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Reskinning Your Website: All You Need to Know About Snakes and Websites


What does your website have in common with a rattlesnake?

It needs to shed its skin from time to time.

Sounds gross, right? Well hear me out…

Kelowna, BC is home to many unique wildlife creatures. One of them being the Northern Pacific Rattlesnake. Rattlesnakes are a member of the Pit Viper family, and although its venomous bites can be fatal, they are naturally shy and usually non-aggressive.

But that doesn’t stop it from striking fear in its name to anyone who’s hiked in the Okanagan.


So what do rattlesnakes and your website have in common? Several times a year these rattlesnakes will shed their outer layer of dead skin to help them grow, and reveal a healthier, more vibrant layer of skin.

Just like a snake shedding its skin, websites also need what’s called a reskin to freshen up every so often.


Website Reskinning

A website reskin isn’t as complex as it sounds. It involves making changes to the CSS code (cascading style sheets) of your site — the existing code that controls your colours, pictures, fonts, and styles.

If you reskin your website, the site structure and underlying code that drive your website’s core functionality don’t change — only the appearance.

A website reskin is like giving your website a makeover; what lies beneath your website platform stays the same.

Some snakes shed their skin as often as twice a month. So how often should you breathe new life into your website?

There’s no timeline that’s the same for every site, although certain events or changes in your business could trigger the perfect time for a reskin. Such as:

1. Your branding changes

If you’ve changed your logo or any other branding elements such as font families or colour schemes, you’ll want your website to match those brand changes. You don’t want customers who’ve seen your new store branding to visit your website and think they’ve come to the wrong place.

2. Your content changes

Whether you’ve had some new photography done, launched a new product, or updated your service offering, any major changes in your business should be reflected in the content of your website. As long as the functionality of your website can handle all the new changes, then a reskin can help your website stay up to date.

3. You’re noticing lower site interest

If your website traffic is lower or bounce rate is higher than usual then it might be time to reskin your website. If your site looks dated, or even if it just looks stale to your returning customers, people aren’t going to engage with your content. Reskinning your website is a great way to keep customers engaged and on their toes by looking fresh.

When these events arise, many businesses jump to the conclusion that they need to redesign their whole website. In reality, a redesign might be more than they need. If a reskin can do the job then it’s definitely a lower investment, and it typically doesn’t take as long to build. But when is reskinning not enough for your brand?


Reskinning vs Redesigning Your Website

Reskinning only touches what’s on the surface of your website, so if you need any structural changes done then a new website redesign (a full rebuild) is your best option.

If there are major functionality issues, or if your website isn’t responsive, a reskin won’t fix your problems.

Usability is another factor when considering whether to reskin or redesign. If your website loads too slow, is confusing to navigate or lacks any other usability features, then it needs a back end redesign.

Every website, blog, and online platform serves a purpose — whether it’s purely informational or is designed to accommodate your customers through a portion of the buyer journey.

If the purpose of your web presence changes, or the buyer journey changes, your website should follow suit with a front end redesign.


Wrapping Up

So, what does an outdated website have in common with a rattlesnake? Does it need to shed its skin, or slither away and make room for a bigger better snake?


Navigator Multimedia – Your Okanagan Website Experts

If you think it’s time to breathe new life into your existing website, or you want to start from scratch, contact Navigator Multimedia for a solution. We’re a Kelowna-based digital marketing firm with 30+ years of history in web design.


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