Time To Update?

Daniel Cobb on 2016-08-07

More and more I notice websites that are in real serious need of an update. Sometimes, I think these things are more obvious to people who create websites than those who don't, but there are a lot of outdated sites floating around still. One of the most aggravating things I run into is problems on mobile. Nothing pushes me away from a site or business quicker than if I can't scope them out on my phone before deciding to go there. Here is an example, someone is interested in your restaurant and checks out your site. It takes forever to load, doesn't adapt to the smaller size of the phone, and/or is too confusing to navigate on a phone. Not being able to easily view your menu may have cost you a customer. So how do you know it is time to update your website?

Mobile Ready

The single biggest reason you should update your site is if it does not respond to changes in screen size. People view websites from a huge range of screens from smaller phones to large desktop displays. If your site does not respond and adapt to different sizes you need to update your page, like now. Non-responsive sites are one of the fastest ways to lose visitors to your site and, in turn, lose business.

Design, Look, and Feel

If your site looks like it's ten years old it's time for an update. Trends in web design change just like anything else, yearly things come and go. Neglecting your website for years on end makes your entire company seem outdated or out of touch. In some ways, a bad looking website is worse than having no website at all. Also, if your site is that old it probably is not responsive either. Seriously, if your site is more than, in my advice, 5 years old it is probably time for a facelift.

Unused or Bulky Features

When you first launch your site you may have a lot of elements you think you need. In fact, you may not need those features at all, but they stay there eating up space and slowing down your site. If you don't need it then get rid of it. Another thing to look at is your navigation, do you have 10 or 15 different main navigation links crammed into your nav? If you do it might be time to take a look at the organization of your page as well. Having more than maybe 5 or 6 main navigation links, or menu items, is bulky and can confuse first-time users. You want it to be easy to navigate and find items for a new user, picking generic main navigation elements is the way to do it.

The Purpose of Your Site

You may have started your site to raise awareness about your business or give people basic information about your business. Some years later you may be trying to focus more on selling online. The question to ask is what do you want people to do when they come to your page? Depending on your answer and what you are trying to accomplish it might be time to update your site. Guiding users to generic information is very different than drawing attention to an item they can purchase, so if your sites goals have changed, it might be time to update.

These are just some of the reasons to update or work on your site, but they are the signs I see most often that a site needs an update.