Is it time to move on?
Saying goodbye to your website can be like saying goodbye to an old friend, especially if you’ve been using it for a long time and it’s served you well. Unfortunately, there comes a time to let go and move onto better things.
Just like any asset, websites eventually start to fall out of their best years and stop doing the things they need to do. This process often happens slowly, so many people don’t even notice that their site is in decay until they start to wonder where their traffic has gone. To help you decide when the time is right to begin fresh, we’ve collected our top 8 signs that you need a new website.
1. It's old
Old websites just don’t work as well as new websites. They’re slower, less compatible with browsers, and are often just plain ugly. According to Moore’s law, computing power roughly doubles every 18 months. This means that websites made ten, five, or even three years ago were made without features which could add a lot of value and potential to them.
Seen a cool module on a competitor’s website that you would like for yourself? Is there a better design that you’ve had your eyes on? Is your website’s build just plain not in style anymore? There’s plenty that can be done to bring your old site into line with current standards. Start writing things down when you see them to start making a plan for your new site
2. It's slow
Page speed is one of Google’s highest-ranking SEO factors. Google knows that people want a good experience when surfing the internet, and it knows that the average person has an attention span of about 3 seconds, after which they’ll click away from a site if it hasn’t loaded. To give your average browser what they want, Google penalises listings which don’t respond fast enough by sending them to a lower position on the search results page.
Speed isn’t necessarily a hard sign (since there’s plenty that a seasoned professional can do to speed up your website), but there eventually comes a point when a slow site just can’t go any faster. At that point, it’s a good idea to start thinking about building a new site with better, faster features to keep things running quickly and smoothly.
3. It's difficult to navigate
There’s plenty of reasons a site can become difficult to navigate. Maybe it just has an old menu structure. Maybe it used to be easy to navigate, but over time you’ve added more and more content and it’s now starting to look like a jumbled mess. It might be fine for you, but a potential client is likely to give up on your site if they can’t find what they want quickly.
It can be difficult to give an unbiased assessment of your own site’s navigability (especially if you know it well), so the best way to test is with a friend who hasn’t used your site before. Show them your site’s homepage and task them with finding information on a certain subject. If they had to click through more than two menus, had to visit multiple pages, took more than a few seconds to find it, or got lost completely, then it’s time to look at another, better-structured approach.
4. It's hard to update
If you are producing the content to put on your website, you should be able to at least add it on to the site without too much help. It’s completely fine if you need your web developer to walk you through the upload process, but if your site is too difficult for you to operate and update without help from a professional (or your current professional help isn’t letting you update it on your own) you should probably consider investing in an easier solution.
5. It's not mobile friendly
Did you know on average over 50% of web searches now come from mobile devices? In fact, 72% of people access the internet at least as often via a smartphone as computer. Google priorities mobile-friendly websites over ones that aren’t, and even offers a possibility for sites to have accelerated mobile pages (or AMPs) which can drastically boost their position in search results. It loves sites that can mould themselves to fit perfectly on any screen without losing functionality.
Take a look at your website on your phone and give it a self-assessment. Does it take a while to load? Do you have to zoom in and squint to read the text? Are the navigation menus difficult to use, or are the buttons too small to accurately press? If so, then you’re in dire need of an upgrade.
6. You've grown
You started out with a small business, but you grew. You fought against the odds and became one of the 50% of small businesses that survived for five years or more. Maybe you hired new people, added new services, or even spread to more locations. Congratulations on your success! Now it’s time to update your website to match.
Your new website could have more pages for your new locations, a better blogging facility to share new information with your clients (and potential clients), better menus to organize your available services, contact or booking forms to help manage your incoming traffic, or even a staff portal where your employees can access your resources. Your business has grown, now it’s time your website grows to match!
7. You're rebranding
Most businesses remember to update their websites when they change their branding, but every now and again we stumble upon one which forgot. It’s not a good look, and it can be confusing for potential clients who may start to question if they even went to the right site. Your website is likely the first point of contact with your business for a lot of your clients, so it’s a great idea to make sure it reflects the rest of your business accurately.
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. If someone handed you a red and purple business card and brochure covered in delicate white writing, but then sent you to a website which was bright blue and green with large orange block print text, you would probably do a double take. You may even wonder if you typed in the correct URL. Luckily, it’s easy to save the confusion (and potential lost sales) by rebuilding your site when you rebuild the rest of your brand.
8. You're ashamed to show people your site
It happens. Maybe you had a bad website design from the start. Maybe it doesn’t do what it should. Maybe your developer was terrible. Maybe there’s unfinished parts, broken links, or your site has been hacked. Maybe you built it yourself and aren’t completely satisfied in your knowledge of web design. Whatever the reason, you should feel confident in showing your website to everyone.
If you wouldn’t want to show your site to your family, your friends, or your customers, then it’s time to seriously consider getting a new one. If you feel worried that someone would mock you for your site, get it fixed. If you find yourself making excuses for your site when someone brings it up, then it’s time to reconsider what you have. There are so many possibilities for websites nowadays, so why limit yourself to something that you don’t love?
Bonus: It's managed by Business Catalyst or Drupal 7
Content management systems are often updated. When new versions replace old, some CMS’s are less without support, leaving you and your website vulnerable.
Business Catalyst has been a great CMS (content management system) for almost ten years, but Adobe has slated its final days for March 2021. Similarly, once the new version of Drupal (9) is released in June 2020, Drupal 7 will no longer be supported. If you haven’t shifted your site to another CMS by the cut offs, you could lose valuable data. If you intend to keep your website running at all, you NEED to get a replacement, Ideally as soon as possible.
Ready to start building your new website? Use our contact page to request a free web and digital audit. Alternatively, give us a call on 07 3482 4262 to discuss how we can help boost your digital presence.