The web designer is hounding you again. You’re avoiding their calls like the plague (pandemic?) or at least screening them so they can’t actually get a hold of you. Then the emails start…is it that time again? Do I really need to update my website? You look back to the last time it was done. Surely, it was only a few years back…wait, no it was 7 years!
Yes, my friends, it is costly and time consuming but there is a reason web designers insist you maintain and rebuild your websites at least every 3 or so years (and no, it’s not just to make a quick buck!) Older websites are costly for a few reasons: they are slower, the software/programs initially used may be out of date and they are prone to being hacked. So, yes, it is time to rip that bandaid off and here’s why:
Technology changes rapidly. Think about all of the changes to your phone in 7 years, for example. The goal of any website is to make it faster, more responsive and appealing to the customer. By doing this you’ll make the journey more secure and worthwhile for anyone who chooses to browse for you. Help yourself by upgrading your website and you’ll see the dividends you receive far outweigh the initial costs to redesign.
Maybe you’ve pivoted since the pandemic and the website you had previously is only equipped to display objects and not sell items. You could spend time adding the cart however, we’ve all learned that time is precious. Get someone else to do it! What about a rebrand? Companies upgrade their logos all the time. Does your new logo match the website? Attract your visitors with subtle, sleek changes that will entice them to stay and shop for a while. Design changes frequently. Is your website desktop friendly only? Sites these days need to be responsive and fit in a multitude of screens. From iPhone, to androids, desktops and all that’s in between. Don’t get stuck in the past because you can’t fathom a redesign.
Website speed is a crucial factor! I’ll say it again. It’s crucial. If your website is laden with image-heavy unload-able content, videos and themes, your bounce rate will be through the roof. People don’t have time to wait for a 5 second home page to load, let alone one that takes 30 seconds! Check your loading speed. If it takes longer than a few seconds, it’s time to fix that technology. If you don’t, you know what will happen…the customer will bounce and find another website that is speedier.
These days, it’s all about data safety. Our lives are on the internet and people have taken a keen interest in how their information is collected and used. Don’t see a lock icon on the page when you’re entering sensitive data. The checkout won’t occur. An SSL add-on is one way to combat this however, if your website is using outdated technology to protect privacy, it’ll be too little, too late.
This one is the big one. Older websites have trouble ranking in Google. This is due to search algorithms being updated around every six months and demanding more and more of websites. Content needs to be fresh, authentic and true to what you are selling/sharing online. If your content doesn’t match your feed then Google will see that and penalise accordingly. Refreshing your website regularly ensures you are keeping up to date with Google’s demands and supporting your goal of achieving page 1.
Another reason to update is so you can add plugins. The technology improves more and more each year and allows you to integrate plugins such as booking systems, analytics and payment gateways to your site. Adding these often means code and design has to be altered in order for them to function properly. They can be a necessary step however, to stay a step ahead of your competitors.
How do you know it’s time to update? Well check your bounce rate – how many people are contacting you? Test your website speed (there are free ones available online), how much time do potential customers spend on your website? This is generally related to the bounce rate and finally, how many leads and conversions do you get from your website? If it’s difficult for you to make a sale then it may well be your website holding you back. By updating your website, you are saying to the virtual world – I am here, safe and ready to sell you the thing that you really want.