First impressions are often the most important. When a visitor clicks on your website, it will take them less than 3 seconds to determine whether they want to keep scrolling or not. And if a visitor decides to leave, well – that’s bad for your business, to say the least. For this reason, you have to be particularly careful about web design.
Nowadays, everyone looks up information online. No matter if you are searching for a certain product or are looking for a guide on how to install a fence for your dog’s house, the chances are high that someone wrote about it. And if you are the one that posted it, it’s likely that you did it for business. The more visitors you have, the more profit you get.
With that in mind, when should you update or rebuild your website so that you do not start losing clients? Do you have to rebuild the whole thing – or should a few things be just enough to keep your business flowing?
When Should You Update Your Website?
To put it as simply as possible, your website should be updated as often as you can. It is important that your domain remains up to date – both for the search engines and your customers. If a website is updated regularly, Google will “see” it happening and will treat your content as being relevant. When it comes to search engine rankings, Google will first look at regular website updates. If a website is left unattended, Google will see it as “collecting dust” and will no longer list it as relevant.
Plus, think about the website as your car: if you don’t conduct any maintenance for 2-3 years, it will probably not work as well anymore – if might not even work at all. At that point, you will have to buy a new car. On the other hand, if you conduct maintenance every so often (break replacements, tire rotations, oil changes, etc.), it will work much better for a longer time. The same thing applies to your website – which is why it is recommended that you update it at least once every month.
Watching Out for the Warning Signs
It doesn’t take more than a few seconds to form an opinion of a person’s business by taking a look at their website. That being said, here are some questions that you might want to ask yourself every so often.
Does your website represent your brand and company in a professional manner?
Here’s an example: if a restaurant is nice and clean, a customer will walk more comfortably in it to eat for the first time. However, if it’s not, then it’s likely they will start looking for a meal somewhere else – even if the food there is actually good. A potential client will have no way of knowing that, so you will just end up losing them.
Is your website compatible with every browser or device?
Some people use Google Chrome to look up information, whereas others are still on Internet Explorer. Similarly, while some find it easier to log in on their laptop, for others it’s more convenient to browse on their phones or tablets.
If they see that your website is not optimized for that, they will start looking somewhere else. In this case, you might have to rebuild the website to ensure that it is easy to navigate on every device or browser.
Is the website user-friendly and intuitive?
How many times have you tried to update a website, but you gave up out of frustration because it was too confusing to navigate? You didn’t like it – and you certainly don’t want to impose this same feeling on your visitors. This is why you have to make it easy for them to browse your website.
If your clients are professionals looking for products or information, they won’t have the time to stand and figure out how to use your website. Depending on how bad the situation is, you might have to go for a full rebuild.
Does your website still use Adobe Flash
A few years ago, we couldn’t imagine building a website without bringing Flash into the mix. However, now, Flash is no longer supported by Apple – so, anyone that has an iPhone, iPad, or Mac will not be able to access your website.
If that’s not reason enough for you to redesign your website from scratch, here’s another point: Flash will slow down your website. If it will take forever to load, no one will actually stay enough to read your content.
Does your website have all the social share buttons?
If there’s anything that we know about Internet junkies, it’s that they like to share on social media everything that they might find interesting. Plus, this goes to your advantage as well – because the more they share your content, the more visitors you will get. If you do not have all the necessary buttons, you might want to update your web design so that your website has them.
Have more than 3 years passed since you had your last update?
Considering that the advice was to update your website every month for potential bugs, 3 years is a very long time to leave it unattended. Think about the example of not doing maintenance on your car. At this point, it is safe to say that your website needs some heavy modifications – maybe even a full rebuilt.
Technology changes at a fast pace – and so do the ways in which people are navigating and looking for information. You will want to ensure that your website is up to date with today’s technology and that it isn’t stuck in 2010 with a Comic Sans MS font.
If you play your cards right, you won’t need to go through many major facelifts, if any. By updating every so often, you will be able to grow your website over time – and you’ll have to undergo major changes only when important developments occur.