Technology progresses rapidly these days. On one hand, this is a good thing. On the other, it can be frustrating for businesses to try to keep up. Web design especially should not be something you look at as a one time, over and done project. Every few years, it is a good idea to let your web design company take a look at your website.
In our business, we often meet clients who aren’t eager to redesign their sites. First of all, we know it is a big decision. Web design is a big project for business owners as they consider written content, features such as e-commerce stores and if their website well reflects their business’s branding.
The longer you go in between website redesigns however, the bigger the project becomes. If you take the time to do a redesign just two or three years after your site launched, it may be rather simple to update.
Here are six reasons why your website needs a facelift:
Visual and design trends
Sometimes businesses don’t feel like aesthetics are all that important. However, this could not be farther from the truth. The visual appeal of your site is an important extension of your business’s branding. What do the visual elements of your website say about your business? What kind of customer does your website attract? Would this site appeal to your target market? All of these are questions to consider when judging the visual aspects of your site.
Accuracy and relevance
Does your website contain any important research-based information? Is that information out of date? Providing incorrect or dated information to your customers may make them wonder if you are the best professional person or service to meet their needs.
Are there new services you offer that clients may not even know about that aren’t mentioned on your site? You never know who may decide to work with your competitor simply because you aren’t getting the word out about the scope of your business.
Furthermore, some design trends go beyond just appeal and marketing. For example, if your website is several years old, it may not be optimized for mobile searches. With more than 80% of internet browsing being conducted on mobile devices, it is crucial that your site is mobile optimized. Websites not optimized for mobile no longer even show up in searches conducted on mobile devices!
Your website may also need to be ADA compliant. The Americans With Disabilities Act guidelines help certain businesses create sites that are accessible to the deaf, blind and visually impaired. To be ADA compliant, sites are designed in a way where they can be easily navigated by users who use screen readers, voice or other assistive technologies.
Technical and code changes
Whether your website is completely custom-coded or is created in a Content Management System (CMS), it will need regular software updates in order to keep operating smoothly. Your designer should keep your website compliant, compatible with different browsers, and keep it secure.
If you are using a CMS, you are most likely using plugins that are part of your website to add functionality, like providing security features, tracking analytical information about your website visitors, or creating certain design features on your site. In addition to the plugins, core files and/or themes need to be updated regularly.
If the code for any of these elements go without updates for too long, they can present a vulnerability for your website and open it up to hacking and/or spamming/phishing attempts. This problem can drastically affect your site. It may completely crash and become inaccessible. Your viewers’ information may also be compromised. Keeping your software on your website up to date is just as important as running updates on your computer, your phone, or any other electronic device that is based on code or an operating system.
Our CEO, Angel Melvin had a few thoughts on the importance of regularly updating your website for security reasons. “I think sometimes people are reluctant to let someone look at their website because they don’t understand the necessity of it. They think if everything looks fine to them, their website must be fine. This is not the case though. Software may need updating or new software may need to be chosen if the current software isn’t being regularly updated by the developer of it. There could be crucial problems with security that cause your website not to rank in search engines or to be vulnerable to hackers. If you store any personal information such as payment information of customers, this is especially important.”
An example of a current security trend is having a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) on your website. An SSL is a form of security for sites that handle sensitive information like a visitor’s personal information and credit card numbers. It creates a secure connection between a web browser and the website server. Without an SSL, your website ranking drops greatly and users receive a security warning when attempting to visit your website which asks if they are sure they want to continue to your site.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is a process in which someone optimizes your website and written content so that your website ranks better in search engines. We have already mentioned that certain design features of your website may impact your search engine ranking.
A good web designer is going to know some basic SEO and optimize your site’s pages initially. However, like all other technology, SEO trends change. It is good to have someone revisit your site and see if small tweaks are needed to improve your website ranking. These tweaks include changing written content and writing meta descriptions which are the snippets of content that appear under website links in your Google searches.
Your website may be just as important as your brick and mortar business. Did you know the majority of consumers visit your site before they ever step inside your door? For many, your website is the only way you conduct business! This is why it’s so important to have an idea of the security of your site, your site ranking in search engines and the accuracy of your website’s content.
If you need an evaluation of your website, we are happy to take a look. Visit our website to see all the ways you can reach out.