So, you’re thinking about replatforming your website? This is a decision that can have major impacts on your online business. Before committing to re-platforming however, there are a number of things that you should consider.
Why Are You Replatforming Your Website?
The first and most important question to ask yourself is why? Are you looking to improve the appearance of your website? Are certain features of your current website difficult for you or your customers to use? Do you want to improve your customer checkout process to improve your conversion rates? Are you concerned about your website speeds?
All of these problems could potentially be resolved by changing website platform. That said, they may also be resolvable on your existing website platform. Before re-platforming double check if your current website platform can provide the features that you are looking for. The time, costs, and complexity of replatforming your website can be significant so it pays to be sure that re-platforming will be beneficial.
What if you have done your research and your current website platform definitely doesn’t provide what you are looking for? Certain website platforms will be able to offer the new features that you want but it’s worth checking if the other features that you use will be available too. It would be unfortunate to finish the re-platforming process and realise that certain features you relied upon aren’t available.
Check if there are there equivalent plugins or features built into the website platform you are considering. This could include any SEO plugins, preferred payment gateways, inventory management systems, product review systems, the system used to generate your Google Shopping Feed for your Google Shopping Ads, or how you create your Product Catalog for Facebook.
Do You Need A Web Developer To Replatform & Manage Your Website?
You may also need the assistance of a web developer to complete the replatforming and ongoing management of the website. Depending on the size of your business and your requirements, be aware that certain website platforms may allow you to avoid needing a web developer.
From our own experience, Platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce are typically far easier for business owners without web development experience to manage their websites by themselves. As an added bonus, these Platforms also integrate much easier with the Dynamic Creative Ad Platform. If you do replatform to one of these sites, we’re able to make the re-platforming process much more straightforward for your advertising campaigns.
Are you running any advertising campaigns on your current website? Replatforming your website will likely have an impact on your existing campaigns. If you are running Google Shopping Ads, you will need to create a new Google Shopping Feed. For any Google Search Campaigns, you will need to make sure that all of your ad landing pages are updated to the pages on the new website.
Depending on your campaign settings, re-platforming your website ad performance may be impacted. When replatforming your website this will re-set the machine learning Smart Bidding strategies. This is because with new landing pages, the landing page experience will be impacted. It’s normal for campaign performance to drop for a period after replatforming your website while the machines re-learn and get back up to speed.
Do you currently outsource any aspect of your website management or digital advertising? If so, make sure that they are notified well in advance so that they can get everything in place to minimise any disruption to their service.
Is Replatforming Your Website Worth It?
Replatforming your website can be a time-consuming process. Before committing, you should consider how long it will take between the start and end of the new website’s development, and should get these estimates from anyone that you employ to complete the process. Be aware also that with the launch of any new website there are often teething issues when it is first launched so be sure to account for these also.
The costs associated when re-platforming your website can be expensive when factoring in development costs and any ongoing subscription fees. Depending on the size of your business, consider the overall costs of replatforming and your expected benefit. Different website platforms have different subscription costs, so it’s worth finding a platform that meets not only your business requirements but is able to provide these features at a cost right for you.
Learning A New System
Together with the potential timeframes and costs of the replatforming your website, consider who will be using your website once it’s complete. Will you need to train any staff on the new system? Depending on the website that you are currently using, this may be the reason that you are considering re-platforming your website in the first place. Make sure to consider which website Platform makes these processes easier, being aware that you may not only need to teach yourself on the new system, but other staff also.