There will come a point in a website's life where it is no longer able to keep up with modern techniques and developments, and therefore needs redeveloping.
We have compiled a handy list for you to check through to see if it's time to upgrade.
1) Is my site responsive?
Over 20% of Google searches are performed on a mobile device, and when it comes to local searches, more than half are performed on mobile devices. If these stats tell you anything, it’s that the world has gone mobile, and if your website isn’t optimized, it’s officially time for a responsive re-design.
User experience on your website help or damage your business, your competition may get ahead of you simply because you were slow to adapt your website. Any websites that were built with responsive templates in mind, were ahead of the game when Google introduced the changes to demote non-responsive websites.
2) Is it a problem that my site is made in Flash?
If your site is built in Flash then it is not going to display on Apple mobile devices. Search engines like Google, cannot index it which means it’s very hard to work on your search engine optimization. In addition, users have to install a plugin that they need to keep up to date, which gets in the way of any user journey you hoped to achieve. Flash is tricky for users, hard to maintain and needs to be edited by someone with Flash skills making multiple users editing extremely tricky.
Instead of relying on an aging programme like Flash there have been advances in HTML5 and its ability to create animations, with dual benefits of being browser friendly and more easily editable.
3) Where am I on Google?
The vast majority of searching for any site begins with a search engine and most likely Google.
In the last few years the way search engines index and classify your website has altered dramatically, so if your rankings are low, it may be time to look over your content and the regularity of updates and how you add to your site. It used to be that filling your content with as many keywords as possible was the way forwards, however with Google introducing an update called Hummingbird, original high quality content, like blogs, is now favoured.
4) Why are visitors bouncing off my website?
When your analytics reports are showing a high bounce rate, combined with low session time and not looking at many pages it indicates that visitors don’t find your content engaging.
The same applies for converting a visitor into an action; if you have visitors but the phone is not ringing and the emails aren't coming in, it may be time to redesign your website with user journeys and your needs in mind.
Ensure you are clear about the needs of your client group and what you expect them to do at the end of their journey through the site and you will stop the bouncy visitors.
5) Do I need to redesign?
A well designed website encourages trust about your current status.
Web design moves along like everything else and styles and technology change. If your site is a just a few years old like any product the design, dates, copyright notice or cars or even mobile phones in images can age your website.
The current trend is for large images and boxes for choices, clean and easy navigation. If your site is full of text trying to explain your full history and not focussed on your key services with quick decision making, it’s time for a re-design.
6) Why am I waiting for my pages to arrive?
Website viewers are impatient and make very quick decisions. If your website is slow, you not only risk annoying your customers (and causing them to give up and leave), but you search enigines all like faster loading websites. Large images on a website can slow down load times, but equally poor hosting can slow it down too - by themeselves these things may not be noticeable but if you are affected by a few issues they start to add up into a very slow experience.
A fast website will mean your customers stay with you and have a nice time getting what they need.
7) Is it good to get lost in a maze?
Businesses naturally change over time, which means the content on your site could be out of date or irrelevant. If your website menu is too long so you can not add more items, or your users are having problems getting to pages and content that they need, chances are you’ve organically added and added to your site without considering the user. Your website has turned into a maze with many wrong turns and dead ends.
If so then it’s time to have a clean-up and rethink your navigation and how you want people to travel around your site.
8) Am I confusing you with multiple brands?
If you have had a new logo mad or the main services have shifted focus then your website needs to reflect this. Having different messages from one piece of marketing or contact point to the next, is confusing for a user.
Your website is one of your most important points of contact. It is the main hub for all searches to return to and any social media activity should link back to it. As the first impression it needs to align with your target market and reinforce anything they've seen elsewhere.
9) Should I be able to edit my own site?
Content management systems (CMS) advances mean that they are easier to use than ever before. No need for development knowledge or coding degrees in order to edit a page or add a news item. There are many advantages to keeping your content up to date, search engines like new content as a major benefit. With a CMS editing content is an immediate process, which is great for reacting and involving users.
10) Do I have to tell people my website address?
If you are embarrassed by the unloved, sad and neglected thing you call your website then it is time to redevelop it.
You need to be proud of your site and confident in the messaging and its ability to convert interest into contacts or sales. Without this confidence you will be trying to work around a website rather than using it as a great tool.
For future success you need to invest in your website. Without this long term view, you will only ever react and your website will be back to an embarrassment in no time.