As nicely designed as your website may have been, it will inevitably become outdated in one form or another. Changes in technology, search engine algorithms, and style trends are happening all the time. So, whether it’s because of the form or function (or both), it’s a good idea to take stock and consider whether your website is due for an update or full-scale re-creation.
Following are six common reasons why your site may need to be re-designed.
1. Not secure
Have a look at the address bar in your web browser. Is there a little padlock symbol on the left of the address and does the URL begin with “https”? Or does it begin with “http” (no ‘s’) and have a “not secure” message on the left? It should be the former — i.e., it look something like this:
If not, you really need to secure your website. Not only does having a secure site build trust and confidence in your site visitors, it’s also important for search engine optimization (SEO). Google et al were lenient for a while, but nowadays, if your site isn’t secure the rankings will suffer.
2. Not mobile responsive
You probably don’t need to be reminded of the importance of making sure your site is optimized for viewing not only on desktops and laptops, but on tablets and smartphones as well. If, on a smartphone, your site looks like an exact replica of the desktop version, but shrunk down so small you can’t read it, it’s not responsive. Today’s websites give at least equal — if not higher — priority to how they look and function on handheld devices. If your website isn’t responsive, you could be losing business and harming its SEO. Modern websites should look good and function well on all devices.
3. Losing Google rankings
If you’ve noticed that your site used to rank significantly higher than it does now, it could be due to either of the above two items or simply that you haven’t updated the content in a while. Google likes to see fresh content. That’s why news sites and popular blogs rank so well. If you haven’t added blog posts or even updated the general information on your site in a long time, there’s a very good chance that fresher sites will have surpassed yours in the rankings. At the very least, you may want to update the basic information — how long you’ve been in business, staff, products, services available, etc. If you have a blog that’s gone stale, get back into a regular posting schedule. If you don’t have a blog, seriously consider starting one.
4. Outdated design
Does looking at your website make you cringe? Especially in comparison to other, modern-looking sites? If yes, I think you know that it’s time to consider revamping the look. Perhaps the colour scheme is passé. Maybe the fonts seem too small. Could be that the imagery you’re using doesn’t feel inclusive enough. Or you might just want to present yourself in a fresh, new way. In any case, you may want to think about updating a few components (e.g., changing a couple colours and increasing font sizes). Or you may be ready to go for a whole new look — in which case, it could be a good time to think about re-writing some (or all) of the page copy, adding new pages, cutting others, reorganizing the site architecture, etc.
5. Part of it doesn’t work any more
Programming languages evolve over time and occasionally certain functions become obsolete and stop working. The same is true for WordPress plugins. If your website hasn’t been monitored on a regular basis, it may contain some components that have stopped functioning. That doesn’t look good. An update — and keeping an eye on things in the future — may be called for.
6. You need new functionality or your focus has shifted
Perhaps you’re wanting to integrate an online shopping cart or offer course registrations. Such items may work as add-ons to your current site. Or they may necessitate an overhaul.
If the focus of your business has changed, then it’s likely that the design of your website should as well. Otherwise you may be trying to force a square peg into a round hole. Know when it’s time to start fresh vs. patching up what you already have.
Sometimes we need to be honest with ourselves. A website that we loved when it was created years ago, may not be so impressive today, when considering current trends and technology. If your site isn’t cutting it and you’re not seeing the results you once did, it just may be time for a re-design.