp would cost as much as making a new one or sometimes even more. The percentage of parts you want to be changed, will determine the basic revamp cost, you will have to add the cost to integrate and test the website over and above that.
There are three ways to get the job done, you can do each component, do them in pairs, or the complete website altogether. The main cost of revamping goes to the professional who does it, so that will be one of the deciding factors on the overall cost of revamping your website.
LET’S EVALUATE THE COST TO REVAMP, BASED ON HOW YOU CHOOSE TO DO IT.
1. Doing it yourself
In a practical world, changes in the back end will usually require changes on the front end too, and vice versa. The same goes for SEO and content, both these pairs go hand in hand. So, in the best-case scenario, you could on your own, do one of the two tasks, doing both is almost impossible.
a. Front end & Back end
If you plan to take on both of them, you need the expertise of a good full stack developer. If you aren’t one, it would be certainly difficult in case you are planning on revamping a major, or rather an important portion of your website.
Plan to spend a good portion of your time, if you want to add completely new functionalities. How it affects your regular job in your company is for you to decide, we can only guide you on how much effort or rather the percentage of effort, it would take.
You could, of course, do it all on your own. If you plan to take on the coding and designing both in your hand, the cost would be about 20%-50% of the initial total time spent while building the project.
In case your website is a drag and drop, it would only take a few hours to change themes for a visual (front end part) upgrade. Add on another few to add/remove functional plugins in case you aren’t using a custom CMS, which is the back end part.
b. SEO & Content
Knowing SEO and writing both is like a dream come true for these components. If you somehow have the skill, by all means, you should DIY revamping these components if you have a small website.
Proceed with caution though, major changes in content and SEO would highly affect (which would sometimes be negative) your domain authority and current page rankings. The cost of revamping would be about 25% in the case of content, and about 50% for revamping the SEO.
It would be too naïve to even think about doing it DIY for websites with over 50 pages. Revamping content takes a lot of time, and to get it right is one of the only few ways you can organically market your website.
Even if you can do both things simultaneously, SEO and content writing, both take up a lot of time. Plan with more resources for bigger projects, you can always save your skill for final proofreading.
2. Hiring freelance professionals
Embrace the gig economy and hire freelancers, if you plan to hire for a website revamp. Taking load off your own shoulders might let you focus on more important things in most cases. If you are on a tight budget or don’t have the skills required to DIY, or your website is simply too large to be done the DIY way, hiring freelancers is a great option.
a. Front end & Back end
Freelancers are one of the best, and in many cases, the only option when it comes to front and back end development. Mostly, every custom-built website, even if on top of WordPress, will require technical expertise to revamp. The problem arises when you actually go looking for good freelance developers.
You would find all sorts of developers, at all sorts of hourly prices. On top of that, you will need to manage them on your own or hire a project manager to get the job done. You could find the top of the line full stack developer from India in around 20$ per hour.
But would struggle to find even an average developer in the USA even if you triple the budget to 60$ per hour. So, giving an estimate for getting your website revamped through freelance developers is very tough. Expect to pay an average of 40$ per hour for a complete revamp, and multiply it to the hours of work required.
b. SEO & Content
The funny part in this particular section is, you will have a really hard time to sort out a good SEO or a writer. Finding a writer who knows the depths of SEO is much more like an impossible event, and their per hour rate would be extremely high.
As a rule of thumb, you will have to choose either quality or a low budget. If you had good writers and SEO executives while building your website, consider re-hiring them.
Expect to pay about 20-60% of the original price from when you built the website, for the SEO executives, and 40-100% when considering writers. Like we pointed out above, finding good SEOs and writers is a feat of its own, even in our globally booming gig economy.
You can also actually expect to pay twice, what you did when you got the website built if it wasn’t done right the first time. The only difference between getting it revamped is in SEO’s case, you would already be carrying the list of keywords if you aren’t keen on changing the marketing strategy.
3. Hiring an agency
Don’t have the time to assemble a great team? Too many verticals to focus on? To solve these problems is why there are so many web development companies in the world right now. The cost to hire them is obviously the highest of all our three options, but the ease of mind you will have would be worth it, only if you can afford them.
If you have a medium to large website, you have these three typical options. The first option is to get a quote from the previous agency which built your website if that was the case. The second is hiring an agency to start from scratch learning about your website, and then begin revamping. The third case would be finding a top web development agency and let them handle things further on.
a. Front end & Back end
This is actually a web design & development company’s forte, this is what they do to earn their bread. Even though you will probably have to pay higher than hiring individual freelancers, the overall cost for revamping your website may hover around the same. Finding a good web design agency is the tough part, we suggest you look for them in less developed countries for the maximum bang for the buck.
The experience of a web development company is what matters the most, and it should be the top concern for you. The prices for every component would be widely different, but with web agencies, there is a good possibility to find the top developers for each under one roof. You could also opt for their packages especially built for a complete website revamp, they are usually much cheaper.
Expect to pay upwards of 60% of previous build cost in case you are planning a significant revamp in front and back end. Expect the figure to be even higher if planning for separately getting them done from two agencies. Another reason to choose an agency on top of the other two options is the quality of their software and efficiency to do that in the least time is unmatched.
b. SEO & Content
Like we mentioned in our previous points, both good SEO and content writer executives are very very hard to find. The only way to judge their quality and trustworthiness is by seeing their recent previous projects. Web development agencies mostly have their own great team of SEOs and content writers, because it is one of the most demanded services in the industry.
Finding an agency will also let you sign a legal contract, so trust won’t be an issue anymore. The cost could be up to 10times higher than hiring freelancers, but it does promise top quality, which is a small price to pay if the website is part of your main marketing strategy.
If you already have someone in mind, who has done the job for you before, stick to them. If you are stuck between two options, go with hiring an agency, their writers and SEOs are true professionals. The cost would be higher if you take this option, and we suggest you take a maintenance package too, for both SEO and content.
c. Complete revamp
A complete revamp is practically possible only in this option. Expect costs to rise anywhere above 70%, considering you have chosen an agency to build your website in this past, and your website is already top-notch. The factors that affect these metrics are highly based on who (expertise) you hire, the cost varies on the size of the team required, and obviously, the place you hire from, say America vs. India.
Wrap up for part 2
Choosing an option may seem tough here and now, but once you have it all written and sorted, you will know exactly what you have to do. One should make a choice depending on many factors, like cost and viability, the website is the heart of a business and you should do the best you can, to improve it.
If you have the skill, you could take up any of the 4 jobs, a touch of personalization would also take things a notch higher. You would also save on a big penny in a few cases, but it is up to you to decide if this website revamping is your forte. If you have a good budget, and your website is important to your business, invest in it with all your heart.
Hiring an agency is much easier than hiring freelancers while being the best option for a great website. Choose between saving money, top quality, and least turnaround time, you can only get two of them, and you will have a clear answer which way you want to proceed.
Sometimes, creating a completely new design is cheaper than revamping an old one. The figures given in this blog may be a perfect fit for some websites, while maybe 100% off for some. Factors like the place your office is located at, or the place in the world you choose to hire from, will play a very major part in determining the cost to revamp your website.
The only way to predict how much it would exactly cost requires some real groundwork. Many web development agencies would give you a free quote, while for freelancers it’s a tough job to figure out how much would it cost in total. Break the project into small pieces first, you will know the time required as well as how much it will cost.