When Is It Time for a New Website?
Like every part of your business, it’s important to regularly assess your website. Is it helping you achieve your goals, such as getting more inquiries or boosting your sales? If not, then maybe it’s time to consider a new website. The following signs are potential red flags that your website is in need of an upgrade.
It hasn’t been updated in years
Ideally, you should update your website every few years. Design and technology evolve so quickly nowadays that you can’t afford to not take advantage of the latest developments that will make your site easier to use, more functional, and more secure.
Responsive sites, for example, have been all the rage over the past several years for a good reason: it allows you to deliver a consistent experience to your visitors regardless of the device they’re using (more on that later).
Security is also a major cause for updating your site regularly, especially if you store your customers’ data in your servers. It’s always a question of when, not if, a hacker will try to break into your system and steal your data, so make sure you beef up your defenses regularly.
User experience is poor
More than just the looks, updating your website is all about improving user experience (UX). So when the overall experience is poor, your traffic and sales will definitely suffer as a consequence. Here are tell-tale signs that you need to upgrade your site’s UX:
Sluggish page loads. As a rule of thumb, your website pages should load in two seconds or less. Numerous studies have shown that even several milliseconds added to your page loads are enough to make visitors leave. To make sure your website doesn’t suffer from this problem, you can use free diagnostic tools online, which typically show you what are causing the issue and what you can do about them.
It doesn’t work seamlessly across multiple devices. In a multi-device world, people are accessing websites on their computers, phones, and tablets. Your website’s design must therefore be responsive in order to deliver a consistent content experience whatever device your visitor is using.
This is even more critical when you are an e-commerce website. You must be able to ensure that the items in your customer’s cart are still there even if they switch devices. An abandoned cart functionality, meanwhile, lets you send an email to your customer in case they put an item in a cart but left the page before checking out. This tiny measure can help you transform a potential loss into a sale.
It’s packed with errors. This one’s more general, but typically covers dead links, broken functionalities, and downtimes, all of which could lead to lost sales and customers. Once again, there are plenty of tools that allow you to detect errors, but it also helps to have your team test your website regularly. After all, nothing can be more frustrating than having to click on a link that leads to nowhere, or tapping on a buy button that causes your website to crash.
Navigation is confusing. You want a website that’s as straightforward to navigate as possible. From the time they land on one of your pages, visitors should be able to move around intuitively enough towards your desired goal, whether it’s to sign up for a newsletter or buy a product.
Analytics tools will give you an idea how visitors navigate your website, which you can use as a guide on how to streamline the design. Remove any roadblock that prevents them from going from point A to B, and dragging down with it your sales and customer engagement.
Your brand positioning has changed
Your branding must be consistent across all channels, so your website is no exception. That’s why if you’ve adjusted or overhauled your brand, it only makes sense for you to update your website to reflect this. For the most part, this would deal with the look of your website, but you should also factor in its functionality and messaging. Again, make the website experience lock in tightly with your other assets.
When you change your website goals
Building a new website is largely about improving user experience. And the way to determine how you can improve it is by defining your website goals. Want customers to order more products? Want to make it easier for people to make an inquiry? Want to appear more trustworthy? These are just some of the goals that you might want to achieve by overhauling or building a new website. For example, giving customers the ability to bundle their orders to lower their shipping cost can encourage them to order more. Or adding a contact button or your phone number at your website’s header could make it easier for people to get in touch with you. Becoming more trustworthy, meanwhile, can be about the tone of your copy and the list of customers you work with.