Maybe it’s time to update your website.
In today’s post, I will walk you through some of the most important factors of determining whether or not your website needs an update.
Reasons for updating your website
If you have a website that was created 10 or more years ago, your situation is substantially different compared to a website owner with a more modern system, which was built only a couple of years ago. In addition to the creation date of the website being of importance, the type of website you have is an important aspect as well.
- Since these are seen as the outdated version of websites, they mainly serve presentation purposes, and are not interactive.
- They are written in HTML on a local computer, the files are then uploaded to a server.
- Every time a change needs to be made, the pages have to be edited on your computer and then uploaded to the web server.
- These are websites that can interact with other websites, as well as visitors (in one way, or another)
- You can build on platforms that are either more flexible, or less flexible. Such as website builders, and CMS, e.g., WordPress
A study by 1&1 Internet recently revealed that about 40 percent of small business owners don’t have a website at all, and 35 percent have a poor website that causes potential customers to consistently turn away.
of all small business owners don't have a website at all
have a poor website that causes potential customers to consistently turn away.
These are high numbers, and it is the very reason you should consider updating your website. Updating a website can be – but doesn’t have to be – a major change for your online presence. But it really depends on your specific needs.
What is your update factor?
There are some simple factors that will tell you whether or not your site is ready for an update.
1. Is your site responsive?
No matter what platform your website is built on, the first thing I’d recommend is checking out how responsive your website is. Responsiveness is a term that describes websites that automatically resize and shift their elements to accommodate different screen sizes. That goes for both tablets and smart phones as well. You can do a quick check first, by going to your browser window. If you grab the corner of your browser window and make the window larger and smaller, you can see the elements moving around when you are viewing a responsive website.
You can also use tools to check whether or not your website shows perfect responsiveness on different devices. The free tool Screenfly can show you how your website will come across, on differently sized screens. You can even rotate the screen and watch how it changes. The example pics below I have made with Screenfly. One image shows a desktop sized screen, and the other shows an iPhone screen.
Note: The logo remains clearly visible on the small screen, and the navigation bar is reduced to 3 bars, which will extend upon touch.
The Responsive Design Tester Tool is also a free tool that can be used for responsiveness tests on small phones, iPhones, a small tablet or iPad.
Finally, the third option for testing is a tool called Responsinator, which offers you tests on various mobile device sizes.
Evaluating these three tools, it becomes clear that Screenfly the only one you can use for testing different desktop sizes; but all three are able to run responsiveness tests for mobile devices. This is the very definition of responsiveness. Rearranging a website’s central elements to fit the size of the screen, and still make it look great.
If your website doesn’t come across at all on a smartphone or tablet device, visitors will quickly back off of your site. Potential customers will assume you aren’t up to the standard, and you will lose their business. So, if your website isn’t responsive, this is one of the biggest signs that your website needs to be updated.
Another important factor is how user friendly your website is.
2. Is there consistency on your website?
A website needs to have good flow on each and every page. Colors, fonts, and layout structure should always remain consistent.
3. Is your website cluttered with information?
This is perhaps one of the most important characteristics of current design standards.
A website designed to keep people on their site is a website with lots of white spaces. It shouldn’t overwhelm or distract with content. To better understand this, you need to know how the human brain works.
When someone visits a new website, they quickly glance over it to get a first impression of the site. A website that has information all over the place, continuously fires this information to the visitors brain, which causes subliminal stress. This fact has been recognized by modern web designers. By providing lots of white spaces on a page, the information can be processed easier and quicker. This reduces jump-off rates, and increases conversion rates for offerings and products.
4. How is your site’s navigation?
Every website should have at least one or two menus for easy access – top and bottom.
A menu allows visitors to move from one page, or section to the next. This allows you to efficiently explore and discover different areas of information contained within your site. The navigation should be easy to read, easy to access, and it should be working. No dead links, and no endless redirects, please!
Getting prepared for bigger changes
If some of these factors raised a red flag, your website is due for a bigger change. If you have an older website, (a website created 10+ years ago), website visitors are eventually going to become disinterested, and turn away.
To be quite honest, I think your best move is to start all over again. If your website is an old static website, I highly recommend switching platforms and building your online presence on a more solid foundation.
However, the question of which platform to choose, is not that easy to answer. Finding the right platform depends on a lot of different factors, but it mostly depends on your specific business goals. If this is an important decision that you are considering, I invite you to sign up for my free email course called, Website Hero. I will guide you on approaching these difficult matters in the best way possible.