12 Indications Your Website Needs Refreshing, Redesigning, or an Overhaul
The World Wide Web and all the components that make up a website are constantly changing. Popular features come and go. A top-notch site in 2008, coded with an HTML editor and using the latest Flash platform, seems as prehistoric in 2021 as the 2008 computer used to build the site. Over the years, newer web tools and platforms have risen to replace each preceding generation of technology.
As your audience sees your website as a reflection of your business, it's important to keep your website looking its best and up to date. But how do you know when it's time to refresh, redesign, or overhaul your site?
Does your current website...
- Seem old and boring to your site's visitors, and even you? Does your site have a poor color scheme? Is it cluttered with unorganized content and odd-sized images? Has it been five years or more since your site has had an update? How long has it been since a new post or other content was added? After consulting your site analytics, do you have a high bounce rate? Do you find users navigate away after only a short time on your home page or are there certain pages with infrequent visitors? A professional-looking site with consistent updates will not only keep your visitors interested in your site and build their trust but will boost your site's SEO ranking.
- Have mobile-friendly, responsive design? That is, does your site layout adapt to any size screen your web visitor uses to view your site, whether that device is a desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone? For example, on a desktop, a site might show multiple columns but responds to using a single column for visitors viewing on their phone. If not, it's time for a change. User convenience isn't the only reason to have responsive design. Now that Google ranks sites based on mobile accessibility, a site that isn't optimized for mobile scores lower in SEO rankings.
- Contain lots of obsolete content? Are there dead or broken links? Is there any content that's no longer current or of importance? Does your "About Us" page show staff who are no longer with the company? Does your site still contain a Flash file? Adobe Flash was fantastic in its 2008 heyday. But soon Flash became a target for hackers and malware. For this reason, along with its conflict with search engines and its incompatibility with mobile devices, Flash met its demise. In 2010 Steve Jobs announced HTML 5 would replace Flash in Apple's mobile products. At the end of 2020, Adobe ended support for Flash. In January 2021 all Flash content began to be blocked from sites.
- Pose a security threat? If you're noticing lots of spam in your online forms, or your site has been hacked often, it's time to upgrade. No one should be careless enough to submit personal information online with a five-year-old computer, having security software and patches last updated five years ago. Websites are even more vulnerable when it comes to security. Especially those sites containing databases of client and customer personal information.
- Make it hard for visitors to navigate? Without good navigation, frustrated users will feel lost and confused, seeing no reason to continue viewing the site. Far from its original purpose to encourage sales, an outdated site can hinder potential sales.
- Take a long time to load? Website speed plays a major factor in user interaction. If it takes longer than three seconds for your site to load, a large percentage of visitors will go on to the next search result. Besides potential customer impact, slow sites will negatively affect your SEO rankings.
- Make it difficult to edit or update your content? If you're having difficulties to edit or update your website content, you may need to upgrade or replace the CMS. If your site is still using HTML pages instead of a CMS, it's definitely time to overhaul your site with the latest CMS.
- No longer fit your brand? Has your logo or brand color scheme changed since your last major update? It's only natural that in time, changes to your market and target audience will transform how you present your branding. Your company may have changed its direction and have begun targeting a different or additional audience demographic. Your site needs to reflect a branding that's uniform with all of your marketing platforms, including social media.
- Need newer functions as your business has grown? Such as an eCommerce section to augment your brick-and-mortar store's sales, a makeover of your current eCommerce site, adding a customer service online chat, web-based appointment scheduling, and other tools to boost marketing strategies.
- Stick out like a sore thumb in contrast to your competitors' sites? If their sites offer smoother navigation, cleaner interface, more compelling content, and convenient calls-to-action, you may be at a disadvantage. Any potential customers will flock to sites providing the best user experience (UX).
- Have low rates of conversion? It's wonderful to have visitors locate and engage with your site. But if these numbers aren't converting into customers, the cause could be your website or its content. One or several elements might be missing from your site in order to win conversion. Such as explaining the benefits of choosing your brand over any competitors, social proof, and clear calls-to-action.
- Have no recognition from Google or other search engines? No matter how great of content your site might have, if your site isn't optimized for SEO and mobile, Google won't give your site great search rankings.
Constant maintenance of their web presence is a priority for all successful businesses and organizations. Without continuous effort for its site to remain on the cutting edge, Amazon would still be the small eCommerce store it was in 1998: