When Is It Time To Upgrade Your Website?

 In Client Advice, landing pages, Web Design

It’s a question you probably cringe at the thought of answering; worse, you don’t want to ask a professional web designer if it’s time for fear that they’ll tell you the very thing you don’t want to hear: yes, it’s time to upgrade your website. However, depending on how long it’s been since your site got a makeover, that may not be the case. Certainly, there’s always those developers out there who want to make a buck or two (or more) to redesign someone’s website, but by and large, a good designer/developer will take the time to analyze your website and determine if it’s really your website that’s in need of an upgrade or merely how you are using it.

I often hear “Yeah, we were thinking about upgrading our website” (even though that may not be true, it’s a non-committal statement to ward off any sales pitches) or even the “We don’t have the money to upgrade our website right now” (which is a bit of a cop-out, where it shows that their website isn’t important enough to spend time or money on). The truth of the matter is, your website is worthy of both your money and your attention and should be upDATED frequently, while an upGRADE may not be necessary.

So, how do you know when it’s time to overhaul your 24/7 money maker? Here are a few instances where I’d recommend an upgrade this year:

1. Your Website Was Built in Flash

Flash based websites back in the day were awesome. They were slick, cool and really showed that your business was using the latest in technology. And then smart phones came in. And tablets. And other mobile devices.  Flash died a horrible death at the very least, half a decade ago. And, with it, all of those cool sites that were built using it. Not so cool now,  huh?  Why is being usable via mobile devices important? Even if your customer base doesn’t traditionally use mobile devices, you’ll still want to dump Flash because most of the major browsers (including Chrome, Firefox and even Internet Explorer) have announced that they will stop supporting Flash in the coming year. Google won’t even index your site if it is built in Flash. Long story short, it’s time for a rebuild if your site is currently using or built in Flash.

2. Your Website Is Not Responsive or Mobile-Friendly

Responsive web design is everywhere and like what was stated above, Google will give indexing preference to sites that are mobile friendly going forward. What exactly is “responsive” web design? In short, it’s a method of web design where a single site is designed to “respond” to the viewport of the device that is viewing it AND look good on each device and orientation.  Previously, some sites were built with a mobile companion site that would adjust based on the device, however, this method of design was not optimized for the device; rather a single mobile design was created for each type of device that wasn’t a desktop browser. Without going too far into the whys and what-fors, mobile sites are not optimal for your business or organization. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly or responsive, you should really get the overhauled and rebuilt soon.

3. Your Website Was Built More Than a Decade Ago

This is probably covered under points 1 and 2, and probably goes without saying, but if your site was built in the early 2000’s, it’s time for look at a redesign. Technology has come a long way in a short amount of time. I have probably redesigned my website 3 or 4 times in the past 10 years to keep up with current trends and technology, to grow as my business has grown and just because I’ve gotten tired of the current design. Yes, I have the means to do it whenever I’d like, but the point is that if your site is out of date, potential customers will assume that your products and services are as well and might not trust you to do whatever it is you do. That, is why it’s important to stay up to date and to change with the times.

Ok, that’s great, Jeff, but what if my situation doesn’t fit one of these three points? Well, that, my friend, means that your site may not need an overhaul or upgrade, you may just need to rethink how you’re using it.

What does that mean? Well, for instance, if your intent is to gain more leads from your site but you’re not currently getting any, maybe you need to adjust your content on your pages so that it helps convert. Maybe you need a call to action. Maybe you need two. Do you have a landing page? Do you drive people to it? If so, how? If those methods aren’t working then try something else. If you’re not currently using landing pages, you probably ought to start. Check out this post on landing pages.

At the end of the day, you need to take a long, hard look at your website and determine if it falls into any of the points above or if it needs to be adjusted to be more effective. You might find that your site just needs some content rewriting and upDATING rather than an upGRADING. If you have any questions about your website, or if you would like us to give you an FREE, honest, assessment on your website, contact us.

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