Responsive Retrofit or New Website - Which is Best for You?

Responsive Retrofit or New Website – Which is Best for Your Business?


If you have a website that hasn’t yet been optimized for mobile, you have a big decision to make, and not doing anything is not an option. The choice becomes – do I retrofit my website for responsive design? Or should I create an entirely new website design that incorporates responsive design from the get-go? There are a couple different factors to consider when determining what’s right for you.

Responsive design retrofits

A responsive design retrofit is just what it sounds like: we take your existing website and make it mobile-friendly. This involves some changes to the website’s template files and the addition of cascading style sheets (CSS3 files) that allow your website to properly adjust to the devices a visitor is viewing it from.

First and most importantly, not all websites will be eligible for a responsive retrofit. Most modern websites will be able to handle the process of changing to a retrofit – however, if pages have outdated programming or static files with on-page styling, there might be a problem. It will either add additional time to the project or will prove a need for a redesign. In general, if your website is 3 years old or less, a responsive retrofit should be possible, but obviously there are some exceptions.

Assuming there’s nothing that would disqualify a responsive retrofit, here’s what to expect. First, the design will only change where necessary to a responsive design that is mobile-friendly. Design elements will not be disrupted if at all possible. The main difference will likely be the menu, and how it appears on a mobile device. Iceberg Web Design can turn around these projects very quickly and in a way that satisfies Google’s mobile-friendly check.

When is it time for a new website?

If it’s been more than 3 years since your website was designed, it’s time to consider a new website with responsive design. Having a responsive design from the onset makes it so your website will appear correctly on any device a person uses. Given that a majority of internet traffic occurs on mobile devices, it’s more important than ever to create websites that take this into account. You’re at an advantage if you have a new business, or are just creating an online presence for your business, because you can start with a responsive design immediately.

A modern website reflects that a business is progressive and contemporary. Regardless of if you qualify for a responsive retrofit or are considering a new website that is optimized for mobile with a responsive design, you really need a modern website to compete in the modern world. Web development costs are an expense that should be built into your marketing plan. Think of it this way… what’s the opportunity cost of lost business if people don’t like the experience they get when trying to access your website on their different devices? Don’t lose someone over something so simple.

How does your website appear on a smartphone?

Take a look at your website as it appears on a mobile device with our smartphone simulator. Do you like what you see? If not, it’s definitely time to consider a change. To see if a responsive retrofit or a new website with responsive design makes more sense for your business, contact our Minneapolis website design company. Our experts will help you to determine what makes the most sense for your website.

About the author

Jessi Gurr is the Master Penguin at Iceberg Web Design. She is an entrepreneur at heart, and loves all aspects of business growth, branding, and team building. Jessi frequently speaks at WordCamps throughout the US and internationally, and holds positions on the board at the Anoka Area Chamber of Commerce and Montessori Renaissance Academy, both in Anoka, MN. In her spare time, she enjoys vegan cooking, organic gardening, and spending time with her two young boys.

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