Is your website getting old?

Posted on May 2nd, 2017 to Design

How do you know when it’s time to redesign your site? For some businesses, it’s about staying competitive. Frequent site updates and regular refreshes are part of the general business process. Others basically ride it until the wheels fall off since updates can demand a good portion of the marketing budget.

So, when is the right time to begin your website redesign? And how do you know your website is due for a refresh?

Here’s your answer: If you’re pondering, “Should I update my website?” you probably should. Take a look at seven other signs your website is getting old.

1. Is your website over 3 years old?

This is a good indicator to consider a refresh. The usability aspect of web design is continuously improving. Websites from three years ago may function much less effectively than those of the present. Every year, web standards change and techniques to build sites become more advanced in order to comply with those standards. If your site was developed several years ago, it probably has a lot of unnecessary HTML code and may be slowing down your load speeds. Load speeds impact your rank on Google.

Speaking of Google search results, if your site doesn’t have a responsive design, it’s potentially being penalized and given a lower ranking than your competitors (see #2, below). Plus, chances are, the general look and feel are just outdated at this point.

2. Is your website mobile-friendly?

Responsive web design means that the website reacts to the size of a user’s device, allowing the content to fit nicely on-screen no matter if it’s a phone, tablet, or laptop. A responsive website has a fluid and flexible layout which adjusts according to screen size. Back in 2015, Google rolled out a change to search engine algorithms that factored in a website’s mobile presence as a ranking signal. Websites that are not optimized to be responsive for smaller screens (mobile-friendly) can experience a decline in their search rankings.

Throw in the fact that over 60% of searches come from a mobile device, and it becomes clear that your website MUST be easy to use and read for all visitors. Otherwise, you’re potentially losing more than half of your potential customers due to a non-mobile-friendly website.

3. Is your website intuitive and user-friendly?

How many times have confusing and frustrating layouts and navigation pushed you to bounce from a website as quickly as you arrived? A high bounce rate is never a good sign and may send potential customers in a totally different direction.

Sites with good structure and navigation are consistent, intuitive, and transparent. Good navigation gets your visitors where they want to go quickly and offers them easy access to the breadth and depth of your site’s content. In the same vein, good structure and navigation get your visitors to go where YOU want them to go, whether that’s to sign up for your e-newsletter, check out your latest products, or take advantage of a promotion or sale.

4. Is your website in line with your current brand?

Snap judgments online are the norm. You’ve got approximately half a second to make a good impression. The first thing a site visitor should recognize is they are on the right website for the brand they were searching for. Therefore, each time your company makes a change, your website should reflect that. No matter how major or minor, neglecting to update your site can turn people away. Outdated content, imagery, and general visuals can give visitors the impression they’re not on the right site.

So, do you have a new logo and brand guidelines? Are you offering new products or services? Have you revised the company vision, mission statement, or value proposition? Make sure the website is updated to reflect every change.

5. Is your website in line with competitors?

Investigate your competitors. How are they ranking compared to you? Look at what the best of the best in your niche or industry are doing with their websites that drive the difference. It could be anything from slow load times and lacking SEO to ineffective metadata.

If you’ve fallen behind your competitors or your pages look totally off-the-mark compared to everyone else, an update is a must. Markets change and grow over the years due to changes in the market itself and target audiences. The online brands that have staying power know how to change and grow with the market. If you don’t want to be left in the dust, you have to follow suit.

6. Is your current website difficult to update?

Fact is, what constituted a professional website a few years ago has changed. Technology is ever-evolving, which means things like coding, plug-ins, and site security are always getting more advanced. The best modern website today makes it simple to step in, make adjustments where needed, and go on with your day.

If changing anything about your site—a photo, contact details, content—is a major pain, there’s a huge chance it’s time for an upgrade. You could be running on outdated themes, functions, and plug-ins that are not up-to-date.

7. How quickly does your website load?

Remember that snap judgment, half-second stat from point four? If your website is taking way too long to load, it’s an almost definitive sign that you need to either update the site or make some major changes.

Interesting fact: the optimal conversion rate happens when a website or page loads within 0 to 2 seconds—every added second can drop conversion rates by over 2%. Almost 70% of customers say that page speed affects how willing they are to make a purchase online. Outdated, bulky page elements are notorious for slowing your load time.

Know you need an update but need help?

Sometimes, you just know when it’s time for a new site. Call it a gut feeling or savvy marketing intuition. Even if you can’t quite put a finger on it, you and the rest of your company probably know your site is out of date or isn’t reaching its full potential.

The longer you put off needed changes and improvements, the bigger and more costly the job is going to be when you finally commit. If you already know your business needs a new site, but need help, feel free to reach out to us. Let’s discuss how we can get your website caught up and yield big returns for your brand.

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