Signs It's Time to Redesign Your Website

For a lot of people, just the thought of redesigning a website can be daunting. It’s not uncommon to think of a website like one would an appliance or a piece of furniture - just “set it and forget it” - but that frame of thinking doesn’t work in the world of marketing. Especially not digital marketing.

Even if your website doesn’t have obvious issues (more on that below), a recent survey found that 81% of internet users think less of a business if their website isn’t updated, and 39% say they’d think twice about using a brand or service if their website isn’t fresh, user-friendly, and current.

But, even if you’re on the fence about whether or not your website needs to be redesigned, here are some factors that indicate you should seriously consider a website facelift…

Your current website isn’t responsive

If this describes your website, you really don’t need the rest of this article unless you’re just trying to talk yourself into pulling the trigger on a redesign. It's that important.

More than half of website traffic now comes from mobile devices, so not only will users (potential customers) judge you for not having a mobile-friendly website - Google definitely will. Since 2015, Google's organic ranking for web pages has been significantly influenced by whether or not it scales across different screen sizes. Let me restate that for emphasis: Google actively penalizes websites without responsive design.

But beyond Google ranking factors, you’ll lose visitors really quickly if they’re having to zoom in and/or scroll left and right just to read what’s on your pages. Nobody’s got time for that.

In the past, having a dedicated “mobile” website was an acceptable work-around, but now your website needs to offer a consistent user experience across a variety of screen sizes.

Your site is more than 3 years old

Not only does technology change at a mind-numbing speed, but design trends change pretty quickly as well. People who spend any amount of time on the internet will pick up on this pretty quickly, too. If your website looks outdated, maybe you’ll get lucky and people will stay out of nostalgia, but it’s far more likely that they’ll just go elsewhere.

Thanks to advances in technology and inevitable changes in design trends, websites typically have a lifespan of about 2-3 years. If your website is already responsive and your resources are limited, you can stretch that out to maybe 5 years, but that’s an outlier.

Your website is essentially your digital storefront. If the paint is faded and peeling and the tiles are cracked, it’s not going to provide people with a good impression.

Your site has outdated technology

Not all that long ago, Flash was the premier visual web technology, and some of the designs were honestly astonishingly good. But Flash is a resource hog, meaning that it could chew through a phone’s battery charge in a fraction of the time that non-Flash elements would. (That’s why Apple never enabled Flash for the iPhone, in case you ever wondered.)

And Flash is just the most obvious antiquated technology that might be on your site. If your current site is built with an older version of a CMS (content management system) like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, it’s possible that it isn’t compatible with newer versions of server software that are significantly faster than prior versions.

Not only is old technology generally bad for the user experience, it’s often a security problem. Old websites are easy targets for bad actors from across the globe who want to send thousands of Viagra emails every day, piggybacking off of your website to do it.

Oh, and if your website still has a hit counter at the bottom of any page, it’s time to burn that website with fire and redesign that poor thing.

Your site is ranking poorly on search engines

If your current website doesn’t suffer from any of the other maladies listed here, but people can’t find it, it’s not really doing you much service. SEO (the acronym for search engine optimization) is as or more important than having a pretty website, though usability is a common goal.

While it’s possible to juice-up an older website’s SEO to rank better with Google, you’re in a far better position if your website is built with SEO in mind. Again, this isn’t one of those “set it and forget it” scenarios; search engine algorithms change frequently, and sometimes significantly. Your website needs to be built with the flexibility to manage algorithm changes without needing to be rebuilt yet again.

Your site is ugly

Is your website ugly?

This is the one nobody likes talking about. It hurts, even if you didn’t build it yourself.

If you’re ashamed to give your web address to people because somebody’s nephew’s friend built it for you on the cheap, you’re almost better off not having a website at all.

The LAST thing you want for your business or brand is for most of your referral traffic to come from a “25 Ugliest Websites on the Internet” article somewhere. Having an ugly website can reflect one moment of poor judgment, but visitors will judge your brand based on it. The technical term for that phenomenon is “bad outcome.” You don’t want that.

Your site doesn’t match the rest of your current branding

It’s hard to overstate how important brand consistency is in any marketing campaign. It’s more than just a logo: it’s color schemes, fonts, and overall style.

People can become easily confused between two or more brands that offer similar products and often have similar names. Someone should be able to look at an advertisement for your company and your website and immediately know that they belong together.

Due to that mean old “set it and forget it” mentality that a lot of people have toward their websites, ads, brochures, and business cards move along and leave the website behind. Your brand needs to be consistent across all of your marketing materials to instill confidence in your potential customers.

Your site is slow

A slow website is another one of those problems that can bite you in more than one way.

For starters, people using the internet lack patience. (I’m talking about all of us.) Studies show that, if a website hasn’t loaded to the point of being usable in 3 seconds, the user is likely to move on to something else. Three. Seconds.

Adding insult to injury, Google also uses page speed in search rankings. Meaning that, if your website is slow, not only will people have a hard time finding it in the first place, but those who did slog all the way to page 8 of SERPs (search engine results pages) to get to your site, approximately half of them will bail before the first page is finished loading.

Is your website ready for a redesign? Get in touch and we can start planning how to get your website back on track.

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